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The Dow Jones today fell 125 points in premarket trading as geopolitical tensions rattled investors and ignited a sell-off. This morning, the Turkish lira fell 12% against the dollar after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asked Turks to exchange "any dollars, any euros or gold" for the nation's domestic currency.
Turkey's financial health has been under scrutiny for months as investors questioned the nation's ability to repay foreign debts. Friday's fall brings the lira down 18% for the week and roughly 39% for the year. Ongoing geopolitical tensions are pushing the U.S. dollar higher, while commodity prices are dipping.
Here are the numbers from Thursday 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 Friday
- Ongoing geopolitical tensions continue to weigh on oil prices. The price of Brent crude sat just above $72.50 thanks to growing uncertainty around global trade policies and sluggish economic growth. A stronger U.S. dollar has put increasing pressure on oil prices at a time when Turkey, China, and India see weakness in their currencies. This morning, the International Energy Agency said that the oil market is on the verge of becoming "less calm." In a statement, the Paris-based agency said: ""As oil sanctions against Iran take effect, perhaps in combination with production problems elsewhere, maintaining global supply might be very challenging."
- As we noted this week, a lot of the top manufacturing countries have tightened their belts thanks to rising material costs. In this market, it's hard to know what company to buy and what stocks to sell. Of course, it's much, much easier to know what the best stocks are when you use the VQScore system. In fact, this system has just told us the name of the top-ranked stock in a trade war. You can read all about it right here.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: RUTH, NWSA, TSLA
- Shares of Ruth's Hospitality Group (Nasdaq: RUTH) will lead a very light day of earnings reports. Wall Street expects that the company will report EPS OF $0.30 on top of $11.72 million in revenue.
- Shares of News Corp. (Nasdaq: NSWA) ticked higher on news that the company beat profit and revenue expectations. The publisher of the Wall Street Journal reported EPS of $0.08, which beat Street estimates by two cents. The firm reported stronger revenue from real estate listings, its book publishing division, and stronger video subscriptions.
- Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) is back in the news as rumors about Elon Musk taking the firm private remain in focus. The company's board of directors now plans to meet next week with advisers to discuss Musk's plan. Earlier this week, Musk tweeted that he had financing in place to take the firm private at $420.00 per share. Some analysts believe that Musk may have run afoul with the SEC for failing to file an 8-K before the tweet.
- Other firms reporting earnings include Applied Industrial Technologies Inc. (NYSE: AIT), and China Yuchai International Ltd. (NYSE: CYD).