In Dow Jones news today, the Dow was slightly up after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated the central bank is likely to raise interest rates in March.
A light day of earnings reports and economic data gave the markets time to take a breath from the blistering rally that has taken place since the November election.
Let's look at the numbers from Friday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 21,005.71; +2.74; +0.01%
S&P 500: 2,383.12; +1.20; +0.05%
Nasdaq: 5,870.75; +9.53; +0.16%
Now, here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Monday's economic calendar.
Dow Jones News Today: Dow Stagnant After Janet Yellen Speech
Entering the final hour of trading Friday, the Dow was hovering at the 21,000 mark and gained two points to finish above 21,000.
This afternoon, Fed Chair Janet Yellen hinted that the central bank will raise interest rates later this month should economic data remain upbeat. The Fed and the markets will be keeping an eye on employment and inflation figures ahead of the March FOMC meeting.
"At our meeting later this month, the committee will evaluate whether employment and inflation are continuing to evolve in line with our expectations, in which case a further adjustment of the federal funds rate would likely be appropriate," Yellen said during a speech at the Executives' Club of Chicago.
On Wednesday, inflation data indicated the largest monthly gain in nearly four years and pushed the inflation level within striking distance of the Fed's target rate of 2%. Yellen's speech today has placed a big emphasis on next Friday's release of the February jobs report.
According to CME's FedWatch tool, the probability of a rate hike in March increased from 75% to 82% after Yellen's speech.
Crude oil prices were pushing higher despite news that the U.S. production rig count increased again last week. Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) announced that the domestic rig count increased by six platforms last week. This brings the official figure for rigs in operation to 609, the highest level since late 2015. February was the 10th consecutive month that the number of rigs increased. It is an especially positive trend for large producers like Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM).
The WTI crude oil price today added 1.2%. Brent prices gained 1.1%.
But the big story is that Greece is on the verge of its fourth bailout in seven years.
Even though the debt crisis in Greece has been going on for more than a decade, European officials have continued to throw more and more money at the problem instead of offering real structural reform.
Here's a complete timeline of the financial crisis that could – and will if things don't change – sink the European economy once and for all.
Stock Market News and Top Stocks to Watch Today: March 3, 2017
- Shares of Macy's Inc. (NYSE: M) fell over 4% on concerns that a potential buyer hasn't quite made an offer. Investors are growing tired of waiting for Canadian firm Hudson Bay to access private capital to make a deal. It has been more than one month since both sides began considering an acquisition.
- In earnings news, shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. (Nasdaq: COST) fell over 4% after the company fell well short of Wall Street profit expectations in its second fiscal quarter. The discount retailer reported earnings per share (EPS) of $1.17, a steep miss from the consensus forecast of $1.35 per share. Quarterly revenue was off slightly.
- Shares of Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) jumped more than 9% on its second day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock jumped on news that NBCUniversal announced a $500 million investment in the company. With the stock now up more than 50% since its IPO, many investors are wondering if they should still buy into Snap stock. But there's a different way to tap into Snapchat, and you don't even need to buy the stock. Check it out, right here.
Monday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- PMI Services Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Gallup US Consumer Spending Measure at 8:30 a.m.
- Factory Orders at 10 a.m.
- Four-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Three-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Six-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- TD Ameritrade IMX at 12:30 p.m.
- Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari speaks at 3 p.m.
- Treasury STRIPS at 3 p.m.
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.