Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's Resignation Sends Dow Jones Today on Volatile Ride

The Dow Jones today projected a 98-point gain this morning after falling 171 points in the wake of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's resignation yesterday. As markets regain their footing, investors are anticipating strong earnings growth from a flurry of earnings reports due out today.

Despite turmoil in Washington, Money Morning Technical Trading Specialist D.R. Barton, Jr., thinks the market is set for strong gains for the foreseeable future. Here's how we're setting ourselves up for profit...

Here are the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 25007.03 -171.58 -0.68%
S&P 500 2765.31 -17.71 -0.64%
Nasdaq 7511.01 -77.31 -1.02%

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 Top Stock Market Stories for Wednesday

Dow Jones

  • On Tuesday afternoon, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stepped down from his cabinet position following pressure from the Trump administration. The former CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) will officially leave his position at the end of March and cede his responsibilities to current CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
  • Technology stocks are under pressure thanks to the Trump administration's decision to block a possible deal between Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) and Broadcom Ltd. (Nasdaq: AVGO). The Trump administration argues that the deal raised national security concerns. The move is largely considered part of the administration's efforts to take a tougher stance on China.
  • Gold prices are up slightly as concerns about trade protectionism in the United States grows. On Tuesday, CNBC reported that U.S. President Donald Trump is prepared to unveil a new series of restrictions on Chinese trade, including indefinite tariffs, investment restrictions, and perhaps even the temporary barring of Chinese citizens traveling to the United States.
  • Crude oil prices were up slightly this morning despite concerns about rising U.S. shale production. On Monday, the U.S. government noted that American shale production will surpass 6.95 million barrels per day, while total American production will top 11 million barrels. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.6%. Brent crude gained 0.5%.

Three Stocks to Watch Today: PUK, SIG, ADP

  • Shares in Prudential Public Ltd. Co. (NYSE: PUK) popped more than 5% after the insurance giant announced plans to split itself into two separate firms. The company will spin off its M&G Prudential UK and Europe business. Prudential will still operate in the United States, Asia, and Africa.
  • Shares of Signet Jewelers Ltd. (NYSE: SIG) plunged more than 10% Wednesday. The company topped Wall Street earnings expectations of $4.28 per share by $0.03. However, they reported weaker revenue and a more than 5% downturn in same-store sales. Analysts were also bearish after the firm reported a lackluster forecast and announced plans to engage in a three-year restructuring plan.
  • Automatic Data Processing (Nasdaq: ADP) stock was off slightly this morning on news that activist hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has cut his stake in the company. A new SEC filing indicates that Ackman's firm Pershing Square has axed its ADP position from 8.79% to 7.2%.
  • Look for additional earnings reports from 3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD), International Ltd. (Nasdaq: CTRP), Williams-Sonoma Inc. (NYSE: WSM), Tailored Brands Inc. (Nasdaq: TLRD), Express Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPR), and Vera Bradley Inc. (NYSE: VRA).

Wednesday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)

  • MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.
  • PPI-FD at 8:30 a.m.
  • Retail Sales at 8:30 a.m.
  • Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations at 10 a.m.
  • Business Inventories 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.

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