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If the Dow Jones Industrial Average falls today, it would mark its fourth consecutive down trading session. A potential government shutdown is not helping matters.
Dow futures are down 31 points this morning as investors speculate on the effect of Trump's tax cut on the economy. U.S. President Donald Trump predicts it will lead to 6% annual GDP growth. That would be two times the 30-year average and triple the pace forecasted by the Congressional Budget Office over the next decade. For ways to profit from Trump's tax cut before it goes live, click here...
Here are the numbers from Wednesday 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 Thursday's economic calendar.
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The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday
- President Trump has warned a government shutdown could occur on Saturday. Congress is working on a last-minute deal to approve short-term spending that would keep the U.S. government open. Although Republicans control both chambers of Congress, they will require Democratic votes to get a deal done. Democrats are demanding that Republicans provide permanent protection for roughly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who live in the United States, after Trump canceled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.
- The Senate has taken its next step to make tax reform a reality. The latest round of the new bill will retain the corporate alternative minimum tax, better known as the AMT. This provision had initially been removed in earlier forms off the proposed legislation. Yesterday, the Senate voted 51-47 to ensure that a proposal is finalized by Christmas.
- Gold prices are bottoming out and creating an interesting buying opportunity for investors heading into 2018. The price dipped to a four-month low as markets prepare for another interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve next week. The central bank is expected to increase its benchmark rate by 0.25%. Meanwhile, the U.S. tax report has taken a lot of steam out of the alternative asset. With gold hovering around $1,250, this is an interesting entry point for investors looking to make profits in 2018.
- Crude oil prices stabilized overnight after a report by the Energy Information Administration indicated a decline in U.S. inventory levels. Wednesday's report showed that crude stocks fell by 5.6 million barrels. The news offset reports that U.S. production increased by another 25,000 barrels per day. At 9.71 million barrels per day, the United States is pushing out the most crude oil on a monthly basis since the early 1970s. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.3%. Brent crude gained 0.2%.
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- The price of Bitcoin surged to another record thanks to an incredible increase in demand. The price topped $15,000 for the first time, while the broader cryptocurrency market capitalization topped $406 billion. The uptick comes despite ongoing concerns about the valuation of Bitcoin and ongoing threats that the cryptocurrency is locked in a bubble.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: DG, HD, GE
- Shares of Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) were off slightly in pre-market hours despite news that the company will boost its share-buyback program by $15 billion. The company said it plans to invest into its stores in order to reach a $120 billion annual sales goal over the next three years.
- Shares of Dollar General Corp.(NYSE: DG) jumped 4.4% after the company reported quarterly earnings before the bell. The company reported strong sales demand in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. Dollar General reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.98 on top of $5.90 billion in revenue. Wall Street expected that the discount retailer would report EPS of $0.94 on top of $5.803 billion in revenue.
- Iconic U.S. manufacturer (and former financial engineering giant) General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) is slashing another 12,000 jobs as part of a broader effort to cut costs. GE is the worst-performing stock on the Dow Jones for 2017, falling more than 43% before this announcement.
- Look for additional earnings reports from American Outdoor Brands Corp. (Nasdaq: AOBC), Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR), CIENA Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN), Vail Resorts Inc. (NYSE: MTN), United Natural Foods Inc. (Nasdaq: UNFI), Science Applications International Corp. (Nasdaq: SAIC), The Cooper Co. (NYSE: COO), and Toro Co. (NYSE: TTC).
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Challenger Job-Cut Report at 7:30 a.m.
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- New York Fed Bank President William Dudley Speaks at 8:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Quarterly Services Survey at 10 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.
- Three-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 10-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 30-Year Bond Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Consumer Credit 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, 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.