The Dow Jones today is up 22 points this morning following the index's first two-week losing streak since August. The big market news comes out of Washington, as investors weigh Republicans' ongoing efforts to pass tax reform.
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
- A busy earnings calendar begins the week, although most investors will instead be speculating on the Senate plan for tax reform. According to reports, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) may not be prepared to back the Upper Chamber's current tax plan. Collins is one of several key moderate Republican votes that must be wooed in the weeks ahead to ensure passage of the tax plan. Collins appears very concerned about the Senate plan's commitment to eliminating the Obamacare mandate for health insurance, a move she argues would drive up premiums in the future (as if this hasn't already happened though).
- Retail stocks will be in focus this week as investors turn their attention to the week of Black Friday. Notice that we're not mentioning the Thanksgiving Holiday, since Black Friday deals began earlier this month, and brick-and-mortar retailers are desperate to get consumers to walk through the door.
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- On the global front, we have to pay attention to two geopolitical stories popping up across the Atlantic. First, Germany's stock market slumped Monday after Chancellor Angela Merkel faced opposition to her plan to form a new government. A rival party walked out of negotiations, setting the tone for what could be a bitter political future in the months ahead. Meanwhile, more Brexit problems are popping up for Theresa May. The European Union is set to announce new host cities for several of its largest agencies. The departures raise concerns about broader governmental and business departures from the United Kingdom in the weeks ahead.
The Top 5 Cryptocurrencies to Invest in Today
- The price of Bitcoin surged past $8,000 over the weekend as investors continue to pile into the cryptocurrency markets and ignore ongoing concerns about volatility or a "so-called bubble." The pop came just days after Earn.com CEO Balaji Srinivasan suggested Bitcoin would be a critical part of the global economy by 2040. Here's more on what else has been driving Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency prices over the last week.
- Crude oil prices fell Monday morning ahead of OPEC's meeting on production next week. Traders are placing their bets on whether the global oil cartel will extend its deal to cap excessive production beyond the March 2018 deadline. The speculation comes after Baker Hughes announced Friday there was no change to the number of U.S. rigs in operation during the previous week. The WTI crude oil price today fell 0.5%, while Brent crude dropped 1.1%.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: MRVL, WMT, CAVM
- Look out Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and Broadcom Ltd. (Nasdaq: AVGO), a mega-rival could arrive in 2018 thanks to a proposed merger. According to reports, Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: MRVL) is on the verge of purchasing semiconductor rival Cavium Inc. (Nasdaq: CAVM) for roughly $6 billion. Shares of Cavium stock added 8.9% in pre-market hours.
- Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) are off more than 1% after the retail giant received a surprise stock downgrade from one of Wall Street's top investment banks. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) downgraded WMT from "Buy" to "Neutral." In a research note, Goldman said Wal-Mart has "solidified its transition into a winner." However, the bank noted that Wal-Mart's incredible stock rally in 2017 has seen its value catch up with its significant investments in recent years and has captured the full value of the organization.
- Look for earnings reports from Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE: PANW), Urban Outfitters Inc. (Nasdaq: URBN), Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU), Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A), Vipshop Holdings Ltd. (NYSE ADR: VIPS), and Beacon Roofing Supply Inc. (Nasdaq: BECN).
Monday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Leading Indicators at 10 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.
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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.