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The Dow Jones news today is highlighted by falling stock prices as tensions rise between Washington and North Korea. Dow Jones futures are down 48 points this morning ahead of earnings reports from brick-and-mortar retailers and major American brands. Traders will get to see how much Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is impacting competition around the country.
Here are the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
|Index||Previous Close||Point Change||Percentage Change|
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
- It's another important day of earnings reports. This morning, recent IPOs Blue Apron Holdings Inc. (NYSE: APRN) and Canada Goose Holdings Inc. (NYSE: GOOS) are reporting earnings for the first time publicly. Shares of APRN stock have been tanking in recent weeks after Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) debuted plans for its own meal-kit delivery service. The firm is also under pressure today after rival Chef'd raised $35 million from Smithfield Foods Inc. (NYSE: SFD), Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB), and Fresh Direct. APRN fell more than 1.4% in premarket hours after falling short of Wall Street expectations.
- Markets are again keeping a close eye on the increasing tension between the United States and North Korea. A day after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would respond to North Korean threats with "fire and fury," Kim Jong Un's government threatened Guam with an "enveloping fire" of missiles. Global markets have been treating the ongoing battle of words with caution. Keep an eye on the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX). The market's fear index jumped roughly 25% on Wednesday.
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- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is generating negative attention this morning after the company inadvertently marketed guns as a "Back to School" item this summer. The company said yesterday that it's trying to determine which locations displayed a banner reading "Own the school like a hero" above a case of guns. Social media has exploded due to the story. Shares were only off 0.1% this morning, but this is just the latest headache for the global retailer.
- Today will also be a busy day of economic data. At the center of today's reports will be the weekly jobless claims figure, released by the U.S. Department of Labor. Analysts projected that the U.S. economy saw no change from the 240,000 people seeking benefits during the week prior. In addition to the jobless report, we'll receive updates to the Producer Price Index (PPI) and a speech from New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley. Investors will be seeking Dudley's insight into the timing of the next interest rate hike and his thoughts on the stability of the U.S. economy.
- Crude oil prices were pushing higher after the Energy Information Administration reported a decline in weekly crude inventories on Wednesday. The government agency reported that crude stocks decreased by 6.5 million barrels last week. The news coincided with a report that U.S. refineries saw their largest share of total capacity in 12 years. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.7%. Brent crude gained 1.1%.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: KSS, M, SNAP
- Shares of Macy's Inc. (NYSE: M) will generate buzz after the company's earnings report before the bell. The company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.48, a figure that topped expectations of $0.46. Shares added more than 3.3% on the news. Macy's also beat revenue expectations for the quarter.
- Meanwhile, shares of Kohl's Corp. (NYSE: KSS) were off more than 1% in premarket hours despite news that the company reported earnings and revenue figures largely in line with Wall Street expectations. Kohl's reported EPS of $1.24 on top of $4.14 billion in revenue. Analysts had expected EPS of $1.19 on top of $4.13 billion.
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- It's now or never for social media giant Snap Inc. (Nasdaq: SNAP). The owner of Snapchat will report second-quarter earnings after the bell. Today is the second earnings report since the company went public, and it also coincides with the end of the lock-up period for insiders of the stock. Wall Street projects that the firm will report an EPS loss of $0.14 on top of $187 million in revenue. As we have explained before, this is a company that may never be profitable. It's best that investors wait for the markets to price this stock properly and avoid the hype from the mainstream press.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Nvidia Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA), Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN), News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA), Brinker International Inc. (NYSE: EAT), Aspen Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: AZPN), Coca-Cola Enterprises (NYSE: CCE), and Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. (NYSE: WPM).
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- PPI-Final Demand at 8:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley Speaks 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.
- 52-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 30-Year Bond Auction at 1 p.m.
- Treasury Budget at 2 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.