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The Dow Jones today traded nearly 100 points higher in pre-market hours as investors prepared for a busy economic calendar and schedule of earnings reports. With trade war fears abating, markets are turning their attention to technology stocks, which have experienced a sharp decline. In the last two weeks, the technology sector has lost over half a trillion dollars in value.
As fears of an international trade war settle and tech stocks continue to rattle the market, investors are looking for their next sound profit play. Looking at the crossroads of tech and trade, Money Morning Director of Technology & Venture Capital Research Michael Robinson has identified five great profit plays. Check them out here...
Here are the numbers from Wednesday 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 Thursday's economic calendar.
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The Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday
- Technology stocks remain under pressure after U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly said that he wants to "go after" Amazon.com Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AMZN) small tax burden. In a tweet, the president said that the firm pays "little or no taxes to state & local governments." A report from Axios yesterday cited five sources who had spoken with the president about Amazon and his desire to "go after" the company. AMZN stock was off 0.5% in pre-market hours after a 4.4% decline on Wednesday.
- In one year, the United Kingdom will officially depart the European Union. Nearly every media outlet across Europe weighed in on the countdown until Britain's divorce with the world's largest trade bloc is finalized. It's clear that the markets haven't fully priced in the impact of Brexit, as there remains a significant amount of uncertainty over how much more the UK economy could struggle after the deadline. The nation's economy is already facing stalling economic growth.
- Crude oil prices are on the rise this morning as markets digest news that OPEC is set to restrain supply past 2018. The global oil cartel has worked diligently with non-members like Russia to support crude prices even in the face of rising U.S. production levels. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.6%. Brent crude gained 0.7%.
- Gold prices dipped slightly to $1,329 per ounce as markets continued to monitor ongoing trade discussions between the United States and China. In addition, a stronger U.S. dollar has weighed on commodity prices in Chicago and New York. Investors will now likely turn their attention to a planned summit between North Korea and South Korea, scheduled for April 27. Markets are questioning the validity of reports that North Korea may agree to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, but quiet optimism remains in place.
Four Stocks to Watch Today: STZ, CME, ACXM, FB
- Shares of Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE: STZ) popped nearly 3% after the alcoholic beverage maker topped Wall Street earnings expectations. The firm reported an adjusted quarterly profit of $1.90 per share, a figure that beat Wall Street forecasts by $0.16. The firm also beat revenue expectations thanks to strong sales of its Corona and Modelo brands.
- Shares of CME Group Inc. (NYSE: CME) are in focus on news that it is trying to purchase London-based financial firm NEX Group Plc. (OTCMKTS: NEXGY). According to reports, the Chicago-based exchanged is looking to make a deal worth £3.9 billion ($5.5 billion).
- Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) is still under pressure from its ongoing data scandal. Multiple reports indicate that the firm has cut partnership ties with several big data brokers that help advertisers target the social media giant's users. Shares of Acxiom Corp. (Nasdaq: ACXM) are off 10% after FB announced it was walking away from the firm partnership, one that will have a huge impact on the firm's bottom line.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Movado Group Inc. (NYSE: MOV), Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN), Lindsay Corp. (NYSE LNN), SYNNEX Corp. (NYSE: SNX), Science Applications International Corp. (Nasdaq: SAIC), and AngioDynamics Inc. (Nasdaq: ANGO).
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Personal Income and Outlays at 8:30 a.m.
- Chicago PMI at 9:45 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Three-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Six-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
- Philadelphia Fed Bank President Patrick Harker speaks at 1 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.
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