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The Dow Jones today projected a 223-point gain during pre-market trading on news that China and the United States are making progress on their trade relationship. Over the weekend, the Trump administration announced that it was postponing the imposition of tariffs on China in an effort to smooth trade negotiations.
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Here are the numbers from Friday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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Now here's a closer look at today's Money Morning insight, the most important market events, and stocks to watch…
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Money Morning Insight of the Day
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The Top Stock Market Stories for Monday
- Markets are cheering news that the supposed trade war between the United States and China is "on hold," according to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Mnuchin and U.S. President Donald Trump's top economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, announced that both nations have reached an agreement, one that established a framework to help address ongoing trade imbalances between the two countries.
- The prices of crude oil is in focus after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro won reelection over the weekend. The election featured a very low turnout and a very large outcry that the vote was rigged. Maduro has a 75% disapproval rating and has been the face of the OPEC member's widespread mismanagement and economic collapse. Prior to the election, a member of the Trump administration said that the United States would not recognize the authenticity of the election. The United States is considering additional sanctions on Venezuela.
- Today is a major day for mergers and acquisition activity. Today, Blackstone Group LP (NYSE: BX) announced plans to purchase U.S. hotel operator LaSalle Hotel Properties (NYSE: LHO) for a whopping $3.7 billion. The deal comes at a time that the travel industry is experiencing one of the best periods in a decade. If you're looking for a way to make money ahead of Memorial Day weekend, we show you how here.
Four Stocks to Watch Today: GOOGL, GE, MBFI, FITB
- Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) is under pressure this morning after a harsh piece aired last night on "60 Minutes." The segment discussed the organization's power and influence. It also featured interviews with a range of critics who argued the firm is stifling competition.
- In other deal news, General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) announced plans to merge its transportation business with a rail equipment maker called Wabtec. The $20 billion deal is expected to provide about $10 billion in tax benefits to the conglomerate. Shares of GE stock popped 2.3% on the news.
- Fifth Third Bancorp (Nasdaq: FITB) announced it was purchasing MB Financial Inc. (Nasdaq: MBFI) in a deal worth $4.7 billion. Wall Street M&A activity is heating up as companies look for growth. MBFI stock popped 14% on the news.
- Look for earnings reports from Monro Inc. (Nasdaq: MNRO), Nordson Corp. (Nasdaq: NDSN), Pure Storage Inc. (Nasdaq: PSTG), Ferroglobe Plc. (NYSE: GSM), and America's Car-Mart Inc. (Nasdaq: CRMT).