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The Dow Jones today is rising in pre-market hours after U.S. President Donald Trump selected Jerome Powell to be the next Federal Reserve chair.
Dow Jones futures are up 44 points this morning after House Republicans outlined their new tax cut plan yesterday. Here's what political news really means for the stock market...
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 Five Top Stock Market Stories for Friday
- The Federal Reserve will be in focus this month. Analysts anticipate that the Fed will raise interest rates again in December. But that's not the biggest Fed news of the day. On Thursday, President Trump nominated Fed Gov. Jerome Powell to become the next chair of the Federal Reserve after current Fed Chair Janet Yellen's term expires in February 2018. Now Congress will have to hold hearings to approve the nomination, putting the Fed under an even bigger spotlight.
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- This morning, the U.S. Department of Labor will announce the October unemployment rate and the number of jobs created during the month. Prior to the announcement, LinkedIn, a division of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), announced that it has seen a 24.1% increase in hiring during the month of October. Markets are expecting a big rebound in hiring after September's disappointing jobs report. Two months ago, the nation experienced its first negative jobs report in seven years thanks to the two hurricanes that pummeled the Gulf Coast.
- After investors digest the jobs report, they will focus on news that the iPhone X goes on sale today. The new device will retail for $999.00 and will be the most expensive phone ever launched by Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL). The release comes a day after the firm crushed Wall Street earnings expectations after the bell Thursday. The firm sold 46.7 million iPhones during the first quarter, with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus "instantly" becoming the firm's top-selling products, according to CEO Tim Cook. Shares of Apple Inc. ripped to an all-time high this morning, as optimism continues to roar across the market. Apple's market capitalization now sits north of $900 billion.
- The price of Bitcoin is on a major roller-coaster ride. The cryptocurrency is hovering near $7,000 after a flurry of buying has pushed the price to record levels. But don't discount yesterday's temporary flash crash that cropped $600 off Bitcoin in a matter of seconds. This sector remains young and volatile. But one thing is certain: It continues to provide investors with incredible gains. Check out this Bitcoin price prediction to see a trader's dream...
- Crude oil prices are in focus after the WTI crude oil market went into backwardation for the first time since 2014. This is a scenario where the spot price of the commodity is higher than the futures contracts. This traditionally happens when there is a shortage of a commodity in the spot mark. WTI crude oil price today added 0.6%, while the Brent crude price added 0.3%.
Stocks to Watch Today: TSLA, MCO, SBUX, UL
- Shares of Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) are still falling after analysts slashed expectations for the corporation and raised concerns about its balance sheet. Several analysts have argued that Tesla CEO Elon Musk must stop overpromising on future deliveries of new vehicles and other organizational goals. Analysts are also raising new concerns that the firm may need to raise new capital at a time that its cash burn rate continues to accelerate.
The 3 Craziest Corporate Scandals of 2017
- Shares of Starbucks Corp. (Nasdaq: SBUX) tanked more than 6.7% after the company bombed during its quarterly earnings report Thursday. Though the company matched Wall Street earnings-per-share expectations of $0.55, it failed to match revenue projections and cut its long-term guidance. The company also reported that it will sell its Tazo tea brand to Unilever Plc. (NYSE ADR: UL) for just $384 million. Wall Street punished the stock accordingly.
- Traders are ready for an update from the Oracle of Omaha. After the bell Friday, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.B) will report quarterly earnings. The global conglomerate has its hands in everything from kitchen products to wind mills. But expect investors to hone in on the company's railroad giant, BNSF. So far, the firm's two major competitors in rail have satisfied Wall Street earnings expectations. But the real question is how much oil, coal, and natural gas the company has shipped in recent months.
- Additional companies reporting earnings on Friday include Moody's Corp. (NYSE: MCO), Jamba Inc. (Nasdaq: JMBA), Bloomin' Brands Inc. (Nasdaq: BLMN), Ruth's Hospitality Group Inc. (Nasdaq: RUTH), Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK), Immunogen Inc. (Nasdaq: IMGN), The Madison Square Garden Co. (NYSE: MSG), and Sotheby's (NYSE: BID).
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Employment Situation at 8:30 a.m.
- International Trade at 8:30 a.m.
- PMI Services Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Factory Orders at 10 a.m.
- ISM Non-Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- Minneapolis Fed Bank President Neel Kashkari Speaks at 12:15 p.m.
- Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 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.