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The Dow Jones today will see higher volatility after the release of yesterday's Fed Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes showed the U.S. Federal Reserve will continue to aggressively hike rates this year.
Fortunately, investors who know which companies will benefit can profit from rising rates. Here's how you can find these potentially lucrative stocks...
Here are the numbers from Wednesday 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 Thursday's economic calendar.
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The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday
- Markets dropped after a brief rally following yesterday's release of the January minutes from the first FOMC meeting of the year, raising fears that the central bank is poised to raise interest rates in the near future. After the release of the January minutes, the U.S. 10-year bond yield jumped to a four-year high of 2.94%. Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS) now predicts a 95% chance that the Fed will raise rates in March.
- Following yesterday's announcement by the FOMC, St. Louis Fed Bank President James Bullard spoke out against aggressive interest rate hikes. In an interview this morning with CNBC, Bullard warned that raising interest rates too quickly could stifle economic growth in the future. Thursday features a busy day of speeches by members of the Fed.
- Crude oil prices dipped Thursday following the Fed's hawkish minutes. Traders are keeping a close eye out for today's EIA report on U.S. inventories. The report will provide insight into the supply and demand balance in the United States and shed light on whether American producers have boosted output. The WTI crude oil price today dipped 0.4%. Brent crude slipped 0.1%.
- Gold prices also declined due to concern over higher interest rates. The price of gold fell more than 0.5%, while silver prices dipped 1.2%. However, gold investors are generally bullish due to the rising number of geopolitical risks around the globe. Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth just updated his gold price forecast for 2018. Here's how high gold will go.
- The price of Bitcoin is hovering just under $10,500 this morning. Over the last 24 hours, the cryptocurrency has lost about 6.5% of its value. Traders appear to be taking some profits off the table after the price of Bitcoin has surged more than 100% from its recent lows. Here is more on what is driving Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency prices today.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: HPQ, ROKU, FSLR
- Shares of Hewlett-Packard Corp. (NYSE: HPQ) are in focus as the technology giant prepares to report earnings after the bell Thursday. Today's earnings conference call for the company will be the first led by new CEO Antonio Neri, who replaced Meg Whitman earlier this month. Neri is expected to provide his vision for the company and speak to his goals of a turnaround strategy. Wall Street expects the firm to report earnings per share of $0.42 and $13.43 billion in revenue.
- Shares of Roku Inc. (Nasdaq: ROKU) plunged more than 20% Thursday after the digital streaming device company issued a weak sales outlook. Even though the company did top Wall Street earnings expectations, its sales estimate for the first quarter fell short. The company set a range of sales between $120 million and $130 million, well below the average analyst figure of $131.7 million.
- Look for additional earnings reports from First Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR), Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU), Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF), Apache Corp. (NYSE: APA), Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE: HRL), and SeaDrill Ltd. (Nasdaq: SDRL).
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- New York Fed Bank President William Dudley speaks at 10 a.m.
- Leading Indicators at 10 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index at 11 a.m.
- EIA Petroleum Status Report at 11 a.m.
- Three-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Six-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 52-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Atlanta Fed Bank President Raphael Bostic speaks at 12:10 p.m.
- Seven-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.
- Dallas Fed Bank President Robert Kaplan speaks at 3:30 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.