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The Dow Jones today was little moved in pre-market trading as investors turned their attention to Singapore, where U.S. President Donald Trump will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday. While the objectives of the meeting remain unclear, the historic summit is likely to dictate the course of relations between the two countries for the foreseeable future.
Markets are likely to move today on projections from the Atlanta Federal Reserve that second-quarter GDP growth will hit 4.6%. That figure would be double the 2017 full-year growth rate and well ahead of the 3.1% growth rate for the same period in 2017.
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
Money Morning Executive Editor Bill Patalon has warned readers about the mobster approach taken by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But – more importantly – Bill has become even more bullish on a special basket of stocks that he handpicked for his Private Briefing readers to cash in on the situation in the Korean Peninsula.
Today, Bill offers our readers a few of his favorites as Trump prepares to meet with Kim Jong Un. Here's how to cash in regardless of how this summit turns out on Tuesday.
The Top Stock Market Stories for Monday
- Markets are digesting the ongoing roller coaster that is President Trump's trade policy. Recently, Trump slapped the EU, Canada, and Mexico with heavy tariffs on steel and aluminum. At the end of the event, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that all seven member nations signed a summit communique despite ongoing trade tensions. However, President Trump has now claimed that Trudeau lied to him about certain policies. This ongoing political drama will extend through the week.
- Trump has arrived in Singapore to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. This will be the first meeting between an American president and a sitting North Korean leader. Ahead of the meeting, Trump said that he will know "within a minute" whether North Korean officials are serious about giving up their weapons and potentially liberalizing their economy.
- The other major story to watch this week is the meeting of the Fed Open Market Committee, which kicks off on Tuesday. The U.S. central bank is expected to raise interest rates for the second time in 2018. On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will likely announce a hike of 0.25% to the benchmark rate of 2%. This would also mark the seventh hike since December 2015. Markets will be looking for clues during Powell's conference to determine how many additional times the Fed plans to raise interest rates during the final six months of the year.
Four Stocks to Watch Today: VZ, T, TWX, GE
- Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) named a new CEO to help the firm lead its charge in 5G communications. Hans Vestberg, who is a former CEO of Ericsson and Verizon's CTO since 2017, has been tapped for the lead role starting on Aug. 1. Since joining Verizon, Vestberg has been the architect of the firm's 4G LTE rollout and lead the organization in its 5G wireless infrastructure design. He will replace Lowell McAdam, who took the role of CEO back in 2011.
- On Tuesday, a U.S. District Court will rule on whether to approve an $85 billion merger between AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX). The decision comes after about six weeks of debate in a courtroom. The ruling will likely have a significant impact on the proposed bid by Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) for media giant Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (NYSE: FOXA).
- According to several Wall Street firms, General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) stock is poised for a significant rebound this year. One analyst predicts it will rocket up to 50% higher in the coming months. Of course, that analyst couldn't be more wrong. Today, we take you behind the scenes to show you just how ugly the situation is at GE. Here are the three reasons why GE stock isn't going to outperform as Wall Street predicts.
- Look for earnings reports from Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc. (NYSE: RH), Dave & Buster's Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: PLAY), and Limoneira Co. (Nasdaq: LMNR).