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The Dow Jones today is trending upward after a 299-point sell-off on Tuesday (Feb. 27). Shares fell across the board after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testified before Congress, suggesting that the central bank will continue to raise interest rates in order to combat inflation.
While most of Wall Street is panicking over potential interest rate hikes, savvy investors are positioning themselves for profit...
Here are the numbers from Tuesday 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.
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The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Wednesday
- Yesterday's testimony from Fed Chair Jerome Powell rocked the stock market, as traders were anticipating a more dovish approach, especially after the correction that kicked off February. Powell signaled he would continue former Fed Chair Janet Yellen's approach to hiking rates and appeared so aggressive some analysts are projecting four potential rate hikes in 2018.
- The U.S. Department of Commerce offered its second revision of the nation's economic expansion this morning. According to the department, the U.S. economy grew in the fourth quarter of 2017 by 2.5%. The figure was in line with economists' expectations and represented a 0.1% decline from last month's initial estimate.
- Gold prices hovered at $1,320 per ounce in the wake of Jerome Powell's testimony on Tuesday. A hawkish Fed and a stronger U.S. dollar has kept gold prices from consistently rising. Gold prices have been volatile in recent weeks due to a variety of factors, including the Fed's meeting minutes, stocks, the dollar, rising bond yields, budget deficits, and inflation. But Money Morning Global Resource Specialist Peter Krauth argues that a rally is coming. Just how high will gold climb in 2018? Peter answers that question right here.
- Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) has purchased Ring, a smart doorbell system that connects visitors to a resident's smartphone. The deal, which is worth $1 billion, is likely to become a part of Amazon's expanding delivery service. Ring was actually a rejected investment pitch on CNBC's "Shark Tank" a few years ago; however, after its rejection, it received a sizable investment from Richard Branson and experienced significant growth due to its international exposure.
- Crude oil prices were mixed Wednesday morning, as traders kept an eye on demand levels across the broader Asian economy. Weakness in industrial data figures in China and Japan led to a slight decline for the WTI crude oil price today and Brent crude. This morning, look for a report on inventory levels from the Energy Information Administration to provide clues into the supply and demand balance across the United States.
Four Stocks to Watch Today: DKS, LOW, PZZA, YUM
- Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS) announced it will no longer sell "assault-style" weapons at its retail locations and would require anyone purchasing a gun to be at least 21 years of age. The company's CEO said this decision was a direct result of the recent high school shooting in Parkland, Fla. Shares of DKS were up 1.5%.
- Shares of Papa John's International Inc. (Nasdaq: PZZA) slumped another 5% after the company fell short of Wall Street earnings expectations. Though the firm topped same-store sales estimates, its earnings per share (EPS) of $0.54 was $0.13 shy of analysts' expectations. In addition, the company announced that it has ended its marketing relationship with the National Football League in the wake of its founder's statements about the league's leadership regarding player protests during the national anthem. Yum! Brands Inc.'s (NYSE: YUM) Pizza Hut will now be the official pizza sponsor of the NFL. YUM stock was flat before the bell.
- Shares of Lowe's Cos. (NYSE: LOW) plunged more than 7% after the company fell well short of earnings expectations before the bell Wednesday. The home improvement retailer reported EPS of $0.74, falling $0.13 shy of the average analyst estimate. The firm did, however, top revenue expectations and report that same-store sales came in a full percentage point higher than analysts' expectations.
- Look for additional earnings reports from 3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD), Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX), Box Inc. (NYSE: BOX), Monster Beverage Corp. (Nasdaq: MNST), The TJX Cos. (NYSE: TJX), L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB), Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq: SSYS), Mylan NV (NYSE: MYL), and Analog Devices Inc. (NYSE: ADI).
Wednesday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.
- GDP at 8:30 a.m.
- Chicago PMI at 9:45 a.m.
- Pending Home Sales Index at 10 a.m.
- EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10:30 a.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.