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Dow Jones futures are projecting a new record high as investor optimism swelled following President Trump's first speech before a joint session of Congress.
On Tuesday, the Dow Jones snapped its 12-day winning streak of record closing highs. A lackluster round of earnings results and weak economic data weighed on investor sentiment. The Commerce Department also announced Q4 GDP growth clocked in at just 1.9%.
Let's look at the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 20,812.24; -25.20; -0.12%
S&P 500: 2,363.64; -6.11; -0.26%
Nasdaq: 5,825.44; -36.46; -0.62%
Here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a look at Wednesday's economic calendar.
What's Ahead for the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today
The Dow Jones Industrial Average projected a 166-point gain in the wake of President Donald Trump's first speech before a joint session of Congress. During the one-hour talk, Trump called on Congress to work together to replace the Affordable Care Act, demanded $1 trillion in stimulus spending. and even proposed a new government agency that would serve American victims of crimes by immigrants. The key line of the night came on tax reform.
"My economic team is developing historic tax reform that will reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone," Trump said. "At the same time, we will provide massive tax relief for the middle class," he said. "We must create a level playing field for American companies and workers."
Despite the large number of policy points covered by the president, the speech was still a bit light on details of his plans.
Trump's biggest critics are greatly opposed to his budget proposal. For example, the president's budget plan consists of a $54 billion increase in defense spending. To balance out the costs of such a massive increase, Trump has proposed slashing the State Department's annual budget by 37%. As we explain, that proposal has some senators saying that cuts at Foggy Bottom would put Americans' lives at risk. Here's our latest on this shocking development.
Investors were also speculating on the latest monetary policy statements by New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley, who argued that a March rate hike should be on the table. The statement came on the same day that San Francisco Fed President John Williams claimed there was "no need to delay" any interest rate hike in March. According to CME FedWatch, the probability of a rate hike in March currently sits at 35.4%.
Crude oil prices were ticking slightly lower as markets eye the weekly update on crude inventory levels from the Energy Information Administration later this afternoon. Traders were not convinced President Trump had made the case for higher U.S. production.
The WTI crude oil price today added 0.1%. Brent crude added nearly 0.2%.
But the big news is that the Dow Jones is still hovering just below an all-time high.
And stocks have grown increasingly more expensive since President Donald Trump won the presidency on Nov. 8. So what are the most expensive stocks trading on U.S. markets today?
We put together a list the most expensive stocks trading today. While we don't recommend you avoid all of them, we do think investors should look for value and upside. That's why we put together another list of three stocks to buy for mega-profits in 2017.
Stocks to Watch Today, March 1, 2017
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- Shares of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) and General Motors Co. (NYSE GM) are in focus as vehicle manufacturers prepare to release February sales figures in morning hours.
- Shares of Best Buy Co. (NYSE: BBY) fell another 1.2% in pre-market hours as pessimism continues to grow for the retail shopping business in the wake of the Q4 holiday season. Wall Street expects the big-box retailer to announce EPS of $1.66 on top of $13.306 billion in revenue when it reports quarterly earnings before the bell.
- Keep an eye out for earnings reports from Broadcom Ltd. (Nasdaq: AVGO), Lowe's Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW), Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS), Monster Beverage Corp. (Nasdaq: MNST), Dollar Tree Inc. (Nasdaq: DLTR), Shake Shack Inc. (NYSE: SHAK), Box Inc. (NYSE: BOX) and CROCS Inc. (Nasdaq: CROX).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.
- Personal Income and Outlays at 8:30 a.m.
- Gallup U.S. Job Creation Index at 8:30 a.m.
- PMI Manufacturing Index at 9:45 a.m.
- ISM Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- Construction Spending at 10 a.m.
- EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan speaks at 12:30 p.m.
- Beige Book at 2 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.