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The Dow Jones today is down following last week's decision by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who indicted 13 Russian nationals for allegedly interfering in the 2016 presidential election.
Dow futures fell 184 points ahead of the opening bell as investors continue to raise concerns about rising interest rates and geopolitical uncertainty.
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Here are the numbers from Monday 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 Wednesday's economic calendar.
The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Tuesday
- Today, there will be a light day of economic data but a busy roster of earnings reports. In addition, investors are paying close attention to the U.S. Federal Reserve. Investors anticipate that rising inflation levels will fuel an uptick in interest rates in the near future. Markets are also reacting negatively to a weak earnings report from retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT).
- Gold prices fell Tuesday ahead of a large U.S. debt auction later this morning. Gold prices have pushed much higher in recent weeks thanks to concerns about U.S. inflation. But it appears that we're just getting started when it comes to gold's rally this year. Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth argues that gold prices will surge past $1,400 by the middle of the year. By the end of 2018, we could be looking at gold hitting $1,500.
- In deal news, shares of Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD) popped more than 25% on news that the firm is preparing to sell itself to Albertsons. The Wall Street Journal reported the deal. The decision comes despite long-time expectations that Rite Aid would be acquired by Walgreens Boots Alliance (NYSE: WBA). The cash-and-stock deal will create a company with roughly $83 billion a year in revenue.
- Meanwhile, Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) has increased its bid for NXP Semiconductors (Nasdaq: NXPI) to $127.50 per share. That's a big jump from its previous offer, and the deal could throw a wrench into the plans of its Broadcom Ltd. (Nasdaq: AVGO). Broadcom has aggressively been seeking to purchase Qualcomm for $121 billion.
- Crude oil prices were mixed Wednesday morning. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.5%. Brent crude dipped 0.8%. Today's small bump for WTI came on news that Canadian weekly crude inventory levels were lower than analysts expectations.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: HD, WMT, GE
- Shares of The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) added another 2.5% after the company topped earnings expectation. Wall Street anticipated earnings per share (EPS) of $1.62 on top of $23.67 billion in revenue. The firm beat EPS expectations by $0.07 by reporting $1.69. It also beat revenue numbers. The company also increased its dividend by 15.7% and reported very strong same-store sales.
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- Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) slumped more than 6.5% after the firm reported weaker-than-expected earnings on Tuesday. Wall Street expected EPS of $1.36 on top of $135.03 billion in revenue. Instead, the firm reported EPS of $1.33 on $136.26 billion in revenue.
- Shares of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) fell 0.6% despite news that the company is seeking to divest its industrial gas engine business. Reuters reports that the division is worth up to $2 billion.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG), Domino's Pizza Inc. (NYSE: DPZ), MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM), Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE: DVN). LendingClub Corp. (NYSE: LC), Texas Roadhouse Inc. (Nasdaq: TXRH), Medtronic Plc. (NYSE: MDT), Boyd Gaming Corp. (NYSE: BYD), Rent-A-Center Inc. (Nasdaq: RCII), La-Z-Boy Inc. (NYSE: LZB), Nautilus Inc. (NYSE: NLS), and Gannett Co. (NYSE: GCI).
Tuesday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Three-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Six-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Four-Week Bill Auction at 1 p.m.
- Two-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.
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