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The Dow Jones Industrial showed caution in pre-market trading the day after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the third time in 2018. The rate hike is considered a sign of confidence in the U.S. economy, as joblessness is low, GDP growth is strong, and inflation has been largely in check.
This morning, the Labor Department reported another solid jobless report. In addition, the final Q2 GDP report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis this morning showed that the economy grew at 4.2%, which is the fastest pace in roughly four years.
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
- Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) will launch a new brick-and-mortar location in New York City on Thursday. The twist to this physical location is that it will only sell products that have high user ratings on its website. The Amazon Store will sell products ranging from gadgets to books that only have a 4-star rating or higher and at least 100 reviews. Last week, reports broke that Amazon is considering a plan to open up to 3,000 cashier-less convenience stores across the United States by 2020.
- In deal news, managed care provider WellCare Health Plans Inc. (NYSE: WCG) announced it will purchase a standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan business from insurance giant Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET). The terms of the deal were not announced. The deal is part of Aetna's divestment plan needed to obtain regulatory approval to purchase pharmacy benefits giant CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS).
Stocks to Watch Today: JPM, AAPL, MKC, GERN
- Just how high will Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) stock go? This morning, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) rated AAPL stock "Overweight" and set an aggressive price target of $272 per share. That huge price target is based on increased revenue and profit expectations from Apple's services business and from higher margins from price increases to its iPhone and other devices.
- McCormick & Co. (NYSE: MKC) leads a busy day of earnings reports. This morning, the Baltimore-based company adjusted reported earnings per share of $1.28. Shares fell 2.2% after the company announced it had fallen short of revenue expectations. However, MKC hiked its full-year outlook, citing strong tailwinds from the 2018 corporate tax cut.
- Shares of Geron Corp. (NASDAQ: GERN) plunged a whopping 63% on news that Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) has ended its collaboration on the development of a blood disorder treatment.
- Look for other earnings reports from Accenture Plc. (NYSE: ACN), Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD), CalAmp Corp. (NASDAQ: CAMP), AngioDynamics Inc. (NASDAQ: ANGO), Ferrellgas Partners LP (NYSE: FGP), and Cantel Medical Corp. (NYSE: CMD).