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The Dow Jones futures today were down slightly in pre-market trading, as markets continue to digest recent indications of rising inflation. The Dow is currently on a five-day winning streak, up nearly 4% since Monday, Feb. 12.
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 Dow is expected to move toward 25,205 while investors keep an eye on bond yields and economic data. The two-year interest rate hit a nine-year high while the U.S. housing market got another boost today on news that housing starts rebounded to their highest levels since 2007. Keep an eye on construction stocks as the day progresses.
- U.S. President Donald Trump praised companies issuing bonuses to their employees as a result of the new tax law. According to research firm Birinyi Associates, these bonuses will be worth about $6 billion. The real beneficiaries, according to the same report, are shareholders, who will receive a stunning $171 billion through share buybacks and dividend hikes. In just the last three days, three companies – Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP), and AbbVie Inc. (Nasdaq: ABBV) – announced a total $50 billion in buybacks.
- Gold prices are on pace for their sharpest one-week rise in about two years. An ounce of gold is now just under $1,360. But keep in mind that we're just getting started in 2018. Rising inflation levels continue to press the value of safe-haven assets higher. And that's just one of many different factors that will continue to make gold one of the top assets to own this year. Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth predicts that gold will move much higher in the months ahead. How high? Find out right here.
- The price of Bitcoin is back above $10,000 for the first time in weeks, as sentiment continues to improve about the state of global regulations. Most analysts perceive that five-figure level to be the psychological level needed to bring more new buyers into the market. Investors are optimistic about regulatory efforts in the United States after the leaders of several financial agencies testified before the Senate Banking Committee last week. In addition, fears about a crackdown in South Korea have largely receded.
- Crude oil prices pushed to one-week highs and continued to recover from their recent downturn. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.2%, while Brent crude added 0.6%. A weaker U.S. dollar slipped to a three-year low, offsetting supply concerns after U.S. production topped 10.27 million barrels per day. That figure is a new U.S. record.
Stocks to Watch Today: KO, DE, CPB, SJM
- Shares of The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) added 2.4% after the soft drink giant topped Wall Street profit expectations by $0.01. The firm reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.39 and bested revenue forecasts. The firm did report a small drag to revenue due to its ongoing efforts to sell its bottling operations.
- Shares of Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) gained 0.4% after the agriculture machinery reported EPS of $1.31. Wall Street had expected a figure of $1.20 per share. Deere hiked its 2018 financial outlook and said it will benefit from strong growth in its primary markets. It also made bullish statements about the impact of recent tax reform efforts.
- Additional companies reporting earnings on Friday include VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC), Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB), The J.M. Smucker Co. (NYSE: SJM), Newell Brand Inc. (NYSE: NWL), and IPG Photonics Corp. (Nasdaq: IPGP).
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Housing Starts at 8:30 a.m.
- Import and Export Prices at 8:30 a.m.
- Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
- E-Commerce Retail Sales at 10 a.m.
- Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
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