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The Dow Jones news today is highlighted by the first round of the French election and prospects for a big trading day.
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- Dow Jones: 20,547.76; -30.95; -0.15%
- S&P 500: 2,348.69; -7.15;-0.30%
- Nasdaq: 5,910.52; -6.26; -0.11%
Today's market highlights:
- Dow futures project a 216-point gain in pre-market hours as markets digest the results of yesterday's first presidential vote in France. Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron both advanced past the first round and will now take part in a runoff vote set for May 7.
- On Friday, the Dow lost 30 points as investors took a wait-and-see approach to the pivotal French presidential election and President Donald Trump's tax proposal.
- Gold prices are in focus with a wealth of geopolitical factors impacting the yellow metal.
- Earnings season continues its torrid pace with Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) and Hasbro Inc. (NYSE: HAS) leading today's calendar.
- Anti-EU leader Marine Le Pen and will face off against centrist Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the French presidential election on May 7.
- The U.S. Treasury Department declined a controversial waiver request from Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and dodges a PR nightmare in the process.
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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 projected a 216-point gain after the first round of the French presidential election. Anti-EU leader Marine Le Pen will face off against centrist Emmanuel Macron in the second round on May 7. Should Le Pen win, France will likely leave the European Union. Following yesterday's results, some investors are wondering: "Will the stock market crash after the French elections?" We look at the possibility of a stock market crash in 2017, right here.
- Look for an earnings report from Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: ABX) after the bell Monday. The global gold producer is likely headed toward a positive earnings report after gold prices rose in the first quarter. After all, the price of gold in 2017 is still outperforming the stock market. Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth predicts gold prices have a lot more room to run. Here's his latest forecast.
- Crude oil prices were rising on Monday morning, but traders remain guarded. With growing U.S. production, many traders are convinced the global energy cartel will be unable to significantly reduce the international supply glut.
- On Friday, Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) announced the U.S. rig count increased for the eighth consecutive week. Traders are acting cautious about the stability of the global markets due to concerns that the OPEC-led production cuts have not put enough of a dent in the global oversupply that has affected the markets since 2015.
- OPEC is poised to meet again on May 25 to discuss a potential extension. However, the Energy Information Administration this week stated that U.S. oil inventories are at near-record highs and U.S. shale production is set to increase by more than 100,000 barrels per day in May. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.4%, while Brent crude gained 0.5%.
- But the big story today is the possibility of a government shutdown later this week. With Congress returning from recess, leaders have just a few days to piece together a deal that would prevent the government from having to close its doors and failing to pay its bills. Check out our latest insight into the possibility of a shutdown and what it means for your money. Read it all, right here.
Stocks to Watch Today, April 24, 2017:
- In deal news, shares of Becton Dickinson and Co. (NYSE: BDX) are dipping on news it will acquire C R Bard Inc. (NYSE: CRB) in a deal worth roughly $24 billion. The U.S. medical equipment supplier will expand its portfolio of products in the oncology and surgery sectors.
- The White House rejected a bid by Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) to sidestep sanctions against Russia and restart production in the Arctic and Black Sea with a state-owned company. The decision will likely prevent a public relations fiasco that could have flared up. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the former CEO of Exxon and a decision by the Treasury Department could have been viewed as a conflict of interest.
- United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL) announced that current CEO Oscar Munoz will not obtain the role of chairman. The company also announced compensation changes at the executive level. The decisions come in the wake of a major public relations problem for the organization after a passenger was physically dragged off a flight after refusing to give up his seat to employees.
- In other earnings news, shares of Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) are in focus as the global oil field service giant prepares to report its first-quarter results. Wall Street anticipates that Halliburton will report earnings per share of $0.04 on top of $4.281 billion in revenue.
- Meanwhile, look for a report from Swift Transportation Corp. (NYSE: SWFT). Wall Street anticipates earnings per share of $0.12 on top of $964.2 million in revenue. Investors are paying close attention to this earnings report in wake of the news that the transportation company plans to merge with Knight Transportation (NYSE: KNX) in a deal worth $5 billion.
- Look for earnings reports from Hasbro Inc. (NYSE: HAS), The Hain Celestrial Group Inc. (Nasdaq: HAIN), Express Scripts Inc. (Nasdaq: ESRX), Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR), Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE: ITW), and Kimberly-Clark Corp. (NYSE: KMB).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Chicago Fed National Activity Index at 8:30 a.m.
- Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey at 10:30 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.
- Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari speaks at 3:15 p.m.