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In Dow Jones news today, the markets were flat as Sears Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD) announced it will close another 20 stores. Investors are starting to worry about the health of the retail sector.
Here are the numbers from Friday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq as of 3:30 p.m. today:
|Index||Closing||Point Change||Percentage Change|
Now here's a closer look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus Monday's economic calendar.
The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Friday
- Global oil prices have experienced their worst start to a year since the 1990s. Traders are growing increasingly nervous that OPEC's plans to cut excessive supply will not be enough to push prices above $50.00 per barrel any time soon. OPEC leaders may have to make additional cuts to try to support prices. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.7%. Brent crude gained 0.8%.
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- Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) was one of the most heavily traded stocks on the day after it received a downgrade from Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE ADR: DB). The global investment bank raised concerns that President Donald Trump's infrastructure plan has no timetable for the year ahead. Despite the news, shares of CAT climbed 0.05%.
- Gold prices hit a one-week high as growing uncertainty weighed on the U.S. dollar. It's been a little more than a week since the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, but the greenback has been falling thanks to a myriad of geopolitical concerns. Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth offered his insight into where prices are heading next. To see his 2017 gold price forecast, click here.
- Yesterday, we noted that Qatar Airlines is trying to purchase 10% of U.S. giant American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL), and CEO Doug Parker is anything but thrilled about the rumor. Parker sent a letter to company employees explaining that his executive team is not happy about Qatar's plans. However, he said that there isn't anything they can do about it. The news comes at a time that Qatar has been given a mandate by other Arab nations to comply with 13 demands. The list includes the closing of Al Jazeera and a reduction in Iranian ties. The nation is facing economic and diplomatic isolation.
- On the international front, European leaders met today in Brussels to continue the discussions over Brexit. One year has passed since British voters elected to depart the European Union, and the economic impact has been jarring. In the first quarter, economic growth in the UK registered at 0.2%. That figure was the lowest among all member nations in the European Union. European Union officials criticized Theresa May's proposal to allow all EU citizens the right to remain in the United Kingdom until 2019. From there, residents who have been there for five years will receive a pathway to citizenship. EU officials want greater detail into May's plans.
Four Stocks to Watch Friday: JWN, GE, BBBY, BBRY
- Shares of Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN) were flat despite news that the company is proceeding with its efforts to sell itself to a private-equity shop. According to reports, the Nordstrom family, which owns roughly 30% of the retail giant, is leading the initiative.
- The buzz outside of the markets centered on statements made by General Electric Co.'s (NYSE: GE) outgoing CEO Jeff Immelt. At an event in New York last night, Immelt questioned the judgement of executives at Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) in the wake of Amazon.com Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AMZN) acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc. (NYSE: WFM). Immelt then jabbed former President Barrack Obama for not listening to manufacturing centers during their push for higher wages.
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- Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBY) fell nearly 12% after the retail company fell well short of earnings expectations after the bell Thursday. While revenue just missed Wall Street expectations, its EPS of $0.58 was $0.08 short. The retail company continues to struggle against online rivals
- BlackBerry (Nasdaq: BBRY) shares plummeted more than 11% after the Canadian technology giant fell short of Wall Street earnings expectations.
Monday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Durable Goods Orders at 8:30 a.m.
- Four-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Three-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Six-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.