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The Dow Jones today traded 80 points lower in pre-market trading as the U.S. Federal Reserve kicked off its quarterly Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Markets anticipate that the Fed will hold off on raising interest rates until June. While interest rates are likely to remain unchanged, investors are paying close attention to any changes in the rhetoric used to describe the state of the American economy.
As the Fed prepares to adjust monetary policy, Money Morning Liquidity Specialist Lee Adler is keeping a close eye on the Fed's move to sure up the liquidity of the nation's cash supply. Lee sees the market turning increasingly volatile as the Fed gets involved – creating a few key profit opportunities. Check out Lee's thinking here…
Here are the numbers from Monday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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Now here's a closer look at today's Money Morning insight, most important market events, and stocks to watch.
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Money Morning Insight of the Day
Earnings season is well underway. And if you're looking to make real money, the time to get started is now. Money Morning Quantitative Specialist Chris Johnson argues that the markets are at a tipping point. And with just a few smart plays in today's classic stock-picker's market, you can pull in triple-digit gains with just a small investment. Read those picks, right here.
The Top Stock Market Stories for Tuesday
- Earnings season will hit its stride Tuesday, as Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) reports first-quarter results after the bell. AAPL investors have faced a string of warnings from the company's semiconductor suppliers that indicated sales could be underwhelming for the iPhone X. With concerns about iPhone shipments in focus, investors anticipate a lot of chatter about what the company plans to do with its multihundred-billion-dollar cash surplus.
- Late Monday, the White House announced that it would extend steel and aluminum tariff exemptions to Canada, Mexico, and members of the European Union by another month. The Trump administration has reportedly reached additional trade deals on tariffs with several other countries, including Brazil and Australia. As I noted a week ago, it's important to not get shaken up by the "political noise" around tariffs that is dominating the news cycle. Here's what you need to know about U.S. trade policy and how to profit.
- The Fed kicks off its two-day FOMC meeting today, and there's no shortage of speculation that the central bank will wait until June to raise interest rates. The U.S. dollar is sitting at a four-week high after Germany reported weak retail sales of March. That news reduced expectations that the European Central Bank would cut back on its stimulus package.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: GILD, TMUS, FB
- Shares of Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) are in focus as the pharmaceutical giant prepares to report earnings after the bell today. Wall Street anticipates that the company will report earnings per share (EPS) of $1.66 on top of $5.42 billion in revenue.
- T-Mobile U.S. Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) has generated plenty of buzz after the firm announced a $26 billion merger with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S). The deal will unite the third- and fourth-largest mobile operators in the United States. Expect company T-Mobile to provide additional insight after the bell. Wall Street expects that the firm will report EPS of $0.72 on top of $10.37 billion in revenue. However, earnings could be delayed due to the announcement of this merger.
- Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) continues to address fallout from the massive data scandal that rocked the firm during the first quarter. Jan Koum, founder of WhatsApp, announced that he will be leaving Facebook's board of directors in response to Facebook's approach to handling personal data. Koum, whose company was purchased by Facebook for $19 billion, has long been a privacy advocate and cited Facebook's approach to privacy as the main reason for his departure.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UAA), Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), Seagate Technology Plc. (NYSE: STX), GrubHub Inc. (Nasdaq: GRUB), Shopify Inc. (Nasdaq: SHOP), Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE: DVN), Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK), Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI), Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC), and Olin Corp. (NYSE: OLN).