The Dow Jones today was up just 0.03% in premarket hours as traders react to the news that German Chancellor Angela Merkel won her fourth term as the head of state. In addition, markets will also be watching the ongoing battle in Washington over healthcare reform.
Here are the numbers from Friday, Sept. 22, 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 Monday's economic calendar.
The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Monday
- The markets barely reacted this morning to news that Angela Merkel has won a fourth term as German chancellor. Investors seemed more interested in the news that the far-right party had major gains in the country and that Merkel's coalition was declining. Merkel has led Europe's largest economy for 11 years.
- U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is trying to make her case to remain the head of the central bank when her term ends in 2018. The odds of her reappointment just increased, according to Jonathan Swan at Axios. The reporter said this morning that President Donald Trump's top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, has no chance at becoming the head of the central bank. Swan reports that Trump is upset about Cohn's comments regarding Trump's reaction to violence in Charlottesville this summer. Swan did still concede that Trump is known to change his mind.
- Global ride-sharing giant Uber Technologies Inc. is taking its fight against London politicians directly to the city's residents. Last week, the city formally banned Uber over safety and security. More than 500,000 residents have signed a petition demanding that the ride-sharing company remain on the streets of Europe's largest market.
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- Crude oil prices were pushing higher again on optimism about supply and demand fundamentals. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.8% and topped $51 for the first time in four months. The combination of rising demand around the globe and OPEC's continued effort to cap excessive production have helped rebalance the markets. Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors has been bullish on oil prices this year, and their recent rise to a four-month high was in line with his forecast. Here's where he sees them heading next.
- Finally, in deal news, shares of Genuine Parts Co. (NYSE: GPC) popped more than 10% in premarket hours. The auto parts manufacturer announced plans to purchase Alliance Automotive Group for about $2 billion. The target is the second-largest distributor of vehicle parts in Europe and has been managed by private equity giant Blackstone.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: CCL, GM, TGT
- Shares of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) popped more than 1.7% after the automotive giant received an upgrade from Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE: DB). The German investment giant forecasted stronger-than-expected demand for autonomous vehicles and said the potential valuation of the firm is "too big to ignore." GM is currently trading at a price-to-earnings ratio of just 6.25.
- Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) has hiked its minimum wage target to $15.00 by 2020. The decision accompanies the firm's announcement that it has increased its wage from $10.00 to $11.00 this year in an effort to beat out its competitor Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT). The company also said it anticipates it will still meet its positive outlook for the third quarter and full year. The wage increase is not expected to affect its bottom line.
- Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) is tentatively scheduled to report fiscal Q3 earnings before the bell Monday. However, it is possible the company's report comes later this week. Markets are uncertain of how Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma have affected the company's bottom line and its forward-looking expectations for the travel industry. Wall Street's average earnings-per-share expectations call for $2.20 per share on top of $5.4 billion in revenue.
- Look for earnings reports from Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT), Ascena Retail Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ASNA), and SYNNEX Corp. (NYSE: SNX).
Monday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- New York Fed Bank President William Dudley Speaks at 8:30 a.m.
- Chicago Fed National Activity Index at 8:30 a.m.
- Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey at 10:30 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.
- Chicago Fed Bank President Charles Evans speaks at 12:30 p.m.
- Minneapolis Fed Bank President Neel Kashkari speaks at 6:30 p.m.
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