The Dow Jones today is falling in premarket hours despite U.S. President Donald Trump announcing a new plan to cut taxes for most Americans.
Dow futures are down 45 points as Wall Street watchers are skeptical Congress will be able to pass the law, just as a new Department of Labor report showed more unemployment claims than expected last month.
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
- Markets cheered yesterday's news that the Trump administration has released a more detailed blueprint of the Republicans' tax reform effort. The details will be key, and it could be difficult to get some Republicans in Democratic-leaning states on board with this deal. That's because the Trump administration plans to eliminate a key tax deduction allowing people to take off their state taxes from their Adjusted Gross Income. This could dramatically affect Americans living in states that voted for Hillary Clinton, like California and New York, and could make the plan more difficult to pass through Congress.
- In economic news, the Department of Commerce revised its second-quarter GDP figure to 3.1%. This number is the fastest pace of economic growth for the U.S. economy in two years. While optimism is expected from the Trump administration, markets should take some caution with this figure. It is expected that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma will dampen prospects for the third quarter.
- Things are heating up in Washington over allegations that Russians purchased advertisements on Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) during the 2016 presidential election. The Senate Intelligence Committee has called on Facebook, Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL), and Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) to testify on how foreign entities were able to buy advertisements and influence digital media last year. A hearing is set for Nov. 1 and could be a major catalyst in changing the way advertising disclosures are conducted moving forward. This could have a wide-sweeping effect on political advertising.
- Inequality in the United States is accelerating. According to a report released Wednesday by the Federal Reserve, the top 1% wealthiest families in America now control 38.6% of the nation's wealth. That figure is almost double the amount of the bottom 90% combined. In addition, the Fed found that just a little more than 51% of Americans are invested in the stock market. Given the meteoric rise of the Dow and S&P 500 over the last eight years, many Americans missed out on the gains because they didn't own stocks or had too little invested in equities.
- Crude oil prices were rising again Thursday thanks to geopolitical woes. The price is pushing back toward its highest since 2015 as Turkey continues to threaten to cut off a pipeline from the Kurdish region of Iraq. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has reacted negatively to a decision by Iraqi Kurds to vote in favor of their own independence. The Turkish president has considered cutting off their oil exports and even military force to prevent an autonomous Kurdish region. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.6%. Brent crude gained 0.7%.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: BBRY, ROKU, MKC
- Shares of BlackBerry Ltd. (Nasdaq: BBRY) popped more than 7% in premarket hours after the Canadian tech company reported a surprise profit during its earnings report. Wall Street had anticipated a break-even quarter. But the firm reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.05 and revenue of $249 million. That latter figure also beat Wall Street expectations thanks to an increase of sales in the firm's software and services divisions.
- Shares of McCormick & Co. (NYSE: MKC) were up 2.7% after it topped Wall Street earnings expectations again Thursday. The $1.12 per share in quarterly adjusted profits topped expectations of $1.05. Overall, the firm's revenue number beat expectations. In addition, the firm hiked its full-year outlook. The Maryland-based company continues to show strong growth thanks to its recent acquisitions.
- Today, we'll be looking for the debut from streaming giant Roku Inc. The firm will begin trading this morning on the Nasdaq exchange and plans to price shares at $14 each under the ticker ROKU. The firm hopes to raise about $219 million at a $1.3 billion valuation.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Accenture Plc. (NYSE: ACN), Conagra Brands Inc. (NYSE: CAG), KB Home (NYSE: KBH), Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD), Vail Resorts Inc. (NYSE: MTN), and CalAmp Corp. (Nasdaq: CAMP).
The Farms of the Future Are Here
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- GDP at 8:30 a.m.
- International Trade in Goods at 8:30 a.m.
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Retail Inventories at 8:30 a.m.
- Wholesale Inventories at 8:30 a.m.
- Corporate Profits at 8:30 a.m.
- Kansas City Fed Bank President Esther George speaks at 9:45 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index at 11 a.m.
- Three-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Six-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Seven-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.
- Farm Prices at 3 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.