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The Dow Jones today opened 100 points down as investors weighed the potential impact of new steel tariffs on the aging bull market.
Markets are likely to move today based on the impact of U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement that he may ease the severity of new tariffs if Canada, Mexico, and the United States sign a new version of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
With market volatility increasing, smart investors are turning to precious metals to insure their market investments – here's how you can too…
Here are the numbers from Friday 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 Monday's economic calendar.
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The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Monday
- President Trump announced last week that the United States would hit steel and aluminum importers with tariffs. Now, he's threatening countries that may retaliate with tariffs on U.S. products. Shares of BMW AG (OTCMKTS: BMWYY) and Volkswagen Group (OTCMKTS: VLKAF) were both off this morning after Trump threatened to slap tariffs on European cars should the European Union retaliate with trade sanctions of its own.
- Markets moved lower over fears of a potential slowdown in China's economic growth. This morning, China announced a GDP growth target of 6.5% for 2018. That figure is a large decline from the 6.9% growth rate that the nation hit last year. China's economy is slowing down after several years of intense government spending on infrastructure and construction.
- An ounce of gold hit $1,324 on Monday. Concerns about global trade and a rising U.S. dollar have weighed on the precious metal in recent trading sessions. Meanwhile, the price of silver hovered just north of $16.50 per ounce.
- Crude oil prices were mixed this morning, as investors kept an eye on trade issues out of Washington and a stunning report from the International Energy Agency. The global energy watchdog significantly hiked the long-term outlook for U.S. shale crude production. By 2023, the agency projects that American shale producers will produce a staggering 17 million barrels per day. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.1%. Brent crude dipped 0.2%.
Stocks to Watch Today: AMZN, AVGO, QCOM, XL
- Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is preparing to expand its reach into the financial sector. The Wall Street Journal reports that Jeff Bezos' company is exploring a new product line that would be similar to checking accounts for younger consumers and those who lack access to bank accounts. The firm is reportedly in discussion with JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) and other financial firms.
- Shares of Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) fell more than 3% this morning. The downturn came after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States forced the semiconductor firm to postpone its upcoming annual shareholder meeting. The postponement will provide the company additional time to continue resisting attempts by rival Broadcom Ltd. (Nasdaq: AVGO) to purchase the chip maker for $117 billion.
- XL Group Ltd. (NYSE: XL) shares popped more than 30% on news that the company will be purchased by French insurer AXA. The $15.3 billion deal will create an international property and casualty insurance company. Shares of XL jumped more than 30% on the news. AXA shares were off more than 7% on the news.
- Look for earnings reports from Nautilius Inc. (NYSE: NLS), Ascena Retail Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ASNA), YY Inc. (NYSE ADR: YY), Quanex Building Products Corp. (NYSE: NX), DXP Enterprises (NYSE: DXPE), Addus HomeCare Corp. (Nasdaq: ADUS), Hemisphere Media Group Inc. (Nasdaq: HMTV), and OCI Partners LP (Nasdaq: OCIP).
Monday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- PMI Services Index at 9:45 a.m.
- ISM Non-Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- Four-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Three-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Six-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- TD Ameritrade IMX at 12:30 p.m.
- Randal Quarles speaks at 1:15 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.