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The Dow Jones today sells off for one of its biggest weekly losses since late 2016 despite 200,000 new U.S. jobs added in January and steady unemployment.
Dow futures fell as much as 241 points in pre-market hours, as investors continue to worry about the prospect of higher interest rates in the future. Though the U.S. Federal Reserve did not increase rates during its first meeting of the year, the 30-year bond yield rallied above 3% for the first time since May 2017.
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
- The U.S. Department of Commerce reported the January jobs report before the bell Friday. The economy added 200,000 new jobs for the month, topping expectations of 175,000. The official unemployment rate stayed at 4.1%, the lowest level since December 2000.
- Yesterday, shares of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) popped more than 6% after the bell after the company reported a staggering profit of roughly $1 billion thanks to millions of new customers signing up for the firm's Prime service. Shares could surge even higher today, driving the wealth of CEO Jeff Bezos well above $120 billion.
- Gold prices were hovering at $1,348.00 per ounce as investors eyed this morning's jobs report. The combination of strong jobs data, improving wages, and lower unemployment are negative factors for gold. But those aren't the only things that affect the price of the yellow metal. Many investors are likely ignoring the slew of geopolitical events happening around the globe that could push gold higher. Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth projects that gold prices will surge as high as $1,500 this year.
- The price of Bitcoin plunged to nearly $8,000 this morning as the crypto markets continue to face a horrible sell-off. Prices have plunged on concerns about regulation in India, the integrity of exchange Bitfinix, and the stability of Tether, a currency that claims to be pegged to the U.S. dollar but has been subpoenaed by the CFTC. The price of Bitcoin is poised for its worst week since 2013 thanks to a roughly 30% decline.
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- Crude oil prices are mixed this morning after OPEC announced strong compliance with its deal to cap excessive production. The global oil cartel and other nations like Russia have been able to reduce total output to 32.4 million barrels per day. The deal has also benefited by an ongoing economic crisis in oil-rich Venezuela. OPEC's ongoing decline in output is helping to offset a massive rise in U.S. oil production. In November 2017, U.S. production topped 10 million barrels per day for the first time since 1970. WTI crude oil price today added 0.2%, while Brent crude dipped 0.2%.
Stocks to Watch Today: XOM, GOOGL, AAPL
- Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) fell more than 3% in pre-market hours after the energy giant fell short of Wall Street earnings expectations. Although the company showed its strongest annual earnings since 2014, analysts were disappointed by the firm's earnings per share (EPS) of $0.88. The figure was $0.16 short of the consensus projection of $1.04 per share. Despite the downturn, most analysts are bullish about the company's plan to invest $50 billion over the next five years into the U.S. economy following the implementation of tax reform.
- Shares of Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) slipped this morning after the firm fell $0.28 short of earnings expectations. The Internet giant reported a profit of $9.70 per share, but that wasn't enough for Wall Street's lofty expectations. The company also generated additional headlines by announcing that former Stanford University President John Hennessy will replace Eric Schmidt as its chair of the board.
- Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) are up nearly 0.25% after the technology giant topped Wall Street profit expectations by $0.03. The firm reported EPS of $3.89 and easily beat revenue forecasts. Even though the firm admitted that it didn't ship as many devices as analysts expected, Apple's average selling price topped expectations.
- Additional companies reporting earnings include Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK), Spring Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S), Estee Lauder Cos. (NYSE: EL), Roper Technologies (NYSE: ROP), Clorox Corp. (NYSE: CLX), LyondellBasell Industries NV (NYSE: LYB), ManpowerGroup Inc. (NYSE: MAN), and Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX).
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Employment Situation at 8:30 a.m.
- Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
- Factory Orders at 10 a.m.
- Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
- San Francisco Fed Bank President John Williams speaks at 3:30 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.