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The Dow Jones today projected a higher open on Thursday morning as investors weighed the Trump administration's shifting economic message amid rapid executive personnel changes.
Markets today are likely to move on news that first-quarter economic growth may come in lower than many analysts are expecting. In January, the Atlanta Federal Reserve had projected the possibility of 5.4% GDP growth in the quarter. However, the Atlanta Fed said Wednesday that Q1 GDP is likely to come in around 1.9%.
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Here are the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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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
- Earlier this week, President Trump fired U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and appointed CIA Director Mike Pompeo as his replacement. Meanwhile, economic commentator Larry Kudlow will become the director of the National Economic Council. Kudlow is replacing former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) executive Gary Cohn, who resigned in early March. Kudlow has publicly opposed the recent tariffs issued by the Trump White House. However, he has championed the recent tax reform bill and will likely support much of Trump's populist economic agenda.
- Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) stock has been under pressure as markets weigh the potential for a trade war between China and the United States. A number of U.S. manufacturers might face restrictions from the Chinese government following the Trump administration's decision to place tariffs on steel and aluminum. The manufacturing sector traded down on Wednesday.
- Elon Musk warned earlier this week that people who wish to take part in his mission to Mars may not survive the journey. The highly publicized statement may have been cover for a troubling report regarding his firm Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA). TSLA stock fell more than 4.4% Wednesday after reports emerged that the electric vehicle manufacturer has been producing a large amount of flawed parts and cars. Former employees suggested that upward of 40% of the company's parts require rework to address flaws.
- Gold prices are under pressure on concerns about rising interest rates. Markets are prepping for next week's meeting of the Fed Open Market Committee. Investors largely expect that the central bank will raise interest rates next Wednesday. In fact, some are even speculating that the central bank could increase rates by as much as 0.5 points. Gold prices are also reacting negatively to the appointment of Larry Kudlow as the Trump administration's top economic advisor. Kudlow is a supporter of a strong U.S. dollar and will advocate for policies aimed at bolstering the greenback.
- Crude oil prices ticked higher thanks to a rebound in the market this morning. However, analysts are somewhat bearish after the Energy Information Administration reported an uptick in crude inventory levels yesterday. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.6%. Brent crude gained 0.5%.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: AVGO, DG, F
- Shares of Broadcom Ltd. (Nasdaq: AVGO) are in focus as the semiconductor giant prepares to report earnings after the bell Thursday. The firm has been at the center of controversy after the Trump administration moved to block a potential merger between Broadcom and rival Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) earlier this week. The Trump administration cited national security concerns as the reason for its decision to block any deal. Wall Street expects that Broadcom will report earnings per share (EPS) of $5.04 on $5.32 billion in revenue.
- Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) leads a busy day of earnings reports. The discount retailer reported earnings before the bell today. Shares popped nearly 7% after the firm reported EPS that matched expectations and improved same-store sales.
- Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) has announced a massive recall of Ford Fusion vehicles totaling 1.38 million units. The company has said that these vehicles are susceptible to steering wheel malfunctions due to loosened bolts in the steering column. Two accidents have been reported as result of the flaw.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE), Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc. (NYSE: RH), Jabil Inc. (NYSE: JBL), The Children's Place Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCE), and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CCO).
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey at 8:30 a.m.
- Empire State Manufacturing Survey at 8:30 a.m.
- Import and Export Prices at 8:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Housing Market Index at 10 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- 3-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 6-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 10-Year TIPS Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Treasury International Capital at 4 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.
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