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The Dow Jones today is down over 200 points after U.S. President Donald Trump directed American trade officials to develop $100 billion in additional tariffs on Chinese exports. President Trump's move is the latest in an increasingly aggressive trade war that has seen economic relations between the world's largest economies deteriorate. China's Ministry of Commerce announced that the Chinese government "will immediately fight back with a major response," strongly indicating that the global crisis will continue to escalate.
As volatility continues to rack markets, wary investors are wondering if the historic, nine-year bull market may finally be coming to an end. Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald believes that these investors might be on to something. According to Keith, a few key market indicators look eerily similar to the ones he saw on the eve of the 2007 financial crisis. Check out Keith's findings and his advice for protecting your investments here...
Here are the numbers from Thursday 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 to watch.
You Must Act Now: America is headed for an economic disaster bigger than anything since the Great Depression. If you lost out when the markets crashed in 2008, then you are going to want to see this special presentation...
The Top Stock Market Stories for Friday
- The Dow moved into the red after the U.S. Department of Labor released the March jobs report before the bell. Last month, the U.S. economy created 103,000 jobs, a figure that was well below economists' expectations. Economists had projected that the economy had created 193,000 new jobs. These were the lowest numbers in six months.
- Yesterday, President Trump targeted the tax practices of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and stated that "the playing field has to be level for everybody." Trump tweeted earlier this week that the e-commerce giant was costing the U.S. Postal Service a lot of money at the expense of tax payers. "I am right about Amazon costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy," he tweeted this week. "Amazon should pay these costs (plus) and not have them bourne by the American Taxpayer. Many billions of dollars. P.O. leaders don't have a clue (or do they?)!"
- Stocks may be coming off a three-day win streak, but there is one sector that isn't quite prepared for even a small threat of a trade war between the United States and China: the semiconductor industry, which has faced a brutal sell-off this week due to trade war chatter. Shares of Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MU) fell 6.6% on Thursday (and another 3.3% in pre-market hours), as analysts warned that global demand might be falling even without a U.S.-China spat. Yesterday, UBS Group AG (NYSE: UBS) initiated coverage on 14 semiconductor companies and warned about cyclical demand cycles and large sales estimates cuts.
Money Morning Insight of the Day
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Four Stocks to Watch Today: GBX, PSMT, DAL, SHLD
- Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) continues to face its public relations fallout after new developments emerge on the company's management of customer data. According to new reports, the company had been scanning all private messages through its Messenger service to determine if conversations violated community standards.
- Speaking of data problems, expect two companies to face additional scrutiny today over its consumer protection practices. Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) and Sears Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD) are under pressure after reports emerged that customer data may have been breached in a cyberattack.
- Citron Research is taking dead aim Nvidia Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA). The short-seller projected that NVDA stock would soon fall under $200 (down from around $221 today) thanks to changes in customer behavior and demand. NVDA stock has surged by 121% over the last 12 months and has been one of the biggest success stories of the cryptocurrency phenomenon over the last year. The company's stock is still off about 13% from its all-time high set on March 13.
- Today, look for an earnings report from Greenbrier Cos. (NYSE GBX). The firm is the only major U.S. firm scheduled to report earnings today. Wall Street analysts project that the company will report earnings per share of $0.96 on top of $625.15 million in revenue. Look for that report before the bell.
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.