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The Dow Jones today is poised to open at 24,000, its all-time high, thanks to an OPEC agreement that's already sending oil prices higher.
Dow Jones futures are up 80 points this morning, while the Senate continues to work on its landmark tax reform legislation. And the good news for stocks continues, as we're predicting even more market strength next month...
Here are the numbers from Wednesday 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 Thursday's economic calendar.
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The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday
- During Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's final testimony before Congress, Yellen raised concerns about the size of the U.S. debt. Yellen said that the $20 trillion in debt should "keep people up at night." Yellen made the statement as Congress prepares to debate the GOP tax reform plan that would cut the corporate tax rate and reduce individual income rates across the country.
- Speaking of the tax bill, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote this week on the largest reform to the tax code in three decades. Republicans set a tentative vote despite rumors that Republicans lack enough votes to pass the bill. It's looking more and more like the GOP can't get everyone together to reach an agreement, and its setting itself up for the same level of criticism that it faced in the wake of the failed repeal of the Affordable Care Act. We'll see if the GOP can get everyone together and make enough changes to the bill to absolve concerns about ballooning deficit levels.
- The IRS is trying to figure out a way to tax bitcoins. The IRS has ordered Coinbase to turn over the records of roughly 14,355 users of the platform. A California federal court has ordered the trading platform to surrender records on anyone who has sold, received, or sent more than $20,000 through their accounts. As Money Morning Cryptocurrency Expert David Zeiler explained this week, people who want to sell their Bitcoin near record levels are going to have to take the tax man into account. Here's more on what you need to know if you're thinking about buying or selling Bitcoin this week.
- Speaking of Bitcoin, it's been a wild 24 hours for the cryptocurrency. The Bitcoin price topped an all-time high of roughly $11,350 on Wednesday. Then, it plunged more than $2,000 in an hour to under $9,300. The reason: Two major exchanges experienced bugs after reporting a massive surge in traffic and user activity. The price has returned back above $10,000 on Thursday morning. This latest series of incidents raises new concerns about price volatility moving forward.
- Crude oil prices are rising after a key meeting among members of the world's largest energy cartel. Russia and Saudi Arabia led a coalition of producers and extended a deal to cap excessive oil production during today's big meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC members in Vienna, Austria. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.9%. Brent crude gained 1.5%.
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- Shares of Sears Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD) jumped 26% in pre-market hours after the firm reported earnings. However, don't get too excited. Shares only jumped from $4.21 per share to $5.33 after the firm's earning report. Sears reported a smaller-than-expected revenue and profit decline. However, its 15.2% drop in same-store sales was nearly two-and-a-half times larger than analysts expected. Sears is still whistling past the graveyard.
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- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) reported earnings before the bell. The grocery giant reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.44 on top of $27.75 billion in revenue. Wall Street expected EPS of $0.40 on top of $27.307 billion in revenue. Shares jumped nearly 10% after the announcement.
- On Wednesday, Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) announced an Alexa for Business platform that will bring artificial intelligence to the workplace. The company will have less to do with personal assistance and more on helping teams connect to teleconferences and bolster the efficiency of enterprise-sales platforms.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Ambarella Inc. (Nasdaq: AMBA), Ulta Beauty Inc. (Nasdaq: ULTA), Zumlez Inc. (Nasdaq: ZUMZ), Five Below Inc. (Nasdaq: FIVE), Express Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPR), and Perry Ellis International Inc. (Nasdaq: PERY).
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Personal Income and Outlays at 8:30 a.m.
- Chicago PMI at 9:45 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Three-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Six-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 52-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan Speaks at 1 p.m.
- Farm Prices at 3 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 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.