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The Dow Jones today traded lower in pre-market trading after U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller subpoenaed documents concerning U.S. President Donald Trump's business organizations. These documents are the first requested directly from one of the president's business operations.
Markets are likely to exhibit volatility today, as a large volume of stock index futures, stock index options, stock options, and single stock futures expire today - a phenomenon known as "quadruple witching."
Volatility normally rattles Wall Street. However, Money Morning Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani has a simple method to help investors beat volatility and profit. Check it out here...
Here are the numbers from Thursday 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 Friday's economic calendar.
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The Top Stock Market Stories for Friday
- The Trump administration is on the verge of igniting an even bigger trade war, according to Reuters. The administration is seeking to introduce tariffs on up to $60 billion in Chinese imports, the latest sign that the administration is poised to increase protectionism. Trump is apparently targeting China over intellectual property "theft and forced transfer."
- Gold prices are up slightly on a weaker U.S. dollar. The greenback has shown some weakness in the last 24 hours despite expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next week. Markets now anticipate that the central bank will hike rates at least three times in 2018.
- Shares of Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) slumped more than 5% after the company released an advertisement that many believe trivialized domestic violence. Music star Rihanna took the company to task on Twitter after it invoked her name in the ad. This is the second time this year that a tweet by a celebrity has fueled a sharp downturn in Snap's stock.
- Crude oil prices ticked slightly higher as markets digested new concerns about global supply. WTI crude oil price today added 0.2%, while Brent crude added 0.1%. Oil prices have faced renewed pressure in recent days on reports of rising U.S. production. As U.S. oil production approaches 11 million barrels per day, some analysts are concerned that the uptick in supply could hinder OPEC's efforts to reduce excessive supply.
Stocks to Watch Today: TIF, SNAP, WMT
- Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) will lead a light day of earnings reports. Wall Street analysts projected that the company would report earnings per share (EPS) of $1.63 on top of $1.305 billion in revenue. Tiffany reported EPS of $1.65 and matched revenue expectations. However, the stock fell 5.7%.
- Shares of Overstock.com Inc. (Nasdaq: OSTK) plunged more than 13% after the e-commerce giant fell short of earnings expectations after the bell on Thursday. Shares plunged after the firm reported no success in selling its retail division in order to turn its attention to its cryptocurrency-related projects.
- Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) are under pressure after statements from a whistleblower, who claims that the retail giant has misled investors on the performance of its online sales. The whistleblower says that he was fired after complaining to management that it wasn't achieving the "meteoric growth" in e-commerce that it had claimed in its pursuit of rival Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN).
- Additional companies reporting earnings include Buckle Inc. (NYSE: BKE), Hibbitt Sports Inc. (Nasdaq: HIBB), Perry Ellis International Inc. (Nasdaq: PERY), Kirkland's Inc. (Nasdaq: KIRK), Geron Corp. (Nasdaq: GERN), and Citi Trends Inc. (Nasdaq: CTRN).
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Housing Starts at 8:30 a.m.
- Industrial Production at 9:15 a.m.
- Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
- JOLTS at 10 a.m.
- Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 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.