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The Dow Jones today dropped as much as 100 points in pre-market trading after Peter Navarro, U.S. President Donald Trump's top trade adviser, offered a few harsh words on national trade policy during an interview with CNBC this morning. In an interview with Squawk Box, Navarro said that the United States needed to protect its intellectual property on developing technologies, citing robotics, artificial intelligence, and high-level technology.
Navarro described America's trade relationship with the rest of the world as a "zero-sum game" that requires an aggressive approach to trade. The statement is controversial among economists, who feel that Navarro has a penchant for rejecting modern economic theory. Navarro has been one of the biggest proponents of high tariffs on Chinese goods.
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
- This morning, the U.S. Department of Labor said that weekly jobless claims came in at 207,000 for the week. That figure is below the 220,000 jobless claims expected by economists and brings U.S. unemployment claims to a 48.5-year low.
- It's a big day of earnings reports, as dozens of blue-chip companies will report results from the June-ending quarter. The biggest name today will be Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), which reports earnings after the bell. Wall Street expects that the technology giant will report earnings of $1.07 per share. Analysts project quarterly revenue of $29.17 billion.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: PM, IBM, AA
- International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) stock added 2.5% in pre-market hours after Big Blue topped Wall Street earnings and revenue expectations. The tech giant continues to post positive results as it accelerates its turnaround efforts. IBM reported earnings per share of $3.08, a figure that beat estimates by $0.04 per share. It also reported quarterly revenue of $20.0 billion, a figure that surpassed estimates of $19.85 billion.
- Shares of Alcoa Corp. (NYSE: AA) fell 2% this morning. The aluminum manufacturer slashed its 2018 outlook due to falling prices and the recent round of metals tariffs introduced by the Trump administration. But there could be more pain in sight. Today, the U.S. Department of Justice will hold a hearing that aims to determine whether vehicle and light truck imports present a national security threat to the United States. The hearing is due to President Trump's pledge to hit European auto manufacturers with 20% tariffs on imported vehicles.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Skyworks Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: SWKS), Intuitive Surgical Inc. (Nasdaq: ISRG), Skechers USA Inc. (NYSE: SKX), Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF), Union Pacific Corp. (NYSE: UNP), Alliance Data Systems Corp. (NYSE: ADS), PPG Industries Inc. (NYSE: PPG), and Celanese Corp. (NYSE: CE).