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In Dow Jones news today, the Dow plummeted 372 points as new allegations are surfacing as to why former FBI Director James Comey was fired by President Donald Trump.
Here are the numbers from Wednesday 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
- The New York Times reported that President Trump had requested that former FBI Director James Comey "let go" of the investigation into the activity of the president's former national security advisor, Michael Flynn. Trump fired Comey last week, a decision that has raised concerns about the president's ability to get tax reform and other policy changes completed. Shares of Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) all slumped on the day.
- Media outlets have been pushing the narrative on a possible impeachment for President Trump in the weeks ahead over the Comey scandal. That has many investors wondering about the possibility of a market crash. This morning, CNBC turned to former CEO of General Electric (NYSE: GE) Jack Welch for his insight on the impact of an impeachment for President Trump. Welch's warning – which you can read here – was dire.
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- Safe-haven assets rallied thanks to growing concerns about the stability of the Trump administration. Gold prices added 1.8%, while silver prices climbed 0.7%. But the big gains were found in Bitcoin. The price of the digital currency, according to CoinDesk, surged to a new high north of $1,800 per coin. The price of the digital currency is now up more than 88% on the year.
- Crude oil prices pushed higher thanks to rising expectations that OPEC will extend a deal to cap excessive production. Non-cartel member Russia and OPEC's largest producer, Saudi Arabia, have both publicly expressed support to extend a deal. This optimism was bolstered by news that U.S. crude inventory levels had their sixth consecutive weekly decline. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that U.S. inventories fell by 1.8 million barrels last week. While that was smaller than the 2.4 million barrel decline forecast by analysts, the news was enough to propel the WTI crude oil price today up 0.7%. Brent crude added 0.9%.
- Finally, Warren Buffett, the head of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A), is making a big move in the energy sector. Berkshire's energy division just injected a lot of capital into a little-known "unicorn" called Uptake.
Three Stocks to Watch Wednesday: F, TGT, GOOGL
- Shares of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) fell more than 1% after the auto manufacturer announced plans to slash 1,400 salaried jobs in North American and Asia. The stock hit a 52-week intraday low as investors grow more bearish on the auto sector's ability to sustain the sales and revenue of recent years.
- Shares of Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) gained close to 0.9% after the retail giant topped Wall Street expectations and projected the possibility of higher profits in 2017. Wall Street cheered when the retailer announced that it may reach profit targets that it once dismissed as too optimistic just three months ago. The company had invested roughly $500 million in a turnaround strategy to maximize retail space, bolster its e-commerce platform, and improve sales through promotions.
- Shares of Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) fell more than 2% despite news that the Internet giant aims to challenge its Silicon Valley competitors in the digital assistant arena. The company announced it will feature a new digital assistant device to challenge Siri of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Echo of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN).
- The other top stocks to watch today include Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NYSE: CL) and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (Nasdaq: AMD). Here are the reasons why these stocks are on the move today.
- Look for earnings reports after the bell from L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB), American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO), Flowers Foods Inc. (NYSE: FLO), and Photronics Inc. (Nasdaq: PLAB).
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Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey at 8:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Leading Indicators at 10 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.
- 52-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Two-Year FRN Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Two-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Five-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Seven-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 10-Year TIPS Auction at 1 p.m.
- Cleveland Federal Reserve Chair President Loretta Mester speaks at 1:15 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.