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In Dow Jones news today, the Dow fell 51 points after a wild session of interest rate speculation, geopolitical tensions, and concerns about the stability of OPEC's agreement to cap excess crude production.
In addition, markets reacted to a lackluster growth target for the Chinese economy.
China set its 2017 GDP growth target at 6%, a 25-year low. The announcement pummeled mining stocks. Shares of Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) slipped over 2%.
Let's look at the numbers from Monday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 20,954.34; -51.37; -0.24%
S&P 500: 2,375.31; -7.81; -0.33%
Nasdaq: 5,849.18; -21.58; -0.37%
Now, here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Tuesday's economic calendar.
Dow Jones News Today: Dow Slides as Rate Hike Approaches
Geopolitics dominated a crazy day of news around the world. First, markets were reacting to the test of four ballistic missile launches by North Korea over the weekend. According to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, three of the missiles landed in his nation's economic zones, prompting concerns about the rogue nuclear power's growing hostility and its potential instability.
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Meanwhile, the entire media was trying to make sense of an accusation by President Donald Trump over the weekend that he had been wiretapped by former President Barack Obama during the 2016 campaign.
Meanwhile, markets were also weighing the timing of the next interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve. With the Fed set for its next meeting March 14-15, investors are still parsing through comments by Fed Chair Janet Yellen. It seems the only potential roadblock to a rate hike next week would be a weak February jobs report.
If the Fed does raise rates in March, here's how it will affect your money.
Crude oil prices were falling on concerns Russia will not be able to maintain its compliance efforts with a global deal to cap excessive crude production. In addition, China's weak GDP growth target added pressure on oil prices.
Russia, which is not a member of OPEC, is working alongside the world's largest crude cartel to reduce output and support prices. However, February data indicates that Russia's daily crude output was unchanged compared to January levels. Markets are also increasingly concerned about the possibility that OPEC will not extend its deal to reduce crude output and help bolster crude prices.
The WTI crude oil price today dipped 0.1%. Brent prices gained 0.1%.
Despite the bearish day, Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors has just released his latest forecast for the WTI crude oil price. He forecasts that WTI crude oil prices will climb to the low $60 per barrel range in 2017. He sees Brent oil prices per barrel in the mid $60s next year.
But the big story is the Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) stock price. The company has erased all of its post-IPO gains and fallen back beneath $24.00, the price that it opened at last Thursday.
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SNAP stock fell more than 12% after an advocacy group representing large institutional investors approached several stock market index providers. The advocacy group asked to bar companies that fail to provide voting rights to shareholders on the open market from their stock benchmarks. The news comes a few days after the company went public and announced that owners of Class A shares would not have any voice in the company. So, should you invest in the company after the Snapchat IPO? We break down how you can still make money on this IPO without ever having to buy Snapchat stock.
Stock Market News and Top Stocks to Watch Today: March 6, 2017
- Shares of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) were up 0.5% today, but investors still have reason to worry after federal officials raided the company's headquarters in Illinois last week. The IRS is digging into a possible tax-evasion scheme that could be worth as much as $4.2 billion. On Friday, Money Morning dug much deeper into this surprise story and discovered a major clue that three Caterpillar offices were about to be raided. This is a major whistleblower story that will continue to dominate headlines well into the future.
- Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) announced plans to invest $20 billion to expand its chemical and refining operations in the United States. The company will develop 11 sites along the Gulf Coast and create 35,000 temporary jobs. The plans, which will run through 2022, will represent a 16% boost in capital expenditures even as crude oil prices are well below 2015 highs.
- In earnings news, watch for reports from Thor Industries Inc. (NYSE: THO), Ascena Retail Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ASNA), Casey's General Stores Inc. (Nasdaq: CASY), Black Diamond Inc. (Nasdaq: BDE), and Korn Ferry International (NYSE: KFY).
- Finally, in deal news, General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) announced it sold its European businesses to PSA Peugeot for roughly $2.3 billion. Both Germany subsidiary Opel and British brand Vauxhall had been losing business and weighing down GM's balance sheet.
Tuesday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- International Trade at 8:30 a.m.
- Gallup US ECI at 8:30 a.m.
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- Four-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Three-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.
- Consumer Credit at 3 p.m.