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Investors are optimistic the Dow Jones today could reach 25,000 after yesterday's first day of trading pushed markets to new all-time highs.
Dow futures are up 43 points this morning as investors pile back into tech stocks after last Friday's dip. But pot stocks are the real winners, handing investors huge returns already this year. Here are three simple ways to profit from California's legal marijuana market right now...
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
- The Federal Reserve will release minutes from its decisive December meeting. Last month, the central bank increased interest rates and increased its outlook for the U.S. economy in the new year. Today's minutes will likely provide additional insight into when the Fed may raise rates in 2018 and reveal broader sentiment about the strength of the labor markets and inflation.
- The number of mortgage applications filled out by Americans was lower in 2017. We can blame the uptick in interest rates for the decline. Higher borrowing costs led to a 2.8% decline in mortgages over the final two weeks of 2017. Refinancing efforts declined by 7% during the same period.
- Gold prices hovered near $1,315 per ounce this morning after President Trump issued a threat to North Korea. The president taunted Kim Jong Un by stating that he had a "bigger and more powerful" nuclear button, a reference to a speech made by the North Korean dictator over the previous weekend. This comment came after Kim Jong Un said he had a nuclear button on his desk at all times. Here are five more reasons gold will soar in 2018...
- Crude oil prices pushed to their highest levels since mid-2015 as investors continue to eye positive demand figures and weigh geopolitical concerns around the globe. Despite the recent rise of crude, many traders are starting to doubt that the rally will continue deeper into January. As WTI prices rise, more U.S. producers are bringing their rigs back online. This factor will increase supply at a time when American production is sitting at levels not seen since the early 1970s. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.5%. Brent crude added 0.4%.
- Cryptocurrency Ripple is making a lot of noise this morning after reaching a new all-time high. The price topped $2.72, a significant jump from the $0.20 per coin it was worth just a few months ago. Ripple is now the second cryptocurrency to top a market capitalization of $100 billion. Meanwhile, Bitcoin pushed back above $15,000 Wednesday morning thanks to an uptick of buying in the Asian markets. While Ripple is up roughly 114% over the last week, Bitcoin has now declined by about 6%.
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Stocks to Watch Today: CVS, AET, IBM, AAL, LUV
- The Republican tax reform law strikes it big for U.S. workers again. Airline giants American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL) and Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) both announced plans to offer their employees a one-time bonus of $1,000 thanks to the new tax reform bill. Southwest also announced plans to donate $5 million to charity and invest more money into its airline fleet. The firms join a chorus of other American companies that offered similar bonuses in the wake of President Trump signing the new tax law.
- Shares of CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS) are in focus during a busy week of earnings reports for the pharmacy benefits sector. Investors are seeking more information on the proposed takeover of health insurance giant Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) by CVS. Many believe this deal could radically alter the future of pharmacies by transitioning them into local health clinics. Shares of CVS were flat in pre-market hours.
- Shares of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) added more than 1.2% after the company received a surprising upgrade from RBC Capital Markets. The financial firm hiked its price target for "Big Blue" from $160 to $180 per share. The upgrade came thanks to increased optimism about both cyclical and secular drivers that could positively improve the company's sales and bottom line.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD), Resources Connection Inc. (Nasdaq: RECN), Commercial Metals Co. (NYSE: CMC), UniFirst Corp. (NYSE: UNF), Neogen Corp. (Nasdaq: NEOG), and Landec Corp. (Nasdaq: LNDC).
Wednesday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- ISM Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- Construction Spending at 10 a.m.
- FOMC Minutes at 2 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.