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The Dow Jones is having its best start to a year since 2006. The last 15 times the S&P 500 was up more than 2% after the first five trading days of the year, the full year finished higher all 15 times, according to a tweet by Ryan Detrick on Jan. 9.
Dow futures are up 45 points this morning as markets cheer on the progress of tension de-escalation talks in the Korean Peninsula. If you're looking to jump-start your stock returns in 2018, click here for three of Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald's biggest profit-driving trends for 2018…
Here are the numbers from Monday 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 Tuesday's economic calendar.
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The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Tuesday
- Global markets are keeping a close eye on developments in the Korean Peninsula. Ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics, leaders from North Korea and South Korea are meeting to discuss ways to reduce tensions. According to reports, North Korea said it will send athletes to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February, and both sides discussed the possibility of allowing family members to reunite during next month's Lunar New Year. We will see if both countries can continue to resolve their differences through dialogue in the year ahead and bring the world back from threats of nuclear war.
- Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is in focus on news the company's CEO, Jeff Bezos, is now the world's richest person by a wide margin. The Amazon founder now has a net worth north of $105 billion, according to Bloomberg's Billionaire Index. But Bezos might get much richer in 2018. This morning, Piper Jaffray increased its price target for the e-commerce giant from $1,200 to $1,400. The firm says that Amazon's stock is still in the early innings of revenue potential.
- Gold prices dipped slightly this morning due to concerns about growing geopolitical concerns in Europe. The euro is off this morning due to renewed worries about Brexit, upcoming elections in Italy, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel's challenges in forming a new German government. But today's weakness may be a buying opportunity. Just nine days into 2018, gold prices have not only jumped above $1,300, they've climbed higher. Here's why the 2018 gold bull market is here to stay.
- Crude oil prices pushed to their highest levels since May 2015 thanks to rising geopolitical tensions in Iran and Saudi Arabia. Markets are largely dismissing news that U.S. production is poised to top 10 million barrels per day this year. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.3%. Brent crude gained 0.4%.
- The global cryptocurrency sector is looking to rebound after a sharp downturn Monday. The price of Bitcoin is back below $15,000, while Ethereum is hovering above $1,200. Today's headline isn't regulators or bubbles, but statements from JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who said that he regrets calling Bitcoin a "fraud." Dimon clarified his statements to highlight his optimism about blockchain technology.
Stocks to Watch Today: GPRO, WTW, FB
- Shares of GoPro Inc. (Nasdaq: GPRO) are still falling after a dismal day of trading yesterday. The camera company saw its stock plunged below an all-time low of $5.32 despite rumors that it has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) to help it explore a sale. The news came after the firm announced it was exiting the drone business, slashing 20% of its workforce, reducing its quarterly revenue expectations, and addressing the loss of two executives. GoPro stock went public in June 2014 at $24 per share.
Hitch a Ride to the "Drone Revolution" with This Stock
- Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) is in focus after the company made a major announcement in the Chinese tech market. The social media giant is partnering with Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi Corp. to create a virtual reality headset. The tech would give Facebook an entry into China, where its business has been blocked for years.
- Shares of Weight Watchers International (NYSE: WTW) hit a five-year high thanks to Oprah Winfrey's speech at the Golden Globes on Sunday night. Winfrey accepted the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award and discussed issues of inequality and diversity in the United States. Speculation is now building that Winfrey may consider running for president against Donald Trump in 2020. WTW stock is pushing higher due to Winfrey's role within the organization. In 2015, she purchased 10% of the company for $43 million and joined its board of directors. More than one million members have joined since then.
- Keep an eye out for earnings results from Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE: AYI), WD-40 Co. (Nasdaq: WDFC), and SYNNEX Corp. (NYSE: SNX).
Tuesday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- NFIB Small Business Optimism Index at 6 a.m.
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- Minneapolis Fed Bank President Neel Kashkari speaks at 10 a.m.
- JOLTS at 10 a.m.
- Four-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Three-Year Note Auction at 1 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.