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Democrats attempting to trigger a vote on the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump amidst tax reform could cause the Dow Jones Industrial Average to slide today.
Dow futures are down 36 points this morning as investors parse through home-financing data. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported the number of applications to refinance homes jumped 9% last week. The total number of applications increased 4.7%, a jump that coincided with a slight downturn in interest rates. To find out the best way to protect your wealth once the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, click here...
Here are the numbers from Tuesday 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 Wednesday's economic calendar.
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The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Wednesday
- While Congress attempts to merge the versions of the House and Senate tax bill, the big vote on Capitol Hill today could be the impeachment of Donald Trump. U.S. Rep. Al Green (D-TX) is attempting to lead Democratic leaders in the House to take up a vote on the removal of President Trump Wednesday. While Green is not the first Congressman to write articles of impeachment, he is the first to attempt the triggering of a vote. It remains unlikely that the Republican-controlled body will take up a vote, and this effort is little more than posturing to a liberal base. However, it could provide a lot of fodder for challengers to Congressional seats heading into the 2018 election.
- Automatic Data Processing LLC (Nasdaq: ADP) released its monthly report on private payrolls, and once again the U.S. economy is looking resilient. Private employers added 190,000 new jobs in November, a figure that topped estimates of 185,000. The report is a sneak peek of what markets can anticipate when the Department of Labor releases the official jobs report for November on Friday.
- Low gold prices are presenting investors with a unique buying opportunity heading into the New Year. The price of gold bounced off a two-month low thanks to some weakness in the U.S. dollar. Markets are looking to gold as a hedge against a potential government shutdown and uncertainty over the progress of President Trump's tax reform. But the long-term opportunity is tied to an expected uptick in geopolitical tensions heading into the new year. Gold prices added 0.3% this morning, to hit $1,268.90 per ounce. Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth provides his gold price forecast here...
- Crude oil prices fell in pre-market hours as traders weighed yesterday's inventory report from the American Petroleum Institute, which indicated an uptick in U.S. gasoline and crude oil inventories. Broader market concerns about economic growth are also weighing on the oil markets. The WTI crude oil price today fell 1.1%. Brent crude dipped 1.0%.
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- The price of Bitcoin surged above $13,000, bringing the world's largest cryptocurrency to a market capitalization above $219 billion. Despite all the warnings about bubbles and regulation, the price increased nearly 50% from last week after it experienced a small correction. The optimism and uptick in buying has been tied to Chicago Mercantile Exchange's upcoming launch of Bitcoin futures trading. For more on what is driving Bitcoin's surge, read our daily recap of cryptocurrency price movements.
Four Stocks to Watch Today: UNH, DIS, SQ, AEO
- Shares of Davita Inc. (NYSE: DVA) jumped more than 8% on news that the private health clinic giant agreed to a deal for $4.9 billion with UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH). The company is best known for its kidney dialysis centers and maintains roughly 300 centers in six states. The deal is the latest in a string of consolidation among health insurance companies and other portions of the sector's value chain. The all-cash deal is expected to come in around $4.9 billion.
- Investors are expecting an announcement early next week about a deal between Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox Inc. (Nasdaq: FOXA). Disney is looking to purchase Fox's movie studio, cable channels, Hulu streaming service stake, and international assets.
- Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) announced plans to allow more of its most active users to purchase Bitcoin through its Cash app. Shares of SQ stock added 2% in pre-market hours after the firm announced plans to expand the feature after a beta test last month. The news coincides with Bitcoin's breach of the $13,000 level earlier today.
- Shares of American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) gained 3.3% in pre-market hours after the retailer reported earnings before the bell. Despite falling below both profit and revenue expectations, the stock pushed higher. Look for additional earnings reports from Lululemon Athletica Inc. (Nasdaq: LULU), Broadcom Ltd. (Nasdaq: AVGo), H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB), Tailored Brands Inc. (Nasdaq: TLRD), Vera Bradley Inc. (NYSE: VRA), Korn Ferry International (NYSE: KFY), and Ollie's Bargain Outlet Holding Inc. (Nadsaq: OLLI).
Wednesday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.
- ADP Employment Report at 8:15 a.m.
- Productivity and Costs at 8:30 a.m.
- EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Treasury STRIPS at 3:00 PM ET
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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.