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The Dow Jones Industrial Average was pointing toward a 29-point decline in premarket hours after North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, once again rattled the markets with new threats against the United States. The regime threatened to detonate a massive hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean – a move that has also had a big impact on gold this morning…
Before we get to that, here are the numbers from Thursday 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 Friday's economic calendar.
The Four Top Stock Market Stories for Friday
- North Korea just won't go away. The rogue country threatened to test a new, powerful hydrogen bomb and launch it over the Pacific Ocean. The threat comes after several recent statements by U.S. President Donald Trump and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley about military action against the North Korean regime. Gold prices are showing modest gains on the news, up 0.2% to $1,297 this morning.
- Markets are also turning their attention to events happening across Europe. UK Prime Minister Theresa May will give an important speech today about her nation's plans ahead of its split with the European Union. In addition, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will wrap up her campaign ahead of this weekend's election. Merkel is expected to win her fourth consecutive term as leader of Germany.
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- Things are already off to a rough start for Dara Khosrowshahi, the new CEO of Uber Technologies Inc. The New York Times reports that London will not renew the company's license to operate in Europe's largest single market. In a statement, the city said, "Uber's approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications." Uber is the world's most valuable startup, and markets have been anticipating an Uber IPO for several years.
- Crude oil prices were mixed in premarket hours, as members of OPEC prepare to meet in Vienna, Austria today. Members of the world's largest oil cartel will meet with several non-member nations to discuss whether they should extend their deal to cap excessive production through March 2018. While Iraq recently expressed support for an extension, some members may advocate that the body of voters take a wait-and-see approach to how oil prices behave over the next few months. The decision comes at a time that oil prices are back above $50 per barrel, an important psychological barrier. WTI crude oil price today were off 0.3% at $50.39, while Brent crude was up 0.2% at $56.54.
Four Stocks to Watch Today: FINL, AAPL, TMUS, S
- Shares of Finish Line Inc. (Nasdaq: FINL) were off 8.9% after the company fell short of adjusted profit expectations before the bell this morning. The miss comes just weeks after the firm released a profit and sales warning that reduced expectations for the fiscal second quarter.
- Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is generating headlines as it prepares to release two new smartphones. The company will release the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus. The primary upgrades to the phones include an advanced camera and wireless charging. However, both devices failed to generate much buzz last week after the firm unveiled the iPhone X, which will not go on sale until Nov. 3.
- Shares of T-Mobile US Inc. (Nasdaq: TMUS) added another 1.3% in premarket hours on news it is nearing a deal to merge with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S). The deal, which would likely happen by the end of next month, would allow Japanese investment giant Softbank (which controls Sprint) to own up to 50% of the new company. Sprint shares were up another 3.7% in premarket hours.
- Look for additional earnings reports from CarMax Inc. (NYSE: KMX) and Eros International Plc. (NYSE: EROS).
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- San Francisco Fed Bank President John Williams Speaks at 6 a.m.
- Kansas City Fed Bank President Esther George Speaks at 9:30 a.m.
- PMI Composite Flash at 9:45 a.m.
- Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations at 10 a.m.
- Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
- Dallas Federal Reserve Bank Robert Kaplan Speaks at 1:30 p.m.
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.