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In Dow Jones news, the Dow dropped 41 points after investors scoured through the minutes from the March meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Let's look at the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 20,648.15; -41.09; -0.20%
S&P 500: 2,352.95; -7.21; -0.31%
Nasdaq: 5,864.48; -34.13; -0.58%
Today's market highlights:
- Markets reversed gains after the Federal Reserve announced intentions to shrink its massive $4.5 trillion balance sheet.
- Markets continue to await a key meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
- Panera Bread Co. (Nasdaq: PNRA) sold itself for $7.5 billion to German conglomerate JAB.
Now, here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Thursday's economic calendar.
DJIA Today: Dow Slides After the Federal Reserve Announces Plans to Shrink Balance Sheet
- The Dow Jones reversed its early session gains after investors parsed through the minutes from the March meeting of the Fed Open Market Committee. The minutes revealed that the central bank wants to begin shrinking its $4.5 trillion balance sheet in 2017. The minutes also stated that several officials at the central bank believe that equity prices are "quite high."
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- Automated Data Processing (ADP) announced that U.S. private sector jobs increased by far more than economists had expected in March. ADP announced that employers created 263,000 jobs last month. That is the highest level of job creation since December 2014. The announcement sets the tone for Friday's official jobs report and March unemployment rate from the U.S. Department of Labor.
- Investors are still taking precautions ahead of tomorrow's meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The world leaders are expected to engage in a tense conversation about a number of topics, including North Korea's nuclear program, bilateral trade, and the South China Sea.
- Consumer stocks led today's gains as investors weighed on the potential of a major acquisition in the sector. Shares of McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) added 0.8%. Shares of Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) gained 0.2%.
- Gold prices were down today buthave been on the rise in recent sessions thanks to a weakening dollar and increased demand on the global front. And it appears that the rally is just getting started. Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth sees the price of gold rising to $1,400 by the end of the year. But if you really want to make money on rising gold prices, investors should consider buying the stocks of gold mining companies. That's why we're recommending two gold mining stocks today, which are set to rally 88.9% and 49.4% by April 2018. Click here to learn about both and start profiting today.
Trending: Will the Stock Market Crash Soon?
- Gold prices generate all the headlines, but there is an entire class of other metals that generate a lot of the same profit potential. So far, the price of platinum in 2017 has gained 6.4% despite an uptick in volatility. But the metal is just getting started. Here are two reasons why the price of platinum is poised to skyrocket in 2017.
- Oil prices fell after the U.S. Energy Information Administration announced a surprise uptick in crude inventory levels last week. The WTI crude oil price today dipped 0.3%, while Brent crude slid 0.1%.
- Investors looking to make money on rising oil prices in 2017 should consider an opportunity that we just uncovered. Today, we're looking north to the Canadian oil sandsas a treasure trove. Here's a little background on the oil sands and the best Canadian oil sands stock to buy now.
- But the story that is slipping under the radar is the growing number of stocks that investors can short with the markets near all-time highs. Today, we break down the three best stocks to short in 2017. Check them out, here.
Stock Market News and Top Stocks to Watch Today: April 5, 2017
- In earnings news, shares of Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON) gained nearly 1% after the global agricultural giant topped Wall Street profit and sales expectations. The firm also issued an upbeat forecast for 2017. Meanwhile, shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NYSE: WBA) fell 1.61% after the drugstore giant fell short of earnings expectations. After the bell, look for another earnings report from Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.(Nasdaq: BBBY).
- In deal news, Panera Bread Co. (Nasdaq: PNRA) rallied more than 14% after the company announced it will be purchased by JAB Holding for $315 a share. JAB has been building a coffee and breakfast empire with recent acquisitions of Peet's Coffee & Tea, Caribou Coffee, Stumptown Coffee, Keurig Green Mountain, and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.
- Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) added nearly 0.2% on news that the global e-commerce giant will stream 10 Thursday night NFL games in the upcoming season. The firm reached an agreement to pay $50 million for the rights to play games for its Amazon Prime customers. The news overshadowed a company announcement that it will refund millions of unauthorized purchases by minors.
- General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) is talking about doing the unthinkable. The company is talking about selling the very division on which the organization was founded: its light bulb business.
Stock Talks with Bill Patalon
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- 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.
- San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank Chair John Williams Speaks at 9:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 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.
- Three-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 10-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 30-Year Bond Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Treasury STRIPS at 3 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.
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