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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 234 points yesterday, but stock futures are rising in premarket hours. Dow futures are up 40 points ahead of trading, but the threat from Hurricane Irma still looms...
Here are the numbers from Tuesday 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 Wednesday's economic calendar.
The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Wednesday
- U.S. markets are keeping a close eye on the development of Hurricane Irma. A week after the Texas-Louisiana region witnessed the damage from Hurricane Harvey, a Category 5 mega-storm featuring 185-mile-per-hour winds is heading straight at Florida. But first, the storm will directly hit Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory already suffering from an immense financial crisis. The island is $74 billion in debt and has $50 billion in unpaid obligations.
- Renegotiating NAFTA is at the top of the United States' trade agenda today. The ongoing political battle over the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement extended into its second round in Mexico City on Tuesday. Once again, the United States, Canada, and Mexico experienced no breakthrough in renegotiating the deal. U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to pull America out of the trade deal over portions that he deems unfair. President Trump's fight for a more restrictive trade policy pits him against free traders who argue NAFTA supports about 14 million American jobs each year.
- Gold prices have been moving higher, but not according to the reason that you might think. That's the opinion of one of Wall Street's most prominent banks: Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS). The investment bank argues that President Trump is the reason why gold prices have been marching toward $1,350. In a research note published Tuesday, the investment bank said that uncertainty brought about by Trump and Washington gridlock have played a larger role in gold's recent surge. This uncertainty includes the possibility of a government shutdown, the inability of Congress to lower taxes, and many other policy failures in 2017. Here's what's next for gold...
- Bitcoin prices are recovering from the weekend's sell-off. China announced it was banning ICOs, but Bitcoin owners don't have to worry about a short-term price drop like this one. Here's what you need to know about the Chinese decision, and why it created a buying opportunity for investors. Meanwhile, Ethereum - the primary rival to Bitcoin - also saw a sharp decline after the Chinese decision. This Ethereum price drop was fast and dramatic - 31% in just three days. The good news: There is a silver lining here, too.
- Crude oil prices were pushing higher again even as much of the U.S. refinery network along the U.S. Gulf Coast is brought back online. Up to 20% of U.S. capacity was knocked out in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. That led to a short-term freeze in production to prevent a glut of storage, as operating refineries couldn't handle the extra capacity. However, the uptick could be short-lived, as markets eye the development of Hurricane Irma, which is barreling toward Florida this week. The WTI crude oil price today added 1.0%. Brent crude gained 1.4%.
Four Stocks to Watch Today: RCL, CCL, HPE, RH
- Shares of cruise ship operators are under pressure thanks to Hurricane Irma. With the Caribbean facing at least a week of this Category 5 storm, investors are selling off shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) and Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL). Both stocks lost more than 3% on Tuesday and could face increased losses as the week progresses.
- In earnings news, shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (NYSE: HPE) added about 4% this morning after the enterprise technology giant topped Wall Street earnings expectations after the bell Tuesday. The firm reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.30 on top of $8.21 billion in revenue. Both figures beat earnings and revenue forecasts of $0.28 per share and $7.85 billion, respectively. The company cited strong sales of networking equipment for its gains.
Can You Pass This Retirement Quiz?
- Wednesday features a busy earnings calendar. The company generating the most buzz today will be furniture maker Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc. (NYSE: RH). Wall Street anticipates that RH will report EPS of $0.47 on top of $6.127 million in revenue.
- Look for additional earnings reports from G-III Apparel Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: GIII), Guidewire Software Inc. (Nasdaq: GWRE), Francesca's Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: FRAN), Korn Ferry International (NYSE: KFY), Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV), HD Supply Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HDS), and Fred's Inc. (Nasdaq: FRED).
Wednesday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.
- International Trade at 8:30 a.m.
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- PMI Services Index at 9:45 a.m.
- ISM Non-Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- Beige Book at 2 a.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.