The Dow Jones today fell over 100 points in pre-market trading after Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AAPL) largest chip provider significantly slashed its Q2 guidance. The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. missed revenue expectations by 10%, indicating that Apple may be experiencing a slow in revenue growth. Apple shares were down roughly 2% this morning.
Despite Apple's downturn, many of the market's biggest players are providing gains thanks to a robust spread of Q1 earnings. Money Morning's options trading specialist, Tom Gentile, has identified three trade strategies to help investors make the most of this historic earnings season – check them out here…
Here are the numbers from Wednesday 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, plus Thursday's economic calendar.
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Money Morning Insight of the Day
The images from Southwest Flight 1380 are terrifying. News outlets have reported on the plane's "uncontained engine failure" and the first fatal accident on a U.S.-registered airliner since 2009. It is also the first fatal in-air accident on a plane run by Southwest Airlines Inc. (NYSE: LUV). The tragedy is terrible, and now there will be a deep investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). But what will the future hold for Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), the plane manufacturer? Money Morning Executive Editor Bill Patalon answers that question, here
The Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday
- Markets are likely to move today on a report from the U.S. Federal Reserve that states the U.S. economy will continue to show strong growth despite the threat of a trade war with China. The central bank cites tight labor markets, a big boost in business borrowing, and an uptick in consumer spending as the central catalysts for continued growth.
- WTI crude oil prices added 1.2% to hit $69.31 per barrel, while Brent crude added 1.4% to hit $74.50. The uptick came after Saudi Arabia hinted that it would like to see oil prices hit the top end of the $80 to $100 range. The key oil supplier has been working with other OPEC producers and Russia to support crude prices to reduce excessive global production. The nations' agreement is expected to extend well into 2019 and potentially beyond that time frame.
- This morning, as it topped earnings expectations, Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) announced it will purchase the consumer health business of German pharma giant Merck KGaA (OTCMKTS: MKGAF) for nearly $4.2 billion. The deal will expand on P&G's vitamins and health supplement business. This is the first deal made by P&G since activist investor Nelson Peltz won a board seat last year.
Four Stocks to Watch Today: PM, AXP, AMZN, COST
- Shares of Phillip Morris International Inc. (NYSE: PM) dropped 3.6% in pre-market hours after the company fell short of revenue expectations. Despite reporting earnings per share (EPS) of $1.00, a figure that topped estimates by $0.12, the firm fell short of the $7.02 billion in revenue forecasted by analysts.
- American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) popped nearly 4% after the company easily topped Wall Street earnings after the bell Wednesday. The firm's strategy to spend $2.35 billion on customer rewards promotions wooed a large amount of accounts and upgrades during the first three months of 2018. AXP reported EPS of $1.86 on top of $9.72 billion in revenue. Wall Street forecasted $1.71 per share on $9.20 billion.
- Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is in focus after two stunning revelations emerged from the company on Wednesday. CEO Jeff Bezos announced that the company has more subscribers to its Prime service than Costco Corp. (Nasdaq: COST), while the average Amazon employee earned under $30,000 in 2017.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Skechers USA Inc. (NYSE: SKX), Pentair Inc. (NYSE: PNR), Alliance Data Systems Corp. (NYSE: ADS), W.W. Grainger Inc. (NYSE: GWW), Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (NYSE: BK), and PPG Industries Inc. (NYSE: PPG).