Dow Jones Today Kicks Off August In the Red as Fed Rate Decision Looms

The Dow Jones today projected a 33-point decline in pre-market hours as investors awaited news on interest rates from the U.S. Federal Reserve. This afternoon, the Fed Open Market Committee will conclude its latest two-day meeting on monetary policy. Though the central bank is unlikely to raise interest rates again this month, markets are looking for clues on its next rate hike.

With the U.S. economy just coming off 4.1% gross domestic product growth during the second quarter, questions about inflation and an overheating jobs market are starting to build. We'll likely know more about whether Fed Chair Jerome Powell and the rest of his team will raise interest rates one or two more times in 2018.

Here are the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 25,415.19 108.36 0.43%
S&P 500 2,816.29 13.69 0.49%
Nasdaq 7,671.79 41.78 0.55%

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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.

Money Morning Insight of the Day

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The Top Stock Market Stories for Wednesday

  • The Trump administration is considering a 25% tariff on up to $200 billion in Chinese goods. This is the latest escalation of an ongoing trade spat that has ripped through the heartland of the United States and threatens to bring the market rally to a screeching halt. On Tuesday, soybean prices rallied more than $0.28 in Chicago on speculation that the Trump administration is looking to resolve trade relations with China. Following the White House's announcement, soybeans gave back a majority of those gains as trade fears rattled the agriculture industry.
  • AppleFinally, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is on the verge of becoming the first $1 trillion company by market capitalization. The firm was close to topping $200 per share on Wednesday morning after a terrific earnings report after the bell yesterday.

Three Stocks to Watch Today: TSLA, X, CPB

  • Will today be the reckoning for Elon Musk's Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA)? Today, the company will report earnings for the second quarter of 2018. The notorious cash-burning company is expected to report a quarterly profit loss of -$2.76 per share on top of $3.79 billion in revenue.
  • The earnings report that is sliding under the radar today is from United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X). Following the implementation of U.S. President Donald Trump's steel tariffs on foreign suppliers, it will be interesting to see how the company has fared under the White House's protectionist policies. In addition, we will want to know if the firm plans to increase its domestic investments and bolster its hiring. Pay attention as the firm is expected to report quarterly earnings per share of $1.15 on top of $3.39 billion in revenue.
  • Shares of Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB) are in focus after a major hedge fund has built a big stake in the consumer-goods giant. Daniel Loeb's Third Point has now invested in more than 2.5% of the company with a position of $300 million. According to reports, Loeb is in discussions with the company's current CEO Keith McLoughlin about the company's strategy moving forward. Could a sale be on the horizon?
  • Look for additional earnings reports from Fitbit Inc. (NYSE: FIT), Zynga Inc. (Nasdaq: ZNGA), TripAdvisor Inc. (Nasdaq: TRIP), Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ), FireEye Inc. (Nasdaq: FEYE), Wynn Resorts Ltd. (Nasdaq: WYNN), Sturm Ruger & Co. Inc. (NYSE: RGR), Herbalife Nutrition Ltd. (NYSE: HLF), and T-Mobile US Inc. (Nasdaq: TMUS).

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About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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