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Dow Jones futures are flat as investors eye this week's meeting of the Fed Open Market Committee. Though the markets have largely priced in an interest rate hike later this week, the Dow is under pressure due to falling oil prices and a slump in energy stocks. Here's the latest on world stock markets and commodity prices.
Banking stocks are in focus as investors question the timing of President Donald Trump's economic policies. The markets have surged more than double digits since the November election on the hopes of corporate tax reform, the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, income tax reform, and other pro-business policies.
On Friday, the Dow Jones added 44 points Friday after another major economic data point suggested the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise its benchmark interest rate next week. The Department of Labor announced nonfarm payrolls increased by 235,000 jobs last month, topping expectations and signaling robust health in the jobs market.
Let's look at the numbers from Friday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 20,902.98; +44.79; +0.21%
S&P 500: 2,372.60; +7.73; +0.33%
Nasdaq: 5,861.73; +22.92; +0.39%
Here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a look at Monday's economic calendar.
What's Ahead for the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is trading up 11 points in pre-market hours as investors await this week's meeting of the Federal Reserve and question new statements by the Trump administration. Over the weekend, President Donald Trump's administration raised eyebrows after Mick Mulvaney, the budget director, accused the previous administration of manipulating jobs data.
"What you should really look at is the number of jobs created," Mulvaney told CNN. "We've thought for a long time, I did, that the Obama administration was manipulating the numbers, in terms of the number of people in the workforce, to make the unemployment rate — that percentage rate — look smaller than it actually was."
With the Federal Reserve set to meet March 14-15, CME FedWatch projects a roughly 93% chance that the central bank will raise interest rates. Despite these rising expectations, shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) all slid in pre-market hours.
Crude oil prices hit a three-month low as investors continue to focus on rising U.S. production.
Traders were reacting to Friday's weekly rig count from Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI). The number of crude oil platforms has increased for 10 consecutive weeks and returned to levels not seen since 2015.
This morning, the WTI crude oil price today dipped 0.8%. Brent crude slid 0.6%.
The price of gold was up nearly 0.3% in pre-market hours, a reversal of recent pricing trends.
Gold prices in 2017 have been sliding over the last two weeks as investors prepare for a rate hike. Gold prices hovered just above $1,200 per ounce Friday, and this level could be a very good entry point for investors. Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth projects the price of gold will hit $1,265 by midyear. But the real profits will be made toward the end of 2017. To see Krauth's year-end gold forecast, go here now.
But the big news is Mobileye NV (NYSE: MBLY)…
Trending: Why Warren Buffett Buys Apple Stock
Shares of the manufacturer of driverless technology surged more than 31% on news that it will be purchased by semiconductor giant Intel Corp. (NYSE: INTC). The deal is worth roughly $15.3 billion and will give Intel a massive leg up in the emerging field of driverless technology. Shares of INTC stock were off 1.5% in pre-market hours.
Stocks to Watch Today, March 13, 2017:
- Shares of Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) are back in focus after Reuters reported that millennial investors continue to pile into the social media giant's stock. Despite the optimism from younger investors, Money Morning has discovered another way to profit from Snapchat without ever having to own shares. Here's our latest profit opportunity on SNAP stock.
- Shares of Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) were off nearly 1% after the manufacturing giant received a downgrade from Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS). The investment bank raised new concerns about the airline company's valuation after the stock jumped nearly 40% since mid-2016 even though its earnings expectations have remained largely the same.
- Keep an eye out for earnings reports from Inter Parfums Inc. (Nasdaq: IPAR), Limoneira Co. (Nasdaq: LMNR), Tilly's Inc. (NYSE: TLYS), Del Taco Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: TACO), Real Industry Inc. (Nasdaq: RELY) and Townsquare Media Inc. (NYSE: TSQ).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Labor Market Conditions Index 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.
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