Dow Jones News Today: Dow Flat Despite Slump in Healthcare Sector

In Dow Jones news today (Friday, March 17), the Dow had a small loss as declines in healthcare stocks offset positive momentum in the technology sector.

Dow Jones news  today

The S&P 500 healthcare sector dipped thanks to a sharp 6% decline from Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN). Shares of the drug maker slumped after the company released weak data from a study of a cholesterol drug. The iShares Nasdaq biotechnology ETF (Nasdaq: IBB) fell more than 1% on the day.

The downturn comes a day after Donald Trump announced plans to reduce spending for the National Institute of Health and to increase regulatory payments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The CBOE Volatility Index - widely considered the markets' fear gauge - dipped 0.8%.

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Let's look at the numbers the numbers from Friday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Dow Jones: 20,914.62; -19.93; -0.10%

S&P 500: 2,378.25; -3.13; -0.13%

Nasdaq: 5,901.00; +0.24; +0.00%

Now, here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Monday's economic calendar.

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DJIA Today: Dow Sees Slight Drop, Healthcare Stocks Dip

The Dow Jones dropped 19 points on St. Patrick's Day. The downturn coincided with "quadruple witching," a day when three related classes of futures and options contracts expire.

Crude oil prices ticked slightly higher despite increased concerns about the stability of OPEC's deal to cap excessive production and rising inventory levels in the United States. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.1%, while Brent crude gained 0.1%. While traders remain concerned about falling oil prices, we've discovered a way to make big profits off crude prices in the year ahead. Check out our latest investment play to help you reach double-digit gains in 2017.

Gold prices had their first weekly gain since February thanks to a tepid performance from the U.S. dollar. Even though the Federal Reserve raised interest rates Wednesday - a move that traditionally strengthens the greenback - traders and the market were acting as though the central bank had lowered rates. Markets remained unconvinced that the Fed has a real timeline for future interest rate hikes despite statements that its leaders want at least three increases in 2017.

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The price of gold is expected to keep rising in the months ahead thanks to a number of outside factors that aren't controlled by U.S. monetary policy. We expect gold prices to hit at least $1,400 by the end of 2017. While that would be a 13.6% gain, Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth has a way to make 50% -- even 82.1% on rising gold prices.

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Stock Market News and Top Stocks to Watch Today: March 17, 2016

  • Shares of JC Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) fell 2% after the embattled retailer announced it will close another 138 stores as consumers continue to ignore brick-and-mortar locations.
  • Shares of Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) fell another 1.5% as concerns about the stock continue to weigh on investors. Several investment banks have initiated coverage on the stock over the last week, and no one wants to attach a "Buy" rating on the social media company. The stock is now within striking distance of falling below its IPO price of $17.00 per share. Money Morning has recommended that investors steer clear of this company and wait until the lock-up period is complete before making a decision on whether or not to purchase this stock.
  • Speaking of IPOs, shares of Mulesoft Inc. (NYSE: MULE) surged more than 44% during the company's first day of trading on the public markets. The software services provider had one of the best first days for an IPO in 2017.
  • Shares of Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) lost 0.04% in the face of news that the company raised $1.2 billion in capital from a share offering and issuance of debt. The company plans to use the capital to bolster its production of its new Model 3 sedan. The deal puts a lot of pressure on the company to deliver on its lofty production goals.
  • In earnings news, shares of Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) added more than 3% after the firm reported a strong fourth-quarter profit. The luxury retailer said it saw a strong uptick in demand for its more expensive jewelry in Japan and China. Meanwhile, shares of Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE) jumped more than 4% after the Photoshop publisher topped Wall Street earnings expectations.

Monday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)

  • Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans speaks at 8:30 a.m.
  • Chicago Fed National Activity Index at 8:30 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.

Top Story: The Best Stocks to Buy (and When to Sell) for Mega Profits in 2017

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About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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