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In Dow Jones news today (Thursday, May 11), the index fell by 23 points after a weak round of Q1 earnings reports, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 dropped from record levels. Shares of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) dragged the Nasdaq lower.
Here are the numbers from Thursday 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 Friday's economic calendar.
The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday
- The U.S. markets moved lower today thanks to lackluster earnings reports in the retail sector and declines in banking stocks over policy concerns. Shares of Macy's Inc. (NYSE: M) fell by 17%, while Kohl's Corp. (NYSE: KSS) dropped by 7.9% after companies fell short of Wall Street earnings expectations. Banking stocks such as Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) both declined on concerns that the Trump administration could face delays in tax reform.
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- Markets are still digesting President Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey. In an exclusive interview with CNBC, Trump referred to Comey as a "grandstander" and a "showboat" and said he planned to fire him regardless of new developments. Trump said the bureau has been in turmoil over the last year.
- Elsewhere in Washington, President Trump signed an executive order to bolster the federal government's position in cybersecurity. The order is designed to protect the county's infrastructure from cyberattacks and other intrusions. Despite news of the order, shares of the PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (NYSE Arca: HACK) fell by 1%.
- Crude oil prices were pushing higher after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that U.S. crude inventories fell by a larger margin than expected. Saudi Arabia also announced that it plans to reduce exports to Asia after China recently released weaker than expected manufacturing figures. The WTI crude oil price today added 1.1% to close at $47.83 – the highest since May 1. Brent crude also gained 1.1% to $50.77 on the day.
- On the international front, the Saudi Aramco IPO timing has captivated investors interested in owning a share of the world's biggest oil company. Oil prices continue to remain under long-term pressure due to concerns about OPEC's uncertainty over the future of its deal to cap production. But the bigger story is when the world's largest energy company – with an expected market capitalization of more than $2 trillion – will go public. The company isn't expected to go public until 2019. We explain why right here.
Four Stocks to Watch Thursday: SNAP, MRK, NVDA, TSLA
- Shares of Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) fell more than 21% after the owner of social media app Snapchat reported a $2.2 billion net loss in its first quarter. The company badly missed earnings expectations and fell short on its daily active user figure – the most important metric for social media companies. The firm reported a reported a quarterly net loss of $2.31 per share. That was worse than the Wall Street consensus estimate of a $2.05 loss per share. The report is pure evidence that hot IPOs like Snap are rigged against everyday investors like you and me. Here's more on why SNAP stock should have been avoided and what to do now.
- Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) was one of the few bright spots in the markets today. The drug company was the top-performing stock for both the Dow and the S&P 500. MRK shares jumped 0.8% after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared the firm's lung cancer combination treatment.
- Shares of Nvidia Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA) rallied another 4.3% after the tech giant received another round of positive analyst reports after its huge earnings report this week. The stock is on a winning streak after the firm reported a surge in demand for its artificial intelligence chips. The firm also said its bets in autonomous vehicles and GPU systems have paid off over the last year.
- Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) is one of those companies that grabs a lot of attention – and rightly so. It is led by Elon Musk, a true visionary, who is developing electric cars, solar energy, and, through his other company called SpaceX, even the plans for sending humans to Mars. The "cool factor" here is astronomical. So why does Wall Street still think this is just a car company? We asked that very question to Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald. His answer will surprise you.
- The other top stocks to watch today (Thursday) also included Whole Foods Market Inc. (Nasdaq: WFM) and Straight Path Communications Inc. (NYSEMKT: STRP). Here's more on why these companies were generating headlines.
- Look for additional earnings reports after the bell from Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN), Cyberark Software Ltd. (Nasdaq: CYBR), and Dillard's Inc. (NYSE: DDS).
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Consumer Price Index at 8:30 a.m.
- Retail Sales at 8:30 a.m.
- Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans Speaks at 9 a.m.
- Business Inventories at 10 a.m.
- Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
- Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick T. Harker Speaks at 12:30 p.m.
- Baker Hughes Rig Count at 1 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.