Why the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today Is Flat After Black Friday

The Dow Jones Industrial Average today is flat after traders return from Thanksgiving weekend and eagerly await the latest retail reports from Black Friday.

Dow Jones futures are only up three points, but the Senate confirmation of the next Federal Reserve chair and the next OPEC meeting both loom this week.

Here are the numbers from Friday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 23,557.99 31.81 0.14%
S&P 500 2,602.42 5.34 0.21%
Nasdaq 6,889.16 21.8 0.32%

Now here's a closer look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus Monday's economic calendar.

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The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Monday

dow jones industrial average today

  • Markets are weighing early reports of financial results for retailers after Black Friday. While many speculate that Americans hit a new record level in spending, it wasn't all rosy for some of the nation's leading department stores. Macy's Inc. (NYSE: M) experienced a significant glitch in its payment-processing network Friday. The company reported that overcapacity caused significant delays in credit card transactions. Meanwhile, the website of home-retail giant Lowe's Cos. (NYSE: LOW) temporarily went dark during the annual shopping event.
  • This week, traders await testimony from Jerome Powell, who was recently nominated to replace Janet Yellen as the chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Powell will testify before Congress on Tuesday and offer some insight on his stance on monetary policy. The appearance comes a day before Yellen testifies before Congress on the status of the U.S. economy in front of the Joint Economic Committee.
  • While many people are focused on the Federal Reserve this week, news of a resignation at a major U.S. agency didn't generate much buzz due to the holiday weekend. In a stunning development, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Head Richard Cordray announced his resignation on Friday in a letter to President Trump. It's unclear if Trump will nominate a new head to overtake the consumer watchdog division. According to reports, Trump may nominate Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to take over the agency. However, Mulvaney is likely to lead an effort to reduce the CFPB's authority. The former congressman has been a staunch critic of the CFPB and even once voted to eliminate the CFPB.
  • The "official" richest man in the world is now worth twelve figures. After Friday's gains for Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) stock, the firm's founder and CEO saw his net worth surpass $100 billion. Jeff Bezos, who has effectively dismantled the global retail industry, is the first person to hit this level, according to a Bloomberg service that tracks international wealth. Reports indicate that Amazon saw a 18% jump in online shopping during Thanksgiving on a year-over-year basis.
  • Crude oil prices hit a two-year high in the United States over the weekend thanks to a string of bullish factors for the global commodity. In addition to OPEC's plans to cut another 1.8 million barrels of daily production, domestic inventories are expected to slump after TransCanada Corp. (USA) (NYSE: TRP) shut down the Keystone XL pipeline to address a leak that sprung last week. The pipeline transports roughly 590,000 barrels of crude oil each day. The WTI crude oil price today fell 0.1%. Brent crude dropped 0.1%.

Four Stocks to Watch Today: AMZN, THO, TWX, T

  • Shares of Amazon.com are on the move as the e-commerce industry kicks off Cyber Monday. The company has generated a lot of buzz in recent days after it slashed the price for the Echo Dot to $29.99. The decision is part of the firm's broader effort to dominate the $4 billion smart-speaker market. Despite news of positive sales during Black Friday, the company is generating some negative publicity after employees in Germany in Italy struck at facilities in both countries.
  • The U.S. government has been busy in the tech sector in recent days. In addition to news that the Federal Communications Commission plans to eliminate "net neutrality" protections, the Department of Justice is taking merger speculation into its own hands. The DOJ has sued to prevent the $85.4 billion merger between AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) and cable giant Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX).
  • Look for an earnings report from Thor Industries (NYSE: THO) after the bell Monday. Wall Street expects that the firm will report earnings per share of $1.80 on top of $1.948 billion in revenue. The manufacturer of recreational vehicles has faced a slew of questions about its ability to generate growth due to concerns about the sector's perception from millennials.
  • A few other firms will report earnings on Monday, but the roster lacks blue-chip giants. Look for updates from Tech Data Corp. (Nasdaq: TECD), Tuniu Corp. (Nasdaq: TOUR), MTS Systems Corp. (Nasdaq: MTSC), and Ferroglobe Plc. (NYSE: GSM).

Monday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)

  • New Home Sales at 10 a.m.
  • Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey at 10:30 a.m.
  • Four-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • Six-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
  • Two-Year Note Auction at 11:30 a.m.
  • Three-Month Bill Auction at 1 p.m.
  • Five-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.
  • Minneapolis Fed Bank President Neel Kashkari Speaks at 6:30 p.m.
  • New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley Speaks at 7 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.

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