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The Dow Jones today projected a 300-point loss in pre-market trading after U.S. President Donald Trump warned Russia to "get ready" for the United States to retaliate against recent gas attacks carried out by the Syrian government. Prior to the president's tweets, markets were already trending lower, as new reports indicated that the special counsel investigating the president seized documents concerning the financial relationship between President Trump and Michael Cohen, the president's personal lawyer.
While much of the market is likely to fall in the wake of bad news, Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) is setting itself up for gains. Yesterday (Tuesday), the company had its best trading day in two years after CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress yesterday. Many investors cheered Zuckerberg's testimony and will look for more positive momentum today as he reappears before Congress for a second consecutive day. In fact, investors have a unique opportunity to buy Facebook stock now at a solid discount. Find out why here...
Here are the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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Now here's a closer look at today's featured advice, most important market events, and stocks to watch.
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Money Morning Insight of the Day
Today's sharp downturn in the markets proves the importance of having insurance for your investments. With President Trump's unpredictable policy making political waves, a tsunami of bad news could hit the market at any time. Add this critical factor to just how expensive stocks are these days, and you have a scenario where another 1,000-point loss could come at any day. That's why Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth has identified a very inexpensive way to protect your money. In fact, this "insurance play" will pay you three times the premium.
The Top Stock Market Stories for Wednesday
- This morning, President Trump suggested that the United States is considering strong military action in response to recent chemical attacks carried out on civilians by the Syrian government. The president promised to send "nice and new and 'smart'" missiles to Syria and accused the Russian government of partnering with a "Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!" The president's remarks are a significant departure from comments made last week, which suggested that the United States would be pulling out of Syria in the coming months.
- Trump's threat of war over a recent chemical attack in Syria drove crude oil and gold prices higher. Geopolitical worries often offer a boost to commodity prices due to concerns about supply. Trump's threat comes at a time that markets are already concerned about a significant military conflict in the Middle East between Saudi Arabia and Iran. WTI crude prices added 0.9% to hit $66.10 per barrel. Brent crude pushed to $71.10 per barrel. Gold price topped $1,350 per ounce and are poised for bigger gains.
- According to Axios, U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) has privately told friends that he will not seek reelection in the fall. The news comes at a perilous time for Republicans, who are expected to lose the House of Representatives and potentially the Senate. Axios was the first to report the news. The story is also notable because Ryan recently achieved his long-time goal of passing tax reform in late 2017.
Four Stocks to Watch Today: FB, FOXA, CBS
- Shares of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (NYSE: FOXA) fell in pre-market hours on news that investigators from the European Commission raided the firm's London office yesterday. Reports indicate that investigators are trying to keep their goals confidential. However, there has been a lot of scrutiny over Rupert Murdoch's goal to purchase rival Sky in recent months. British authorities have argued that this deal would not be in the public's best interest.
- According to Reuters, CBS Corp.'s (NYSE: CBS) CEO, Leslie Moonves, has been a major obstacle in the firm's pursuit of rival Viacom Inc. (Nasdaq: VIAB). Reuters reports that Mooves has been resistant to the idea of running CBS if and when a merger were to take place. Meanwhile, another report indicates that talks of a merger between telecom and media giants T-Mobile Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) are back on. That deal would combine the third- and fourth-largest telecom companies in the United States.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBY), Fastenal Co. (Nasdaq: FAST), and JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd. (Nasdaq: JASO).
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.