The Dow Jones Industrial Average will open at a record high today, as futures are up 21 points ahead of the bell.
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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 are sitting at all-time highs as investors continue to pour capital into equities. This morning, U.S. President Donald Trump took a victory lap on Twitter, bragging about the Dow's performance and recent economic data. "Stock Market hits an ALL-TIME high! Unemployment lowest in 16 years! Business and manufacturing enthusiasm at highest level in decades!" Trump wrote.
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- This morning, we'll be parsing through the minutes of the most recent meeting of the European Central Bank. The September meeting saw the ECB maintain interest rates at current levels but didn't give us too many clues into the timing of the next hike or its plans to unwind its stimulus programs. The ECB will be an important player in how the U.S. Federal Reserve decides to unwind its own balance sheet in the months and years ahead.
- Thursday will feature a slew of speeches by members of the Federal Reserve. Markets will be looking for insight into each member's expectations on future interest rate hikes and the Fed's plans to taper its $4.5 trillion balance sheet. But before we get started, the U.S. Department of Labor offered its weekly update on U.S. jobless benefits. The agency said that the number of Americans seeking benefits hit 260,000. That figure was 5,000 below the expected total among economists, according to Reuters.
- Tensions between the United States and North Korea have subsided, but the markets will be keeping an eye on Spain this Thursday. The country is facing its worst political crisis in a generation after Catalonia officials said they plan to declare independence from Madrid in the coming days. The region – which is home to Barcelona – recently hosted a low-turnout vote, in which 90% of participants supported independence. Violent clashes between police and residents later ensued.
- Crude oil prices were mixed this morning. Markets are anticipating that OPEC will extend its production agreement to cap excessive output. However, traders are wary of reports indicating that U.S. exports are on the rise. U.S. weekly exports increased by 25% last week to hit a new record. Keep an eye today on reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin is hosting the king of Saudi Arabia in Moscow. It is the first-ever state visit between the two nations. The WTI crude oil price today dipped 0.1%. Brent crude gained 0.2%.
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- Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is trying to take over the world. This morning, Bloomberg reported that the e-commerce giant is preparing to test its own delivery service. The decision is a direct threat to today's leading delivery giants, FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS). FDX stock and UPS stock were both off 2.1% in premarket hours.
- Shares of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) added nearly 1% in premarket hours after the company received an upgrade from Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. The investment analysts argued that markets may have underestimated the company's long-term growth prospects and growth drivers across multiple business lines.
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- Shares of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: NCLH) popped more than 3.5% in premarket hours on news that the cruise line will be joining the S&P 500. The firm will replace Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) on the index Friday, Oct 13.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Costco Wholesale Corp. (Nasdaq: COST), Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE: STZ), Helen of Troy Ltd. (Nasdaq: HELE), International Speedway Corp. (Nasdaq: ISCA), and Yum China Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: YUMC).
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Challenger Job-Cut Report at 7:30 a.m.
- International Trade at 8:30 a.m.
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell speaks at 9:10 a.m.
- San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams speaks at 9:15 a.m.
- Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker speaks at 9:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Factory Orders at 10 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Four-Week Bill Announcement at 11 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.
- Three-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 10-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 30-Year Bond Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Treasury STRIPS at 3 p.m.
- Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George speaks at 4:30 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.
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