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The Dow Jones Industrial Average today is hovering at record levels thanks to a bullish earnings season...
Dow Jones futures are up 22 points this morning, and the Dow Jones today is within striking distance of a record 22,900 points. So far, 87% of companies to report earnings this season have topped Wall Street analysts' expectations, leading traders to drive equities higher as earnings reports continue this week.
And we don't see stock growth slowing down. In fact, the S&P 500 could rally to 3,000 by the end of the year...
Here are the numbers from Friday 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 U.S. Federal Reserve is back in focus following a statement by the central bank's leader over the weekend. Fed Chair Janet Yellen offered a positive outlook for the U.S. economy and suggested that that Fed will resume interest rate hikes as soon as December. Yellen said that she has been surprised by the low levels of inflation across the economy. She also noted that recent hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast will negatively affect economic growth in the short term. However, Yellen stated that she anticipates stronger U.S. growth by the end of the year.
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- U.S. markets could be affected by North Korea. Over the weekend, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the United States would continue to negotiate with the rogue North Korean government until the "first bomb drops." U.S. President Donald Trump has largely dismissed Tillerson's efforts to negotiate with Kim Jong Un.
- Healthcare stocks remain under pressure in the wake of President Trump's latest executive order to reduce government subsidies in the health insurance sector. Healthcare stocks could continue to decline after Friday's sharp downturn. Trump took pride in his role in Friday's sell-off after the administration ended payments to insurers under the Affordable Care Act. "Health Insurance stocks, which have gone through the roof during the ObamaCare years, plunged yesterday after I ended their Dems windfall!" Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
- Bitcoin prices are back in focus after they pulled back from a record high. Over the weekend, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon once again took aim at buyers of cryptocurrencies. Though Dimon said during his company's conference call that he was done talking about Bitcoin, the CEO said during an investment conference Saturday that "If you're stupid enough to buy it, you'll pay the price for it one day." The comment comes just weeks after Dimon called Bitcoin a fraud and helped fuel a sharp downturn in the crypto markets. Here's more on where Bitcoin prices are heading next.
Will North Korea Sanctions Work?
- Crude oil prices pushed higher again this morning as geopolitical tensions across Northern Iraq have accelerated. Iraqi government forces have moved into the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and displaced the region from the Kurdish Regional Government. Meanwhile, markets are reacting with uncertainty over President Trump's decision to not certify the Iranian nuclear deal with Congress. Lawmakers may now hit Iran with economic sanctions again by the end of the year. The WTI crude oil price today added 1.7%. Brent crude dropped 1.9%.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: NFLX, TSLA, AMZN
- Shares of Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) are in focus as the company prepares to report third-quarter earnings after the bell Monday. Wall Street consensus expectations call for earnings per share of $0.32 on top of $2.973 billion in revenue. Shares of the streaming giant hit an all-time high on Friday after Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS) hiked its target price and argued that the company would boost both profits and revenue after it announced a price hike on its services.
- Shares of Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) are in focus after the company reportedly let go several hundred employees as it prepares to increase vehicle production to meet investor expectations. The firm said that it has released hundreds of workers after a rigorous annual performance review.
- Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is the latest threat to Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE), Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UAA), and other sports apparel makers. According to Bloomberg, the company is developing its own sportswear brand with the same Taiwanese sportswear manufacturers of other major clothing producers like Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) and Kohl's Corp. (NYSE: KSS).
- Look for earnings reports from Sonic Corp. (Nasdaq: SONC), Badger Meter Inc. (NYSE: BMI), Brown & Brown Inc. (NYSE: BRO), Celanese Corp. (NYSE: CE), and IDEX Corp. (NYSE: IEX).
Monday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Empire State Manufacturing Survey at 8:30 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.
- Treasury Budget at 2 p.m.
- Minneapolis Fed Bank Chair Neel Kashkari speaks at 9 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.