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The Dow Jones news is the market's reaction to yesterday's interest rate hike. Dow futures are on the rise in pre-market hours a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the second time in four months. Markets are preparing for a heavy day of economic data, which included news that the Bank of England voted to maintain its benchmark interest rate at 0.25%.
Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) pushed higher in pre-market hours a day after the stock broke through the $140.00 per share ceiling. The stock is sitting at an all-time high and continues to defy many Apple bears who spoke out against the stock when it sat at a 52-week low of $89.47.
On Wednesday, the Dow added more than 100 points after the Federal Reserve raised rates at the conclusion of the FOMC meeting yesterday. Following the Fed's announcement, central bank chair Janet Yellen said, "The simple message is the economy is doing well."
Let's look at the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 20,950.10; +112.73; +0.54%
S&P 500: 2,385.26; +19.81; +0.84%
Nasdaq: 5,900.05; +43.23; +0.74%
Here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a look at Thursday's economic calendar.
What's Ahead for the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today
The Dow Jones Industrial Average projected a small gain a day after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the third time since the financial crisis. The central bank increased its benchmark rate to a range between 0.75% and 1%. Fed Chair Janet Yellen cited improved economic data in the U.S. jobs market and pointed to rising inflation figures as justification for the uptick in rates.
After the rate hike, a number of financial institutions – KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY), Comerica Inc. (NYSE: CMA), Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (NYSE: DB), and PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: PNC) – announced they raised their prime rate from 3.75% to 4%.
Crude oil prices extended their recent gains after the Energy Information Administration announced a surprise decline in weekly crude inventory levels. The inventory report alleviated many concerns about a global supply glut. In addition, the interest rate hike boosted the value of the dollar, which helped push crude prices downward.
This morning, the WTI crude oil price today added 0.8%. Brent crude gained 0.9%.
Trending Now: Natural Gas Prices Will Soar Double Digits in 2017
But the big news is happening in Washington, D.C.
Republicans are under pressure over the potential repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act. Many voters are asking the same question: Why won't the GOP repeal Obamacare? One of the reasons is that the entitlement program has widely been adopted by many Americans. Roughly 12.2 million people have signed up for healthcare this year.
But that's not the only reason why Republicans haven't repealed or replaced the law just yet.
Stocks to Watch Today, March 16, 2017
- Shares of Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) added more than 2.6% in pre-market hours after CEO Elon Musk announced he had purchased $25 million in TSLA common stock. The deal came the same day that the firm reported a $250 million offering of common stock and $750 million in convertible senior notes. The company says it aims to "strengthen its balance sheet and further reduce any risks associated with the rapid scaling of its business due to the launch of Model 3."
- Shares of Macy's Inc. (NYSE: M) fell another 1% in pre-market hours on news that activist hedge fund Starboard Value has divested its stake in the retailer. The hedge fund sold its stake after Canadian retailer Hudson's Bay pulled back from its bid for the embattled Macy's organization. New reports indicate Hudson's Bay may make an offer for Neiman Marcus Group.
- Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) have posted impressive market-beating gains so far in 2017. Shares jumped another 12.4% since Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald released his latest recommendation on the stock. However, too many analysts are saying AMZN stock is now too expensive to buy. Here's why they are wrong, and why Amazon is one of the best stocks to own even at today's prices.
- In earnings news, shares of Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) gained nearly 6% after the cloud-computing giant topped Wall Street earnings and revenue expectations. The tech giant reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.69, a figure that topped Wall Street expectations of $0.62. The firm also reported revenue of $9.274 billion, beating consensus expectations of $9.23 billion.
- Keep an eye out for earnings reports from Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE), Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG), JA Solar Holdings Co. (Nasdaq: JASO), Omeros Corp. (Nasdaq: OMER), and MannKind Corp. (Nasdaq: MNKD).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Housing Starts at 8:30 a.m.
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey at 8:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- JOLTS 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.
- 10-Year TIPS Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.