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The Dow Jones today jumped 55 points in pre-market hours as traders showed optimism for a resolution on trade between the United States and China. Last week, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow announced that the United States would engage with China in a new round of trade negotiations later this month.
Markets hope that this will foster a breakthrough, putting an end to paralyzed trade flows between the world's two largest economies. However, there are other bumps in the road investors need to keep an eye on…
Here are the numbers from Friday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
|Index||Previous Close||Point Change||Percentage Change|
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
- Today will feature a light day of earnings reports, but things will heat up later this week for traditional retail stocks. We'll be looking for stronger earnings thanks to improved consumer confidence and spending. Retail firms reporting earnings include Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT), Kohl's Corp. (NYSE: KSS), Ross Stores Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST), Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS), Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL), and TJX Co. Inc. (NYSE: TJX).
- PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) announced it will purchase the at-home carbonated drink manufacturer SodaStream International Ltd. (Nasdaq: SODA) in a deal worth $3.2 billion. The news sent SODA shares up 32% this morning and gives Pepsi a distribution channel to reach customers outside of traditional stores and vending machines. Pepsi appears to be getting out ahead of the growing trend of consumers purchasing groceries online instead of at traditional retail locations. Shares of PEP added 0.4% before the opening bell.
- Football season is now just three weeks away from kicking off. And America's top spectator sport is trying to resurrect itself from an ongoing public relations battle over the National Anthem. Here's the thing: Esports don't face such a problem… and they are on their way to becoming the world's largest sport in the world – scoring more fans than baseball, basketball, football, and soccer combined within two decades. Best of all, we found the perfect stock to help Money Morning readers cash in on this booming trend.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: TSLA, AAPL, EL
- Shares of Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) plunged 7% after JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) slashed its price target for the automaker. JPM cut its December 2018 price target for TSLA stock from $308 to $195 per share, sighting Musk's inconsistent statements about company funding. That would be a 36% collapse from Friday's closing price. The news comes as Elon Musk continues to make a series of questionable Tweets about himself and his company.
- China is coming down on Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL). According to state media reports, Tim Cook's company has pulled about 25,000 illegal lottery applications from its application store in China. The news comes as China continues clamp down on illegal apps that sold lottery tickets or provided gambling services.
- Estee Lauder Co. Inc. (NYSE: EL) shares were off 0.3% after the cosmetics giant reported earnings before the bell. The firm reported adjusted earnings per share of $0.61. That figure topped analysts' expectations by $0.05. The downturn came due to the firm's weaker-than-expected quarterly forecast and news that it will incur larger marketing costs for a number of new product initiatives.
- Look for earnings reports from Fabrinet (NYSE: FN) and Nordson Corp. (Nasdaq: NDSN).
About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.