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The Dow Jones Industrial Average today (Friday, Nov. 17) will try to crack through the 23,500 level again as markets digest news that the House of Representatives has passed its version of a plan to overhaul the U.S. tax code.
The bill passed along party lines by a vote of 227 to 205. There were 13 Republicans, mainly from blue states, that voted against the measure. In a statement released last night, U.S. President Donald Trump applauded the lower chamber of Congress for passing the bill.
It remains unclear when the Senate will take up a vote on tax reform, but many analysts anticipate a vote shortly after Thanksgiving. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expects to see a reconciled version of the bill on President Trump's desk by Christmas.
Here are the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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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 price of Bitcoin topped $8,000 for the first time on Thursday night, as buyers around the world continue to engage in an epic game of "Fear of Missing Out." Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) projected that Bitcoin would hit that level earlier this week, bolstering optimism. Several other bullish factors included the integration of Bitcoin into the Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) payment universe and a report in Cointelegraph stating that a big chunk of American investors plan to hold Bitcoin until it's valued at nearly $200,000. Money Morning Cryptocurrency Expert Dave Zeiler just released a Bitcoin price prediction chart that shows potential profits ahead. Here it is.
- After years of political battles over the Keystone XL Pipeline, one of the worst results possible has occurred after its approval by the Trump administration. TransCanada Corp. (NYSE: TRP) has shut down part of the pipeline system after a 5,000-barrel leak occurred in South Dakota. The news could not come at worse time for pipeline advocates. Next week, Nebraska regulators are set to decide whether to allow a southern route of the pipeline to pass their state. With that in mind, regulators are actually not allowed to measure the probability of spills given that the Keystone pipeline project already has an environmental permit.
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- In deal news, we might be looking at yet another big asset sale in the cable news business. According to CNBC, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA) has approached Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (Nasdaq: FOXA) about a deal to acquire the international business of the Fox brand and other assets. Fox had reportedly considered previous offers for everything except its cable news and sports divisions from Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) last week. Shares of FOXA are up more than 7% in pre-market hours.
- The problems in Venezuela have just gone from bad to worse for the socialist government. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association announced Thursday that Venezuela has triggered a "credit event," meaning anyone holding credit default swaps can now cash in on these derivatives. In simple terms, Venezuela's failure to pay its state oil giant has triggered a default.
- Crude oil prices are up more than 1% in pre-market hours despite concerns about oversupply in the global markets. Prices are on pace for their first weekly loss in six weeks as markets prepare for Baker Hughes to report the production rig count later today. With concerns about oversupply in focus, markets are trying to predict whether or not OPEC members will aim to extend its deal to cap excessive production beyond March 2018. WTI crude oil price today added 1.6%, while Brent crude added 1.2%.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: FL, SFIX, FOXA
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- Shares of Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL) surged more than 25% in pre-market hours after the shoe retailer topped a very low bar in its quarterly earnings report before the bell. Wall Street analysts projected earnings per share of $0.80 on top of $1.844 billion in revenue. The retail firm shattered profit expectations with a $0.87-per-share earnings number. Despite surpassing estimates, the number still represents a 28% decline year over year. The firm reported revenue of $1.87 billion.
- While you were sleeping, Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) launched its new semi-truck on Thursday night. Company CEO Elon Musk unveiled an electric semi that aims to disrupt the $34 billion-per-year market for transport vehicles.
- Here comes another questionable initial public offering. Today, personalized styling service Stitch Fix Inc. (Nasdaq: SFIX) is going public, and investors are scratching their heads wondering, "Why?" The short answer is that firm is backed by several venture capital firms looking to cash out. But so far, Wall Street isn't showing too much enthusiasm. On Thursday, the company priced 8 million shares at $15 – lower than initial expectations. Instead of investing in SFIX stock, we recommend using a better strategy for raking in profits from the potentially volatile IPO. Here it is.
- Additional companies reporting earnings on Friday include Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF), Hibbett Sports Inc. (Nasdaq: HIBB), and Buckle Inc. (NYSE: BKE).
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
- Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.