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The Dow Jones today opened flat after a brutal sell-off during Thursday's trading session, which saw the index shed 724 points. In pre-market trading, Dow futures erased overnight gains, as markets continued to process an apparent breakdown in trade relations between the United States and China.
As the United States cracks down on Chinese trade practices, many investors are unsure where to turn for security and profit. However, Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald has found a huge profit opportunity in the growing trade conflict – a company he's calling "China's No.1 trade war target." Check out Keith's pick 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
- In an effort to hold China accountable for what the White House has dubbed "egregious violations of intellectual property theft," U.S. President Donald Trump proposed new tariffs worth up to $60 billion on Chinese goods on Thursday afternoon. China responded this morning by offering a list of 128 different products that the country will slap with tariffs if it is unable to reach a deal with the Trump White House and U.S. trade officials.
- The United States has granted temporary exemptions on steel and aluminum tariffs to the European Union, South Korea, Australia, and Brazil. Both Mexico and Canada had previously received leeway from the restrictions. With the tariffs set to begin today, markets are looking at how they will affect relationships with other nations around the globe.
- Gold prices pushed higher as fears of a trade war accelerated. Gold prices added 1.3% and pushed to roughly $1,345 per ounce. Gold bugs are seeing the early stages of a trade war as an ideal entry point for gold – one that could push our projection of prices beyond $1,400 by the end of the second quarter. Here are four ways to play gold right now.
- Crude oil prices ticked higher on news that OPEC might extend its deal to cap excessive global production into 2019. Saudi Arabia said last night that the world's largest oil cartel is looking for ways to provide greater support to crude prices as it competes against rising U.S. shale production. WTI crude oil price today added 0.5%, while Brent crude added 0.6%.
- Last night, the U.S. Senate passed a whopping $1.3 trillion spending bill to keep the American government open and operating through September 2018. The bill calls for a massive increase in U.S. military spending and a larger budget for domestic programs.
Four Stocks to Watch Today: BA, KR, TGT, FB
- Shares of Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) are up 0.7% this morning after China listed its potential roster of American products that could face tariffs. BA stock was off 5.2% Thursday due to concerns about a trade war. Ongoing fears that Washington and Beijing are far away from an agreement have put Boeing stock on pace for its worst month since 2016.
- Tech stocks are facing a steep climb today thanks to Trump's tariff talk and the fallout from a massive data scandal that has rocked Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB). This week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized to his customers after Cambridge Analytica obtained personal data of roughly 50 million users without their permission. FB stock was flat this morning.
- Shares of Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) jumped more than 8% on rumors that grocery giant may merge with Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT). CNBC reported Friday morning that the two companies are looking at a deal that would help both firms compete against the growing grocery and e-commerce empire of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). Following the announcement, a source with knowledge of events denied that any merger was in the works, pushing KR and TGT stock lower.
- No major U.S. companies report earnings on Friday.
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Atlanta Fed Bank President Raphael Bostic speaks at 8:10 a.m.
- Durable Goods Orders at 8:30 a.m.
- New Home Sales at 10 a.m.
- Minneapolis Fed Bank President Neel Kashkari speaks at 10:30 a.m.
- Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
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