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In Dow Jones news today, the index climbed 84 points while investors parsed through economic data and a round of earnings reports from three of the nation's six largest banks. With earnings season in focus, Wall Street is expecting solid growth to the bottom lines of companies across the country.
Here are the numbers from Friday 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 Monday's economic calendar.
The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Friday
- While earnings reports from three top banks generated the most buzz on Friday, two important data points were released today. Consumer prices were unchanged in June, but retail sales fell for a second consecutive month. The lack of inflationary pressures has again reduced the possibility that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again by the end of the year. This would be a bit of a setback for the central bank, whose members have been signaling for another rate hike in December to complement the unwinding of the Fed's $4.2 trillion balance sheet.
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- With President Donald Trump in France to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron on Bastille Day, attention turned to his son Donald Jr.'s discussions with Russian contacts during the 2016 election season. According to news reports, Trump Jr. met with a former member of Soviet Intelligence in hopes of obtaining damaging information to the Clinton campaign.
- The ongoing Russian saga is overshadowing efforts by Senate Republicans to obtain votes to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Yesterday, Republicans made four significant changes to their version of a replacement bill. Despite pledges of money to fight the nation's opioid crisis, deregulatory pledges to insurers, and other assurances, it does not appear that Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will be able to prevent the bill from failing without surprise support from wary members.
- Crude oil prices pushed higher on signs of increased demand around the globe. The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently said that demand growth is expanding around the globe. In addition to recent reports from European and U.S. government agencies on falling crude inventories, new data from China indicates a solid uptick in imports to the world's second-largest economy. Increased demand expectations have helped alleviate concerns that OPEC may not be able to hit its targets to cap excessive production in the months ahead. WTI crude oil price today added 1.0%, and Brent crude gained 1.1%.
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- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) generated some attention today by raising its forecast for one major retailer and slashing its expectations for another retailer. The firm added Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) to its Conviction Buy List, citing the retailer's strength in technology and e-commerce to help it compete against Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). Meanwhile, Goldman slashed the price target for Ulta Beauty Inc. (Nasdaq: ULTA) from $321 per share to $310.
Four Stocks to Watch Friday: JPM, WFM, C, BA
- Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) fell about 0.9% after the company reported second-quarter earnings. The company beat top- and bottom-line earnings figures easily. The company cited strong lending revenue, but reported a bit of a decline in its trading activities. Today's performance had largely been priced into the stock since shares hit an all-time high last week. Traders are simply taking profits off the table.
- Meanwhile, Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) dropped about 1.1% after the company topped Wall Street profit expectations. The company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $1.07, topping expectations of $1.01. The firm saw about a 4% jump in profits. However, the firm did miss on revenue expectations. Company CEO Tim Sloan acknowledged in a statement that recent banking scandals have impacted the firm's reputation.
- Rounding out today's biggest financial stock reports is Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C). Like JPM, its strong earnings report was already baked into the stock price, which led to a decline of 0.5%. The banking giant reported EPS of $1.28, while consensus expectations called for $1.21. The stock fell 0.4% on the day.
- Shares of Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) were one of the bright spots in Friday trading. Shares added more than 1.1% after the stock received an upgrade from "Neutral" to "Overweight" from JPMorgan. The upgrade was fueled by increased expectations for Boeing's aerospace division, which is entering a period of solid fundamentals for its business. Shares of BA stock hit a new 52-week high.
Monday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Empire State Manufacturing Survey 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.
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.