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In Dow Jones news today, oil prices are on track for their worst six-month performance to start a year since 1988. The ongoing to downturn in crude pulled energy stocks and the Dow Jones down on the day. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq remained resilient thanks to another strong performance from technology stocks.
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
- Crude oil prices pushed lower again Wednesday despite a larger-than-expected decline in domestic inventory levels. The U.S. Energy Information Administration announced that American inventory levels fell by 2.7 million barrels last week. That figure couldn't offset increasing concerns that OPEC producers will be able to cut enough production to reduce a global supply glut. Today, Iran's oil minister announced the possibility of more cuts by member nations. However, rising production from Nigeria and Libya – both members of OPEC – has traders worried that inventories will not decline enough to balance the global supply and demand equation. WTI crude oil price today dipped 2.1%, and Brent crude dropped 2.5%. Prices are at their lowest levels since August 2016.
- On Thursday, the U.S. Senate will unveil its plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The announcement comes just days after President Donald Trump described the plan recently passed by Congress as "mean." Biotech stocks rallied thanks to the looming vote in the Senate. Shares of Celgene Corp. (Nasdaq: CELG), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: REGN), and Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN) all climbed on the day.
- After pressure from several key investors, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigned from the company. Currently valued at $68 billion, the company has been embroiled in controversy over its "toxic" culture, analyst concerns about its profit losses and cash burning, and rumors that its IPO could face significant headwinds in the near future.
- Last week, we watched Bitcoin's meteoric rise to $3,000 before it experienced a sharp decline. But today, we have to pay attention to Ethereum, a rival cryptocurrency that has gained more than 2,500% since June 2016. Today, the price declined more than 11%, setting up a possible buying opportunity for long-term investors. Here's what you need to know about the Ethereum price drop today.
- Finally, the Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) deal to purchase Whole Foods Market Inc. (NYSE: WFM) has produced another round of negative reports for competitors from Wall Street analysts. On Monday, it was Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR). Today's victim was Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT), which was downgraded by Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) from "Buy" to "Neutral." The investment bank raised concerns about the company's e-commerce and foot traffic, and increasing competitive pressures from Amazon and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT).
Four Stocks to Watch Wednesday: GS, FDX, ADBE, ORCL
- With the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield curve hovering near a 10-year low, banking stocks were facing immense pressure in today's trading session. Shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), and Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) were all in the red today. Investors will continue to pay close attention to statements by Federal Reserve members this week to determine their views on inflation and the timing of the next interest rate hike.
- In earnings news, shares of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) gained roughly 2% after the shipping company reported fourth-quarter results Tuesday. The company easily topped expectations. But despite a 28% gain in quarterly earnings, Wall Street has raised concerns about competitive pressures in the shipping space. Rival United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) recently announced plans to bolster its prices around the holiday season to offset rising costs from e-commerce.
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- Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE) topped Wall Street earnings expectations Tuesday afternoon. The software giant reported EPS of $1.02 on top of $1.77 in revenue. That beat Wall Street EPS expectations of $0.95 on revenue of $1.73 billion. ADBE shares added over 2% on the day.
- Shares of Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) are in focus as the global cloud computing giant prepares to report Q4 earnings today. Wall Street expects EPS of $0.79 on top of $10.46 billion in revenue. The firm, led by Larry Ellison, has been engaged in a major battle against Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Amazon, and Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) in the cloud computing space. Before the report, shares are up more than 1%.
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- FHFA House Price Index at 9 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.
- Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index at 11 a.m.
- Three-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Six-Month 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.
- 30-Year TIPS 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.