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In Dow Jones news today, the Dow was flat in intraday trading as investors appeared to be taking gains ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.
Here are the numbers from Friday as of 2:00 p.m. 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 Tuesday's economic calendar.
The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Friday
- In economic news, U.S. GDP growth clocked in at 1.2% for the first quarter, according to the second reading by the Department of Commerce. The updated report indicated sluggish business investment and lackluster consumer spending. The figure is disappointing and puts more pressure on the Trump administration to enact fiscal reform.
- It looks like the U.S. Federal Reserve is going to raise interest rates again in June. In minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's May meeting, members of the central bank took a hawkish tone regarding monetary policy. The probability of a rate hike in June now sits near 90%, according to CME Group's FedWatch Tool. Investors would be wise to start protecting themselves from any shock and uncertainty caused by the Fed's actions. Money Morning Options Trading Specialist Tom Gentile offers you the best way to protect your nest egg and profit from the Fed's coming changes to monetary policy. Read his insight, right here.
- The CBOE Volatility Index - the market's gauge of short-term uncertainty - fell back to levels not seen since May 15. But the gold price today added 0.8% and traded north of $1,265 per ounce. That puts it on track for its best close since April 28, when gold settled at $1,268. Concerns about North Korea's nuclear arsenal are ticking back into the news, and traders are pouring back into the precious metal. We could be witnessing the start of a big run for gold. In fact, Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth has just released his latest 2017 gold forecast. Read it here and start preparing for big gains in the months ahead.
- 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...
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- Crude oil prices ticked higher a day after OPEC officials announced intentions to extend a deal to cap excessive production by another nine months. The uptick was sorely needed after yesterday's trading session, when crude oil fell more than 5%. OPEC members announced they would extend their cuts through March 2018, but many traders remain concerned about the long-term outlook given that U.S. shale production is rising and costs of production are falling. The WTI crude oil price today added 1.3%, while Brent crude gained 1.01%.
Three Stocks to Watch Friday: BIG, COST, GME
- In earnings news, shares of Big Lots Inc. (NYSE: BIG) added more than 1.7% after reporting quarterly results. The discount retailer reported earnings per share (EPS) of $1.15, a figure that topped consensus expectations of $0.99. However, the discount retailer fell slightly short of revenue expectations and reported a decline in same-store sales. The stock pushed higher thanks to an upbeat second-quarter outlook and news that the firm hiked its 2017 outlook.
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- Meanwhile, shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. (Nasdaq: COST) gained more than 1.7% after the firm topped earnings and revenue expectations. The company reported a strong uptick in sales and a big gain in membership revenue. The retail giant has been able to largely avoid the impact of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN).
- It wasn't all good news with earnings reports. Shares of GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) plunged another 7% after the company failed to hike its full-year outlook. Despite beating Wall Street profit and revenue estimates, Wall Street is not optimistic about this brick-and-mortar retailer. The "Retail Ice Age" has punished companies all across the sector as consumers continue the shift toward e-commerce and Amazon continues to dominate. In fact, we could see a massive amount of bankruptcies, according to Money Morning Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani. Shah now has a few ways that you can profit by targeting failing companies. See his analysis, right here.
Tuesday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Personal Income and Outlays at 8:30 a.m.
- S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI at 9 a.m.
- Consumer Confidence at 10 a.m.
- State Street Investor Confidence Index at 10 a.m.
- Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey at 10:30 a.m.
- Four-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Three-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Six-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.