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In Dow Jones news today, the Dow fell 69.03 points thanks to a big drop in oil prices.
Crude prices slumped after a government agency reported a big jump in crude inventory levels. The downturn in crude prices offset strong gains in the banking sector.
Let's look at the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 20,855.73; -69.03; -0.33%
S&P 500: 2,362.98; -5.41; -0.23%
Nasdaq: 5,837.55; +3.62; +0.06%
Now, here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Thursday's economic calendar.
Dow Jones News Today: Slump in Oil Prices Offsets Bank Gains
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), crude inventory levels increased for a ninth consecutive week. The EIA said U.S. crude stocks increased by 8.2 million barrels last week, a figure that surpassed analyst expectations. The WTI crude oil price today dropped 5.2%. Brent prices slumped 4.9%.
Must See: This Great Depression-Era "Secret" Helped Transform Two Teachers into Millionaires. Read more…
This news came the same day that traders raised new concerns about the stability of OPEC's agreement to cap excessive crude production. During an energy conference in Houston this week, Saudi Arabia's energy minister made statements that raised eyebrows about his nation's commitment to the cartel's production deal.
The sharp downturn in crude prices Wednesday offset optimism in the banking industry. Banking stocks pushed higher after a major economic indicator showed that the U.S. jobs market continues to chug along. This morning, Automatic Data Processing (ADP) reported a huge gain in private employment last month. ADP reported the private sector added 298,000 positions in February, far ahead of consensus expectations of 190,000. The news places Friday's official jobs report in focus, but it also offers increased odds that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates during its meeting on monetary policy next week.
Chair Janet Yellen said the only potential roadblock to a rate hike this month would be a weak February jobs report. CME's FedWatch Tool puts the probability of a rate hike at 90.8% for March.
What would a rate hike mean for your money?
We break down the impact of a March interest rate hike, right here.
But the big story is Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB)
The Facebook stock price has skyrocketed 19.45% so far in 2017 and 30% in the last 12 months. And we expect even more gains are on the way.
Unfortunately, too many investors are overlooking this company. Instead, they're looking at Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) after its March 2 IPO. That's a big mistake.
Here's why Facebook is still the best social media stock to own…
Stock Market News and Top Stocks to Watch Today: March 8, 2017
- Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) were the top drags on the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones. Shares of both international energy giants fell close to 2% due to the downturn in crude prices. While investors are too busy focusing on crude prices, Exxon has an entirely different set of problems that is causing trouble for the iconic stock. Hint: He is the president of the United States.
- Shares of Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) gained more than 5% on news that short-seller interest appeared to be slowing down. Hedge fund mogul David Tepper said that he bought into the social media giant last week. Shares had fallen below the initial opening price after the company went public last Thursday. Short interest fell from $300 million to $50 million Wednesday, according to S3 Partners. Despite the uptick, investors should be wary of the company's stock. Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald warns that investors should avoid shares of Snapchat stock. Here's Keith's latest insight on SNAP stock and what you should be doing next.
- In earnings news, shares of Urban Outfitters Inc. (Nasdaq: URBN) plunged 2.6% after the company reported a huge sales miss. As a result, investment firm William Blair downgraded the company's stock, while a handful of other brokerages slashed their price targets for the embattled retailer.
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Challenger Job-Cut Report at 7:30 a.m.
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Gallup Good Jobs Rate at 8:30 a.m.
- Import and Export Prices at 8:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Quarterly Services Survey at 10 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Three-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Six-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 30-Year Bond Auction at 1 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.
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.