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The Dow Jones today fell over 50 points in pre-market trading as U.S. President Donald Trump continues to scramble the nation's international trade balance. This morning, the U.S. administration launched a probe into U.S. auto imports, a story that overshadowed positive unemployment numbers and optimism over the U.S. economy by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The administration said it was considering an auto import tariff of up to 25%. This comes on the heels of an international dispute over American steel tariffs that has shaken markets for most of 2018. The announcement sent Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) higher in pre-market trading.
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 Money Morning insight, the most important market events, and stocks to watch.
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The Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday
- Just 234,000 Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, a figure that was higher than the 220,000 expected. This figure indicates that the U.S. jobs market remains robust. Meanwhile, the Fed said that it may allow more graduate inflation than previously noted. Both developments are likely to move markets today.
- Merger mania has been hitting Wall Street all month. Today, Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (Nasdaq: FOXA) has been urged by activist investor Chris Hohn to make a deal with Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA) if that company's offer is better than the deal they could receive from The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS). Hohn's firm disclosed in an SEC filing that it has a 7.4% stake in FOXA.
Four Stocks to Watch Today: BBY, DB, KR, APRN
- Best Buy Corp. (NYSE: BBY) leads a busy day of earnings reports in New York. The Big Box retailer easily topped Wall Street expectations, with earnings per share of $0.82 on $9.11 billion in revenue. The average analyst expectation came in at $0.75 on $8.78 billion.
- The largest bank in Europe is facing problems again. This morning, Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE: DB) announced plans to slash 7,000 jobs as the firm attempts to restore profitability to its balance sheet. The announcement comes as the company's chair faces a vote of no confidence at an annual general meeting taking place today.
- In other deal news, Kroger Inc. (NYSE: KR) has purchased Home Chef, the biggest privately owned meal kit delivery firm in the United States. The deal includes $200 million upfront and could be worth $700 million should Home Chef hit certain targets over its next five years. It is an interesting acquisition, given that rival Blue Apron Holdings Inc. (NYSE: APRN) has struggled since its IPO. Though APRN stock was up 3.8% this morning on news of the Home Chef deal, the stock is trading at just $3.07. It hit the market at $11.00 in June 2017.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Splunk Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLK), Deckers Outdoor Corp. (Nasdaq: DECK), Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS), Ross Stores Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST), Autodesk Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK), and Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE: HRL).