Today's Stock Market News: Dow Flat Ahead of Trump's Speech to Congress

today’s stock market newsToday's stock market news will be dominated by President Trump's speech to a joint session of Congress tonight.

The Dow was flat in pre-market hours as investors take a wait-and-see approach with President Trump's latest policy proposals. President Trump will likely outline his plans for tax reform and deregulation tonight.

On Monday, the Dow added 15 points and continued its streak of 12 straight record closing highs. The defense sector led the way after Trump made a major announcement on plans to upgrade the U.S. military.

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Let's look at the numbers from Monday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Dow Jones: 20,837.44; +15.68; +0.08%

S&P 500: 2,369.73; +2.39; +0.10%

Nasdaq: 5,861.90; +16.59; +0.28%

Here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a look at Tuesday's economic calendar.

What's Ahead for the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat in pre-market hours as investors prepare for a busy day of economic data and earnings reports.

This morning, the U.S. Commerce Department is expected to announce that fourth-quarter GDP growth in 2016 was 2.1%. That is slightly above the first estimate released by the agency. However, it confirms that the United States never saw annual GDP growth of more than 3% during President Obama's entire eight-year term.

Markets are expecting a far better performance out of the proposed economic policies of President Trump. The post-election rally has seen the S&P 500 increase by more than 10% since Trump won the presidency. On Monday, defense stocks rallied after Trump announced plans to bolster military spending by $54 billion a year. Today, investors are looking for additional insight into his infrastructure spending plans and other major reforms like tax reductions and cross-border taxes.

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Crude oil prices were flat despite news that OPEC members and Russia have complied with their plans to cut excessive global production. The markets are expecting counties that have made steep cuts like Saudi Arabia could surpass their reduction goals. In addition, traders expect laggards like Iraq and the United Arab Emirates will catch up to their reduction goals in the coming months.

The WTI crude oil price today dipped 0.1%. Brent crude fell nearly 0.3%.

But the big news is President Donald Trump...

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One month into his presidency, Trump has successfully loosened the big pharma industry's grip on exorbitant drug price increases. And it's set to impact the industry in a big way.

For a sector that has historically relied on big price increases in order to bolster its bottom line, the shake up in the White House has many worried about the future. President Trump has called for stronger Medicare authority in negotiating prices and a "total overhaul" of the healthcare system. That's why if you're an investor in the pharma sector, you need to read this report that tells you the best way to protect yourself and profit from industry change.

Stocks to Watch Today, Feb. 28, 2017:

  • In earnings news, Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) will report quarterly earnings before the market opens. The retailer is expected to fall just short of consensus expectations and to report a downturn in same-store quarterly sales. The firm has been under pressure due to weak holiday sales and the need to run promotions in a competitive industry. Discounts are impacting the firm's bottom line.
  • Keep an eye out for earnings reports from Inc. (NYSE: CRM), 3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD), Ambarella Inc. (Nasdaq: AMBA), Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE: PANW), Domino's Pizza Inc. (NYSE: DPZ), Weight Watchers International (NYSE: WTW), Jazz Pharmaceuticals Plc. (Nasdaq: JAZZ), Etsy Inc. (Nasdaq: ETSY), Ross Stores Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST), and Autozone Inc. (NYSE: AZO).

Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)

  • GDP at 8:30 a.m.
  • International Trade in Goods at 8:30 a.m.
  • Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
  • S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI at 9 a.m.
  • Chicago PMI at 9:45 a.m.
  • Consumer Confidence at 10 a.m.
  • Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
  • State Street Investor Confidence Index at 10 a.m.
  • 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
  • 52-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
  • Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George speaks at 12:45 p.m.
  • Farm Prices at 3 p.m.
  • San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams speaks at 3:30 p.m.
  • Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard Speaks at 6:30 p.m.

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About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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