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In Dow Jones news today, the Dow added 70 points as markets reacted positively to news that OPEC members will extend a deal to cap excessive crude production.
Here are the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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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
- Oil ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC countries announced a nine-month extension to their production deal to cap excessive output. OPEC, Russia, and other producers previously agreed to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day for six months. But pay attention to the language coming out of the meeting. OPEC's goals to help bolster global crude supplies have been hindered by rising shale output in the United States. Despite the news, the WTI crude oil price today plunged 5.2%. Brent crude slumped 5%. Here's where we see oil prices heading after OPEC's announcement.
- With the S&P 500 sitting near a key technical level of 2,400, more money could pile into the markets in the coming days. For this reason, readers should pay attention to the insight of Money Morning Technical Trading Specialist D.R. Barton. He has discovered a little-known pattern that allowed his readers to capture triple-digit gains in just a matter of days. Here's how he did it.
- The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report on the impact of the American Health Care Act. The Republican-led effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) would reportedly leave 23 million Americans without insurance by 2026. As many as 14 million Americans would lose their health insurance in the next year alone.
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- Markets were also reacting positively to the U.S. Federal Reserve's plan to trim its $4.5 trillion balance sheet in the months ahead. On Wednesday, the U.S. central bank released minutes from its May 3 meeting. The Fed said that it will tie future rate hikes to the performance of the U.S. economy.
- The price of Bitcoin was on a roller-coaster ride today. On Thursday, the cryptocurrency jumped above $2,750 a coin for the first time, but then fell more than $300. We recommend that you exercise some caution at these levels. But if you're looking to get in on the commodity, our team has put together a simple report to teach you how to buy Bitcoin. Read it here.
Stocks to Watch Thursday: SHLD, DLTR, GM, BUY, NFLX, GOOGL, AMZN, FB
- Tech stocks pulled the Nasdaq and S&P 500 to new record highs. Shares of Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL), and Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) all ticked higher. Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) hit an all-time intraday high of $999.00, falling a buck short of the elusive $1,000.00 target. If you want to make real money on tech stocks, you need to tap into these stocks right here.
- In earnings news, Sears Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD) reported its first quarterly profit in roughly two years. Shares rallied more than 13% after the company reported a smaller-than-expected decline in same-store sales. The company reported progress in its $1.25 billion cost-cutting plan. But don't be fooled by today's pop in SHLD stock. Other companies that topped Wall Street earnings expectations included Tommy Hilfiger-owner PVH Corp. (NYSE: PVH) and Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY).
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- Meanwhile, shares of Dollar Tree Inc. (Nasdaq: DLTR) dropped after the company fell just short of earnings and revenue expectations. The company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.98, missing Wall Street forecasts by a penny. Meanwhile, its quarterly revenue of $5.287 was just below expectations.
- It seems that no auto company is immune from the ongoing investigations into emissions test cheating. Shares of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) fell 1.8% after a lawsuit alleged that the company rigged its emissions tests for its Silverado vehicles. The news comes a day after a lawsuit by the U.S. Justice Department alleged that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE: FCAU) also engaged in illegal activities to cheat emissions tests in its diesel vehicles.
- After the bell, look for earnings reports from Costco Wholesale Corp. (Nasdaq: CSCO), GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME), Ulta Beauty Inc. (Nasdaq: ULTA), and Splunk Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLK).
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Durable Goods Orders at 8:30 a.m.
- GDP at 8:30 a.m.
- Corporate Profits at 8:30 a.m.
- Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
- Baker Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.