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In Dow Jones news today, the index fell by 32 points as markets reacted to President Donald Trump's abrupt decision to fire FBI Director James Comey. Andrew McCabe, a 20-year veteran of the agency, was named acting FBI director.
Here are the closing numbers from Wednesday, May 10, 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 Thursday's economic calendar.
The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Wednesday
- U.S. markets were choppy Wednesday as investors tried to make sense of President Donald Trump's decision to fire FBI chief James Comey. Trump said it was "essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission." The timing of the decision is questionable given the FBI's ongoing investigation into potential Russian meddling in the November election. More importantly, investors raised concerns that Trump's decision could impact Republican efforts to pass pro-growth economic policies like tax reform this year. The U.S. dollar slid against its rivals during today's trading session.
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- It was a busy day of earnings reports and economic data, which largely took a back seat to news out of Washington. Shares of Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) fell by about 2.3% after the firm fell short of Wall Street revenue expectations and reported a decline in ESPN Meanwhile, Priceline Group Inc. (Nasdaq: PCLN) led the Nasdaq lower after reporting a surprise miss on profit and revenue expectations. Shares of the online travel site fell by 5.2% on the day.
- Markets are also reacting to news of the Senate requesting information from the U.S. Treasury Department's financial intelligence unit that monitors money laundering. In 2015, the Treasury unit, FinCEN, imposed a $10 million civil penalty on Trump Taj Mahal for several violations of money-laundering rules. The committee is interested in learning about any ties between Trump and his aides to Russia.
- Crude oil prices posted their biggest one-day gain since Dec. 1, 2016, as traders were able to take a breath over their concerns tied to rising supplies around the globe. This morning, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a surprise decline in domestic inventory levels. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia - the largest crude producer in OPEC - announced plans to reduce its exports to Asian customers. Markets have been increasingly concerned about a supply glut in Asia after China reported a recent round of weak manufacturing data. The WTI crude oil price today added 3.2% to close at $47.33. Brent crude gained 3.1% to $50.22.
- On the international front, European stocks hit a 21-month high as geopolitical uncertainty continues to wane. This past Sunday's French presidential election saw pro-European candidate Emmanuel Macron defeat populist Marine Le Pen. The election ensures that France will remain a vital member of the European Union, while Macron is likely to encourage additional bailouts for beleaguered economies Italy and Greece.
Three Stocks to Watch Wednesday: NVDA, AAPL, ANF
- Shares of Nvidia Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA) were among the few bright spots in the markets today. The semiconductor's stock rallied more than 18% after it reported a huge surge in sales of artificial intelligence chips. The firm said its bets in GPU and autonomous vehicle units also surpassed expectations. The big gains in NVDA stock also led to a solid day for rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (Nasdaq: AMD), whose shares gained more than 6%.
- Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) slipped 0.5% on the day, but investors should look to any decline as a buying opportunity. Just last week, the company hiked its dividend by 10.5%. This will bring its total annual dividend payment to $13.22 billion, making it the largest in the world. But this is just the beginning. Apple is going to begin returning even more profits to its shareholders in the future, and you should stake your claim right now. Here's more on what you need to know about the Apple stock dividend.
- In deal news, shares of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) popped more than 12% after the company announced it's working with an investment bank to consider takeover bids from other retailers. Reuters reports the teen retailer is considering a deal after its stock hit a 17-year low. As we've explained at Money Morning, the massive "Retail Ice Age" is affecting all bricks-and-mortar retailers, and accepting a deal is likely a much better solution for shareholders than the alternative of bankruptcy. Money Morning Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani offers his latest insight into other retail companies that are on the verge of extinction. In addition, he'll teach you how to profit from this mega-trend.
- Look for additional earnings reports after the bell from Whole Foods Market Inc. (Nasdaq: WFM) com International Ltd. (Nasdaq ADR: CTRP), Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC), and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (Nasdaq: FOXA).
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley speaks at 6:25 a.m.
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- PPI-FD at 8:30 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.
- 10-Year TIPS Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 30-Year Bond Auction at 1 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 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.