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In Dow Jones news today, the markets struggled to gain momentum after a lackluster day of economic data.
Here are the numbers from Friday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
|Index||Closing||Point Change||Percentage Change|
Now here's a closer look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus Monday's economic calendar.
The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Friday
- The Dow Jones fell as President Donald Trump approaches the 100-day mark on his term in office. Today, President Trump argued that Saudi Arabia was not paying its fair share for defense in the Middle East. He also made similar statements about South Korea. In addition, the U.S. State Department has announced plans to cut back spending and reduce the number of diplomats and civil servants by 9%.
- In economic news, U.S. GDP registered at a paltry 0.7% for the first quarter. That figure is well below the 1.2% rise predicted by economists and the 2.1% uptick during the fourth quarter of 2016. The U.S. economy saw weak consumer spending and less business investment into inventories. Analysts also blamed the warmer weather for the downturn in utility spending.
- While the U.S. economy crawls along, Congress is working to avoid a government shutdown. The House of Representatives voted to approve a short-term spending bill that will keep the government open for another week. The measure will give Congress until next Friday to put together a $1 trillion spending bill to finance government agencies through Sept. 30.
- Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) both pushed higher after the companies topped Wall Street earnings expectations. The positive earnings reports indicated that large multinational energy firms have been able to navigate successfully despite the downturn in crude oil prices over the last two years. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.3%. Brent crude added 0.5% as investors hope that OPEC leaders will soon extend a deal to cap excessive production.
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- The big story today is happening in North Korea. After President Trump warned of "major conflict" between the United States and the rogue nation, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on the United Nations to implement sanctions on the country or suspend or downgrade diplomatic relations. Despite the war drumming in the Pacific, defense stocks like Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) and Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) were down on the day.
Four Stocks to Watch Today: AMZN, GOOGL, QCOM, K
- Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) pushed higher after the e-commerce giant topped Wall Street earnings expectations after the bell Thursday. The company announced a huge surge in cloud and e-commerce sales. The firm reported that its net income increased from $523 million to $724 million from the same period in 2016. It was the eighth straight quarter that the firm reported a net profit. Money Morning projects that Amazon is on the verge of more than just traditional retail dominance. Here's where AMZN stock is heading next.
- Shares of Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) rallied more than 4% today after the company crushed Wall Street earnings expectations after the bell yesterday. The search engine behemoth continues to dominate in advertising.
- It was a mixed day for Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) investors. QCOM stock fell nearly 4% before rebounding after the company announced that Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) will not pay royalty fees to its contract manufacturers until a legal dispute between the companies is resolved. Shares of AAPL were down on the day.
- Shares of Kellogg Co. (NYSE: K) were flat after the company announced plans to hike its quarterly dividend by 4%. The new quarterly dividend of $0.54 will start in the third quarter.
- Other top stocks to watch today (Friday) included Starbucks Corp. (Nasdaq: SBUX) and Cloudera Inc. (NYSE: CLDR). Here's more on why those stocks were making headlines.
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Monday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Personal Income and Outlays at 8:30 a.m.
- PMI Manufacturing Index at 9:45 a.m.
- ISM Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- Construction Spending at 10 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.
- Gallup U.S. Consumer Spending Measure at 2 p.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.