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In Dow Jones news today, markets closed largely flat ahead of today's Netflix earnings report, which crushed expectations and sent the stock soaring more than 7%.
The Dow finished the day down eight points, while the Nasdaq eked out a small gain. Investors appear to be taking a wait-and-see approach to the busy calendar of earnings statements slated for release this week. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) added 4.5% on the day.
Here are the numbers from Monday 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 Monday
- Crude oil prices pushed lower as traders dismissed positive economic news from China and recent data indicating sluggish growth in U.S. production. While Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) indicated a slowdown in platform expansion across the United States, new data indicates China has boosted its imports at a time when its economy outpaced analysts' expectations. Crude prices fell over growing skepticism surrounding OPEC's upcoming meeting to discuss plans to continue its deal to cap excessive production. The WTI crude oil price today fell 1.1% to $46.02, and Brent crude dipped 1% to $48.42.
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- Markets are already turning their attention to the next U.S. Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting set for July 25-26. Last week, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said she expected that interest rate hikes in the future would be gradual as low inflation continues to frustrate members of the central bank.
- Silver prices pushed 1% higher to close at $16.10 after the U.S. dollar fell to a multi-month low thanks to a recent report indicating weak inflation levels and falling prospects of another interest rate hike in 2017. Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth covered silver's recent slump and sees significant room for growth in commodity prices in the weeks and months ahead. Just how high will silver go in 2017? Find out, right here.
- Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is eating its competitors' lunch, and this time, they are taking their actions in a literal fashion. Shares of Blue Apron Holdings Inc. (NYSE: APRN) plunged another 10.8% after London's Sunday Times broke a story stating Amazon has filed for a meal-kit trademark. APRN shares closed below $7 today and are roughly off 40% from its IPO price of $11.00, having just gone public just three weeks ago. This is just another example of IPOs that have gone awry over the last year. According to reports, Roku is planning an IPO this year, but following the weak performance of Blue Apron and Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP), it doesn't appear that investor appetite will be significant for another questionable valuation.
- On the global front, markets were reacting positively to news that China's economy grew in the second quarter by 6.9%. That figure topped analysts' expectations for the world's second-largest economy. The signs of greater economic expansion are a welcome story to S&P 500 companies that generate a significant amount of their earnings from international markets.
Three Stocks to Watch Monday: BLK, NFLX, PG
- Shares of BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK) fell more than 3% after the world's largest asset manager reported second-quarter earnings. Analysts seemed more interested in learning if the company had seen success in shifting away from human money managers to machines to pick stocks. However, both profit and revenue fell short of Wall Street expectations. According to CEO Larry Fink, a lot of cash remains on the sidelines in today's market. However, he believes this money will begin to find its way into the markets soon.
- Shares of Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) soared more than 7% after the bell today as the firm released second-quarter earnings results. Although it posted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.15 – under analyst expectations of $0.16 per share – it beat revenue expectations of $2.76 billion by posting $2.79 billion. The company has been relying on its original content programming to bolster its bottom line. Investors were also looking to see if the firm was able to bolster its subscriber base after disappointing growth in the first quarter. Today, the company announced it added 5.2 million new users in Q2 – smashing the 3.2 million estimate.
- Shares of Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) added more than 0.5% on news that activist hedge fund manager Nelson Peltz is seeking a shakeup at the organization. This would be the largest company to ever face an activist challenge and is another sign of the growing influence of hedge funds on corporate America. Peltz's hedge fund, Trian Fund Management, announced a $3.5 billion stake in the global conglomerate.
- Look for earnings reports after the bell from VMWare Inc. (NYSE: VMW), Brown & Brown Inc. (NYSE: BRO), and Select Comfort Corp. (Nasdaq: SCSS).
Tuesday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Import and Export Prices at 8:30 a.m.
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- Housing Market Index at 10 a.m.
- Four-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 52-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Treasury International Capital at 4 p.m.