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The Dow Jones today is on pace to finish higher for the 10th week in a row. Investors are finding confidence in strong Q4 U.S. GDP growth of 2.6% and positive Intel earnings.
Dow futures are up 48 points this morning as traders listened to U.S. President Donald Trump give a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Trump's speech is a major pitch to global investors to inject capital into the United States and to conduct business directly with American businesses and consumers. Trump's pitch was simple: "When the United States grows, so does the world," he said.
Click here to find out how to profit off of Trump's U.S. investment pitch…
Here are the numbers from Thursday 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 Friday's economic calendar.
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The Top Stock Market Stories for Friday
- This morning, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued its first reading of fourth-quarter 2017 economic growth. This morning, the agency said that U.S. economic growth came in at 2.6% in its first reading. That figure was below the 3.0% expected by economists. Further revisions over the next two months could push this figure higher.
- Donald Trump's speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, will likely generate most of the headlines today and drive the market, the U.S. dollar, and global commodity prices. Traditionally, U.S. presidents have avoided the event, but Trump sees it as an opportunity to speak directly to global financial and business leaders and pitch the United States as a destination for financial investment and growth. Trump also took an opportunity this morning to express his administration's lack of tolerance for intellectual property theft and trade abuses, a statement that appears to be a thinly veiled shot at China's economy.
- Gold prices began the day at a 17-month high this morning thanks to a 1% slump in the U.S. dollar. However, gold prices have since pulled back, dipping 1% from that level and holding right around $1,350 per ounce before the bell. Thanks to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's comment that his agency supported a weaker dollar, some prognosticators are predicting gold prices will continue rising. Click here to find out why gold could be the most important investment you'll make this year…
- Crude oil prices stalled this morning as markets paused to weigh statements by President Trump and monitor activity of the U.S. dollar. WTI crude oil price today dipped 0.1%, while Brent crude fell 0.3%. While Trump's Davos speech will continue to attract attention all day, investors can't sleep on developments in Venezuela. The country's economic collapse is raising serious concerns about the global oil market.
Stocks to Watch Today: SBUX, INTC, WMT
- Shares of Starbucks Corp. (Nasdaq: SBUX) slumped more than 5% after the coffee chain saw its quarterly revenue and same-store sales fall short of Wall Street expectations. The bright spot on the earnings report was the company's growing sales in China. Starbucks said that same-store sales in China increased 6% year over year.
- Shares of Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) popped to a 17-year high thanks to an extremely strong earnings report after the bell Thursday. The technology giant reported earnings per share of $1.08 on top of $17.05 billion in revenue. The firm beat earnings expectations by $0.22. The positive report was driven by double-digit growth in its data center business and a very bullish outlook for the current quarter and 2018.
- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is taking aim at one of its major rival's key business lines. The retailer announced it will enter the e-book business later this year by partnering with Japanese firm Rakuten. Both firms are direct competitors of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). Wal-Mart will sell Rakuten's Kobo e-book reader, which will compete directly with Amazon's popular Kindle devices. WMT shares were up 0.2% this morning.
- Additional companies reporting earnings on Friday include Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON), AbbVie Inc. (Nasdaq: ABBV), Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NYSE: CL), Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HRC), Rockwell Collins Inc. (NYSE: COL), Lear Corp. (NYSE: LEA), PolyOne Corp. (NYSE: POL), Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (NYSE: APD), NextEra Energy Inc. (NYSE: NEE), and World Acceptance Corp. (Nasdaq: WRLD).
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Durable Goods Orders at 8:30 a.m.
- GDP at 8:30 a.m.
- International Trade in Goods at 8:30 a.m.
- Retail Inventories [Advance] at 8:30 a.m.
- Wholesale Inventories [Advance] at 8:30 a.m.
- Baker-Hughes Rig Count 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.