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The Dow Jones news is the index sliding again today as concerns mount about the Trump administration's abilities to get tax reform and other economic priorities done. That sentiment has anti-Trump leaders smelling blood in the water. Later this week, left-wing hedge fund billionaire George Soros and other anti-Trump forces will meet for the annual Democracy Alliance conference.
On Tuesday, the Dow fell 237 points and had its single worst day of 2017. The CBOE Volatility Index – widely considered the market's fear gauge – surged more than 7%.
Let's look at the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 20,668.01; -237.85; -1.14%
S&P 500: 2,344.02; -29.45; -1.25%
Nasdaq: 5,794.00; -107.70; -1.82%
Here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a look at Wednesday's economic calendar.
What's Ahead for the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today
The Dow Jones futures projected a 41-point decline as investors showed new concerns that President Trump and Republicans will be unable to get his economic policies implemented this summer. The worries are mounting on fleeting expectations that Republicans have enough votes to pass healthcare reform this week, a defeat that would set the president's agenda back. The threat grew even higher after The Wall Street Journal reported that any corporate and income tax reform in 2017 could come later and deliver smaller results than investors have anticipated.
The U.S. dollar and the equity markets are under pressure, while Treasuries and gold prices are on the rise. Thursday's healthcare vote is seen as a proxy for future political wins. The markets expect that the administration will pass tax cuts, deregulate the financial and energy markets, and implement a $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill to bolster economic growth.
Crude oil prices hit their lowest levels since Nov. 30 after new data indicated another uptick in U.S. inventory levels. The American Petroleum Institute reports that inventories increased last week by another 4.5 million barrels. Markets will await the official number later this afternoon from the Energy Information Administration.
The rising inventory levels have created a wealth of uncertainty for energy traders who have been focusing so much attention on OPEC's efforts to cap excessive production. The global oil cartel has said that it plans to extend its six-month deal to help bolster prices. However, rising U.S. production has kept crude prices from rising above $60.00 per barrel and has instead dragged crude to a multi-month low. Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors explains that crude prices are on a rollercoaster. When will we see change and greater stability?
The WTI crude oil price today dipped 1.5%. Brent crude fell 1.53%.
But the big news is Ethereum price, which has rallied more than 250% in the last four weeks.
Markets are seeing a timely combination of rising institutional interest and a dire impasse among users of other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. We are seeing a lot of money shifting from Bitcoin investing to Ethereum investing in order to protect capital and profit.
So what is next? We dig deeper into the Ethereum and Bitcoin debate, right here…
Stocks to Watch Today, March 22, 2017
- Shares of Baidu Inc. (Nasdaq: BIDU) fell on news that its chief scientist Andrew Yan-Tak Ng will retire. The Financial Times reported that Ng will depart the company to work in a new role of advancing artificial intelligence in the future. Ng had worked at both Baidu and Google as a leader in AI development. "I've decided to step away from this role while everything is going well and look at some other things," he told MIT Technology Review.
- In earnings news, shares of Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) slumped nearly 4% after competitive pressures weighed on the global athletic retailer. Though the company easily topped Wall Street earnings per share (EPS) expectations, the firm fell short of revenue forecasts.
- Meanwhile, shares of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) added more than 2% despite a third-quarter earnings miss. The company reported an 8% decline in its quarterly bottom line, and then fell short of Wall Street profit expectations. The logistics firm has blamed increased fuel costs, but many analysts are eyeing competitive pressures from Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), which has been boosting the number of ZIP codes to which the e-commerce retailer can deliver next-day packages. For example, Amazon announced this morning that it has expanded its one-day delivery services in Milwaukee.
- Look for additional earnings reports from PVH Corp. (NYSE: PVH), Cintas Corp. (Nasdaq: CTAS), Five Below Inc. (Nasdaq: FIVE), Winnebago Industries Inc. (NYSE: WGO), Herman Miller Inc. (Nasdaq: MLHR), and Perry Ellis International Inc. (Nasdaq: PERY).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.
- FHFA House Price Index at 9 a.m.
- Existing Home Sales at 10 a.m.
- EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10:30 a.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.