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We're expecting another day of increased volatility in the Dow Jones today as markets swing 200 points in pre-market trading. But for savvy traders, this volatility presents a profit opportunity...
Dow Jones futures rose 190 points in pre-market trading, as investors prepared for a day of potentially positive earnings reports. But Money Morning Chief Investing Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald believes that volatility presents a perfect profit opportunity; here's Keith's take. Investors are also weighing reports that the U.S. Senate crafted a two-year government funding bill that may prevent a government shutdown next week.
Here are the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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Here's a closer look at today's most important market events and stocks, as well as Thursday's economic calendar.
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The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday
- Investors are closely watching global markets as they continue to exhibit volatility after a year of historic calm. Asian markets dropped today, with the Shanghai Composite briefly dropping over 10% and entering correction territory. Meanwhile, we're keeping a close eye on the Bank of England today. The British central bank will announce whether it plans to raise interest rates and give the markets additional insight into the UK's economic timeline for the Brexit.
- It will be a busy day for earnings reports. Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) whipsawed after the bell Wednesday after the firm reported a smaller loss than Wall Street expected. The company reported earnings per share (EPS) of -$3.04 on top of $3.288 billion in revenue. Analysts had an expected EPS of -$3.19, but had a higher revenue expectation at $3.299 billion. TSLA stock was down 1.5% in pre-market trading.
- The price of Bitcoin continues to climb after falling below $6,000 for the first time in months earlier this week. Bitcoin was hovering just shy of $8,500 Thursday morning. The rally came after traders appeared to reject growing concern over cryptocurrency regulation by the U.S. federal government.
- On Tuesday, leaders from various U.S. financial agencies offered support for Bitcoin and blockchain technology. Though regulation is expected to increase in the near future, it doesn't appear that the United States will crack down on the industry like the governments of China and South Korea have in recent months.
- Gold prices hit a four-week low thanks to a stronger U.S. dollar and expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in the near future. The downturn was fueled by a rapid sell-off, as investors reduced their long positions in the yellow metal. As investors continue to put gold "on sale," Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth argues that now is the perfect time to get into the market. If you want to make double-digit gains on gold in 2018, be sure to check out his latest price target.
- Crude oil prices fell again this morning on news that U.S. oil inventory levels increased last week. The WTI crude oil price today dipped 0.7%. Brent crude fell 0.8%. Despite the downturn in both oil and equity markets, a new market play is emerging that can help traders make a lot of money quickly. Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors offers his insight right here.
Stocks to Watch Today: TWTR, AMZN, IRBT
- Shares of Twitter Inc. (Nasdaq: TWTR) popped more than 6.6% ahead of its earnings report on Wednesday. The company will report before the bell Thursday, and Wall Street appears optimistic about the social media company. Analysts expect that TWTR will report EPS of $0.14 on top of $690.26 million in revenue.
- Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is turning heads this morning. The e-commerce giant announced plans to start delivering Whole Foods groceries to its Prime members within two hours of ordering for free. The company will test the service in four cities over a 14-hour window. Amazon purchased Whole Foods last year for $13.7 billion.
- iRobot Corp. (Nasdaq: IRBT) fell nearly 20% this morning after the consumer electronics firm fell short of Wall Street earnings expectations. Though the firm beat revenue estimates, the company said that its earnings dipped as household penetration decreased for the quarter. The firm also released a dismal outlook for the year ahead.
- Look for additional earnings reports from CVS Caremark Corp. (NYSE: CVS), Nvidia Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA), Activision Blizzard Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), Expedia Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE), FireEye Inc. (Nasdaq: FEYE), Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM), Zillow Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ZG).
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan speaks at 4:50 a.m.
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Minneapolis Fed Bank President Neel Kashkari speaks at 9 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Three-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Six-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 30-Year Bond Auction at 1 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.
- Kansas City Fed Bank President Esther George speaks at 9 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.