Start the conversation
The Dow Jones news today features a renewed attempt to repeal Obamacare before the Senate's summer recess. Dow Jones futures are up two points in premarket hours as investors absorb statements from the European Central Bank on the future of its policy on interest rates. Today also marks U.S. President Donald Trump's six month in office.
Here are the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
|Index||Previous Close||Point Change||Percentage Change|
Urgent: An $80 billion cover up? Feds use obscure loophole to threaten retirees… Read more…
Now here's a closer look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus Thursday's economic calendar.
The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday
- The U.S. Senate will not hold a vote for the bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Senate Republicans were unable to secure the necessary votes, leading some to speculate that Congress may simply move on a full repeal of the signature law of the Obama era. That said, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a report late Wednesday stating that 32 million more people would be uninsured by 2026 if Congress were to repeal the law. Republicans are suggesting that they will repeal the law by 2020 and give their colleagues several years to find an alternative. President Trump urged Republicans to get a deal made before leaving for their August recess.
- The post-election rally will attempt to hold steady as earnings season accelerates and traders weigh the Republicans' latest legislative failure. Since Trump took office in January, the S&P 500 and the Dow have gained about 9% each. The Nasdaq – powered by the "Fabulous Five" tech stocks – has popped about 15%. Part of this rally was fueled by increased optimism that the Trump administration would be able to push through healthcare reform, tax cuts, infrastructure spending, and other pro-growth policies. However, the failure on the Affordable Care Act has raised major doubts that this Congress will get anything meaningful done by the end of the year.
- Sears Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD) has been one of the worst-performing stocks in the retail sector for a long time. Its inability to adjust to ongoing consumer trends has led to an epic collapse of its market capitalization over the last decade. But today, shares are up more than 7.1% after the company did something that finally conceded to the reality of e-commerce's permanence in our society. Sears launched a series of Kenmore appliances on Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), including several that are enabled with the Alexa assistant. Shares of AMZN were up another 0.3% in pre-market hours.
- The U.S. Federal Reserve will be in focus next week during its July FOMC meeting. But today, the European Central Bank gets the spotlight. ECB President Mario Draghi is expected to announce that his team will keep interest rates at current levels. However, during his speech this morning, markets are looking for clues on when the ECB may increase interest rates and for information about their plans to reduce stimulus programs. Draghi's speech comes hours after the Bank of Japan announced it would maintain interest rates at current levels.
- Crude oil prices were ticking higher in pre-market hours on news of yet another big decline in U.S. oil inventories. On Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration announced that domestic inventory levels fell by 4.7 million barrels. That figure was about 50% higher than expected. However, markets are still concerned about a glut in global supply and await the results from a meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC producers like Russia next week in St. Petersburg. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.5%. Brent crude gained 0.6%.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: MSFT, FB, AXP
- Shares of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) are up more than 0.5% in pre-market hours as investors prepare for the company's second-quarter earnings report after the bell. MSFT stock has been one of the top performers of the year and is set to hit a new 52-week high in pre-market hours. Markets are anxious to hear about the company's continued success in cloud computing. The firm is expected to report earnings per share (EPS) of $0.71 on top of $24.19 billion in revenue.
5 Facts You Didn't Know About Amazon
- Shares of Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) are up nearly 0.5% in pre-market hours despite reports that Chinese government censors are targeting the company's WhatsApp service. The encrypted messaging service has largely evaded censorship from the government. However, cyber experts have said they've seen disruptions to the servers managing the service. WhatsApp is a competitor to the very popular service WeChat, which is owned by Tencent and has roughly 900 million monthly users.
- Shares of American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) were falling 1.5% in pre-market hours thanks to a 33% decline in quarterly profits. The iconic credit card giant topped Wall Street second-quarter earnings expectations. However, the firm lost business due to a shakeup to the credit programs of Costco Wholesale Corp. (Nasdaq: COST).
- Look for additional earnings reports from eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY), Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), Skyworks Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: SWKS), Intuitive Surgical Inc. (Nasdaq: ISRG), Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF), and Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT).
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey at 8:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Leading Indicators at 10 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Three-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Six-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Two-Year FRN Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Two-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Five-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Seven-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 10-Year TIPS Auction at 1 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m..