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The Dow Jones today projected a small decline in pre-market hours as investors continued to monitor earnings reports and ongoing tensions around the globe. Investors remain on edge after U.S. President Donald Trump proposed last week to slap a 10% tariff on $500 billion in Chinese imports – the entirety of goods China sends to the United States.
With international trade relations growing increasingly volatile, investors are keeping an eye out for professional evaluations of future market performance. That's why Money Morning Executive Editor Bill Patalon recently sat down with Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald to talk markets – and how to identify profit opportunities. Check out their conversation here…
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
- The week kicks off with investors concerned about a variety of geopolitical tensions around the globe. Last week, President Trump showed concerns that the Fed will raise interest rates two more times this year. His statements break precedent on presidents discussing monetary policy and the U.S. central bank. Despite the criticism, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin stepped in to say that Trump backs the independence of the Fed to make decisions on monetary policy. That said, his statements have spurred investor caution about the markets in the months ahead.
- Earnings season continues this morning as markets digest second-quarter results from Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL). Wall Street had expected the oil-field services giant to report earnings per share (EPS) of $0.58 on top of $6.10 billion in revenue. The stock slipped 1.5% despite news that the firm matched EPS expectations and reported a 24% jump year over year in revenue. Halliburton has reported an uptick in rigs in service thanks to a rise in oil prices.
- China doesn't appear too concerned about a trade war just yet. And its central bank doesn't appear willing to prevent the Yuan from sliding against the dollar. During an interview with CNBC, Trump said that China (and other trade partners like the European Union) are "making money easy and their currency is falling." The statement has drawn criticism from the EU and will likely fuel discontent as the European Central Bank prepares to meet later this week.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: GOOGL, FB, SMG
- Shares of Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) are in focus as the tech giant prepares to report earnings after the bell. Wall Street anticipates that the firm will report EPS of $9.51 on top of $25.6 billion in revenue. Investors are expecting a big jump in Q2 profit thanks to increasing ad sales on YouTube and Google Search.
- ScottsMiracle-Gro Co. (NYSE: SMG) is one of the top providers of lawn-care products. It sells grass-seed products, fertilizers, and solutions for outdoor pest control. But it's also tapping into one of the most incredible investing trends in the history of this country. In fact, it's one of three stocks we've uncovered that could make you a millionaire by tapping into the wave of marijuana legalization. Read about the other two right here.
- Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) has suspended yet another analytics firm over the latter's data practices. According to reports, the firm has suspended Crimson Hexagon over concerns that the analytics company may have violated Facebook's policies. Crimson Hexagon has the largest database of public social media posts, a figure that is well more than one trillion. The firm also compiles data from Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) and Instagram.
- Look for earnings reports from Hasbro Inc. (Nasdaq: HAS), TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: AMTD), Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR), Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (Nasdaq: CALM), PetMed Express Inc. (Nasdaq: PETS), and Brown & Brown Inc. (NYSE: BRO).