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Investors will elevate the Dow Jones today after Congress gave final approval on the GOP tax reform plan on Wednesday.
Dow futures are up 47 points this morning as the passage of a $1.5 trillion tax cut prompts some corporations to "share the wealth." If you're looking for the real money, forget about trickle-down tax cuts and read this…
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 Four Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday
- Markets didn't skyrocket after Congress passed the tax law on Wednesday. That's because investors are eyeing the next big fight in Washington. Republicans must now turn their attention to a stopgap spending bill before Friday night in order to avoid a government shutdown. Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate were stuck trying to work out a deal on spending priorities Wednesday evening.
- We'll be looking to see if additional U.S. companies "share the wealth" after the passage of Trump tax reform. Yesterday, Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC), Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T), and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA) all announced capital investment plans, higher pay, and/or bonuses for employees after the bill passed. AT&T is the most notable, announcing it will give a $1,000 bonus to 200,000 employees. Other companies announced they will hike their minimum wage to at least $15.00.
- Crude oil prices remained mixed on Thursday morning on news that a major pipeline in the North Sea will resume operations soon. The Forties Pipeline had been shut down for maintenance and will resume operations in early January. Meanwhile, markets are paying close attention to U.S. production numbers, which recently hit their highest levels since the early 1970s. The WTI crude oil price today fell 0.5%. Brent crude added 1.7%.
- There's been a lot of chatter about a potential Bitcoin crash in 2018. The question is what investors should own as a hedge against such a possibility. Money Morning argues that gold presents an ideal hedge. Right now, gold is sitting at a two-week high, but its rally is just getting started. The price of gold hit $1,266 per ounce Thursday after a downtick in both the markets and the value of the U.S. dollar. In fact, here's how Bitcoin and the Federal Reserve brought us a gold bottom…
Three Stocks to Watch Today: NKE, PGE, AAPL
- Shares of Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) are in focus as the global apparel giant prepares to report quarterly earnings after the bell Thursday. Wall Street anticipates that the firm will report earnings per share of $0.39 on top of $8.39 billion in revenue.
- Shares of energy giant PG&E Corp. (NYSE: PGE) plunged more than 11% this morning after suspending its 4.15% dividend. The company could face liability for roughly $9 billion in damage caused by California wildfires in October. PGE stock will open trading today at a 52-week low. PGE said in a statement that if the firm's "equipment is found to have been a substantial cause of the damage in an event such as a wildfire – even if the utility has followed established inspection and safety rules – the utility may still be liable for property damages and attorney's fees associated with that event."
- Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is generating buzz this morning after admitting it slows down previous generations of its iPhone. The firm admits doing so has the potential to impact the performance of the device. However, Apple says this process is required to prevent the phones from shutting down in some cases. AAPL stock is poised to open at $174.50 per share.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Accenture Plc. (NYSE: ACN), Finish Line Inc. (Nasdaq: FINL), CarMax Inc. (NYSE: KMX), Conagra Brands Inc. (NYSE: CAG), Paychex Inc. (Nasdaq: PAYX), Lindsay Corp. (NYSE: LNN), Cintas Corp. (Nasdaq: CTAS), AAR Corp. (NYSE: AIR), CalAmp Corp. (Nasdaq: CAMP), and Apogee Enterprises Inc. (Nasdaq: APOG).
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- GDP at 8:30 a.m.
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey at 8:30 a.m.
- Chicago Fed National Activity Index at 8:30 a.m.
- Corporate Profits at 8:30 a.m.
- FHFA House Price Index at 9 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Leading Indicators at 10 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Four-Week Bill Announcement at111 a.m.
- Three-Month Bill Announcement at 11 p.m.
- Six-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Two-Year FRN Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Two-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Five-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Seven-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Five-Year TIPS Auction at 1 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.