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In Dow Jones news today, the index is projected to gain 16 points as investors turn their attention to oil prices and a critical week of earnings reports.
Overnight, the Chinese government reported strong economic growth in the second quarter for the world's second-largest economy. The positive news is a welcome and important signal for S&P 500 firms that rely on a steady chunk of revenue from Chinese consumers. Meanwhile, British and European Union officials will start their second round of Brexit talks and discuss the rights of migrant workers poised to stay in the United Kingdom when the divorce is finalized.
Here are the numbers from Friday 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 Monday's economic calendar.
The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Monday
- Earnings season will be in full swing this week as investors weigh the strength of corporate profitability. In the first quarter, S&P 500 profit growth jumped 15%. This quarter, consensus expectations call for growth of about 6.5%, according to FactSet. Focus will mainly be on Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK), and be on the lookout later this week when we receive earnings reports from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS)
- Bitcoin prices fell as low as $1,758 overnight as the sell-off of cryptocurrencies continues. Over the weekend, prices fell as much as 20%, before rebounding to a little more than $2,000. The sell-off also hit the popular Ethereum as it appears the Bitcoin bubble has burst. Despite the sharp downturn in recent weeks, Bitcoin is still up more than 113% this year. Here's more on why Bitcoin prices have been falling.
- In Washington, Republicans have announced they will delay a vote on the new healthcare bill after Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) announced he will be having surgery. The delay comes on news that eight to 10 Senate Republicans have serious concerns about the healthcare bill.
- Crude oil prices were mixed this morning on news of strong Chinese demand and slipping U.S. production. On Friday, Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) announced that the number of U.S. production rigs increased by just two. Though we now have just as many rigs in operation since April 2015, the pace of gains in the sector has cooled in recent months. This has offered some relief to the growing concerns about OPEC and the global oil cartel's ability to meet its goals in reducing excessive output. The WTI crude oil price today dipped 0.1%. Brent crude added 0.1%.
- On the international front, markets cheered on news that the Chinese economy grew by 6.9% in the second quarter. That figure is a much stronger uptick than economists had forecast and will provide the markets with another shot of adrenaline heading deeper into earnings season. Economists reported stronger industrial output and increased consumer consumption. Consensus expectations called for a growth rate of 6.8%.
Four Stocks to Watch Today: BLK, NFLX, WHR, APRN
- Things keep going from bad to worse for Blue Apron Holdings Inc. (NYSE: APRN). Shares of APRN are off more than 8% in pre-market hours after London's Sunday Times broke a story stating that Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is about to enter the meal-kit market. APRN shares will likely open below $7.00 each. Shares are roughly off 36% from its IPO price of $11.00 for a company that went public just three weeks ago.
- Shares of BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK) were off more than 2.6% 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 that this money will begin to find its way into the markets soon.
- Shares of Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) will be on the move before the streaming giant reports second-quarter revenue and profits after the bell today. The company has been relying on its original content programming to bolster its bottom line. Investors also want to know if the firm has been able to bolster its subscriber base after disappointing growth in the first quarter.
- Shares of Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR) added nearly 1% in pre-market hours after the company received a positive recommendation from Barron's. The investment publication said shares of the home appliance manufacturer could rally as much as 35% in the next 12 months. The author argues that the company's significant cost cutting is showing improvements to the balance sheet, while sales have doubled since 2000.
- Look for additional earnings reports today from VMWare Inc. (NYSE: VMW), JB Hunt Transport Services Inc. (Nasdaq: JBHT), Brown & Brown Inc. (NYSE: BRO), and Select Comfort Corp. (Nasdaq: SCSS).
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.