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In Dow Jones news today, stock prices were flat as President Donald Trump revealed he did not record conversations with former FBI Director James Comey. The other focus was on the healthcare sector as the U.S. Senate prepares to debate a new healthcare bill that would repeal and replace Obamacare.
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
- It was another positive day for the healthcare sector. Markets are anticipating a debate in the U.S. Senate over a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) and Johnson and Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) both added more than 0.5%. Shares of Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) jumped more than 4%.
- Crude oil prices bounced off 10-month lows even though traders around the globe remain highly concerned about a global glut in supply. The uptick came after the U.S. Energy Information Administration announced a higher-than-expected drawdown in domestic inventory levels. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.4%, while Brent crude gained 0.8%.
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- Today's downturn in crude prices has investors turning to safe-haven assets. Silver prices added more than 1%, and they're poised to tick higher. Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth expects a 33.1% gain to $22 by the end of Q4. Here's why we are so bullish on silver prices.
- This morning, the U.S. Labor Department announced a slight uptick in the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits. Roughly 241,000 people sought benefits for the week ending June 17. Markets continue to monitor the health of the U.S. labor market after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in June.
- Today, President Trump announced he did not record any conversations with former FBI Director James Comey. While the mainstream press chased that story, they likely missed Trump's latest idea to secure the U.S. border to the south: a solar panel wall. Many people think that the solar panels will be expensive and that the concrete would be cheap. However, investors should know that the reverse is actually true. Here's what you need to know.
Four Stocks to Watch Thursday: AAL, SPLS, ORCL, TSLA
- Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL) added 0.3% on news that state-owned Qatar Airways is seeking to buy a 10% stake in the company. The news pushed airline stocks higher. Shares of Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL), Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV), and United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL) showed gains on the day. However, the gains could be short lived. The announcement comes at a turbulent times for Qatar Airlines and its home nation after several Arab nations recently cut diplomatic and economic ties with the country.
- In deal news, shares of Staples Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) are up over 6% on rumors that the company could soon be selling itself to a private-equity firm. According to reports, Sycamore Partners is considering a deal to buy the embattled office supply retailer for more than $6 billion. The acquisition would come nearly one year after a federal judge blocked a merger between Staples and its rival Office Depot Inc. (Nasdaq: ODP). If Sycamore takes Staples private, it plans to shift its focus from traditional consumers to businesses.
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- Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) was the top performer on the S&P 500 after the cloud-computing giant reported a huge earnings report after the bell Wednesday. Wall Street expected earnings per share (EPS) of $0.79 on top of $10.46 billion in revenue. Larry Ellison's company reported $0.89 on top of $10.94 billion in revenue. This is a big win for a company that is battling Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Amazon, and Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) for cloud computing dominance.
- Shares of Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) gained nearly 2% on the day. The vehicle and energy giant got investors to pour back into the stock after it said it is talking with the Chinese government about building a manufacturing plant in Shanghai.
- After the bell, look for additional earnings reports from Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBY), Sonic Corp. (Nasdaq: SONC), and SYNNEX Corp. (NYSE: SNX).
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- PMI Composite Flash at 9:45 a.m.
- New Home Sales at 10 a.m.
- Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard speaks at 11:15 a.m.
- Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester speaks at 12:40 p.m.
- Baker Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
- Federal Reserve Board Gov. Jerome Powell Speaks at 2:15 p.m.