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The Dow Jones today projected a 100-point gain in pre-market hours, as investors continue to assess the impact of growing trade tensions between the United States and China. This morning's rally comes after the Dow erased a 700-point loss during Wednesday's trading session. This was the index's largest rebound from an intraday loss in six weeks.
Whether you're a veteran investor or new to trading, the market's recent volatility is making everyone wonder what these huge price movements mean – including Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald. Keith has been watching the markets over the last few weeks, keeping an eye out for market developments that would change his investment strategy. What he's found is surprising – and profitable. Check out Keith's finding 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 to watch.
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The Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday
- Trade tensions between China and the United States are hitting a boil after both nations proposed a large list of respective products that could be targeted with tariffs in the near future. American farmers are front and center in this round of tariffs – China announced a 25% levy on U.S. soybeans exports. China is America's top customer of soybeans. More significantly, the tariff comes at a time when U.S. farmers are projected to plant more soybean crops than corn for the first time in 35 years. Both nations will continue trade negotiations in an attempt to stave off a full-fledged trade war, which could stall the international economies and drive up consumer inflation.
- Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), has weighed in on the current state of the market, and he believes that the U.S. central bank might have to take more drastic measures in the future. In his annual letter to shareholders, Dimon said that the U.S. Federal Reserve may need to rein in inflation faster than previously anticipated, and many investors may be underestimating the timeline for such action. Dimon's commentary has grown far more popular in recent years for its blunt assessment of the U.S. economy and the stock market, propelling his annual insight into the rarefied air of Warren Buffett's letter to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A) investors.
- Technology stocks are looking to rebound after a brutal, three-week sell-off has rattled the sector. This morning, the oft-cheered "FANG" stocks – Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB), Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), and Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) – added between 1% and 3%. Each firm has been facing a different challenge, particularly Amazon , which has become the latest target of U.S. President Donald Trump over tax issues.
Money Morning Insight of the Day
The Spotify IPO has generated incredible buzz across the markets. But if you're thinking that it's time to buy into this streaming giant… know that it's a giant dud. Money Morning Director of Technology & Venture Capital Research Michael A. Robinson has all the reasons why you should avoid the Spotify Technology SA (NYSE: SPOT)… and instead pile into this investment.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: MON, FB, GE
- Shares of Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON) are in focus, as the agricultural seed producer reports earnings before the bell. The firm is expected to report earnings per share in the fiscal second quarter of $3.38 on top of $5.49 billion in revenue. Markets are looking for an update on the state of the company's merger with German chemical giant Bayer in addition to insight on the impact of Chinese tariffs on the U.S. agricultural sector.
- Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) continues to announce additional details of its embarrassing data scandal involving Cambridge Analytica. The firm said late Wednesday that 87 million accounts were affected by the scraping and selling of data by the intelligence company. The estimate is an increase from a previously reported figure of 50 million. The firm released a new series of policies surrounding data security, and investors are awaiting the testimony of CEO Mark Zuckerberg before Congress next Tuesday.
- The problems for General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) are not over. The U.S. conglomerate announced that it will restate earnings for 2016 and 2017 by late next week. The firm's new earnings reports will utilize a new accounting standard that will affect revenue outcome from long-term contracts. General Electric was the worst-performing Dow component in 2017, losing half of its value after the departure of CEO Jeff Immelt.
- Look for additional earnings reports from WD-40 Co. (Nasdaq: WDFC), RPM International Inc. (NYSE: RPM), PriceSmart Inc. (Nasdaq: PSMT), Conns Inc. (Nasdaq: CONN), Fred's Inc. (NYSE: FRED), and Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc. (Nasdaq: SCHN).
About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.