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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 13 points in pre-market trading this morning as investors monitored the impact of rising interest rates and ongoing geopolitical concerns around the globe.
Emerging concerns about the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union and international outcry over relations with Saudi Arabia overshadowed anticipation for a busy week of earnings reports.
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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The Top Stock Market Stories for Monday
- This morning, investors are asking a lot of questions about journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who went missing after visiting the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey earlier this month. Both JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon and Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) executive Bill Ford backed out of a high profile Saudi Arabian conference – the Future Investment Initiative – as global outcry over the Saudi's role in the disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi continues to mount. A news producer in Saudi Arabia warned that any U.S. sanctions tied to the journalist's disappearance could lead to oil prices surging to $200 per barrel. This morning, WTI oil prices hit $71.50 per barrel, while Brent crude nearly hit $81 per barrel.
- Markets are again dealing with fresh concerns about the United Kingdom's departure from Europe. Over the weekend, discussions between British leaders and members of the EU ended in a deadlock over the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish republic. We are now months away from the UK departing the EU, but almost no plan remains in place. The departure from the EU without a resolution could fuel a significant sell-off in European stocks as uncertainty continues to dominate the headlines.
- In deal news, Harris Corp. (NYSE: HRS) is set to take part in a $15 billion merger with L3 Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LLL). This is the largest merger of defense companies of all time, topping the 1997 deal between Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) and McDonnell Douglas.
Money Morning Insight of the Day
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Three Stocks to Watch Today: BAC, SHLD, SCHW
- Shares of Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) were in the green after the U.S. bank topped earnings expectations. The firm reported earnings per share of $0.66, which topped Wall Street expectations by $0.04. The company cited the recent Trump tax cut and rising interest rates for its better-than-expected performance.
- Sears Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD) has declared bankruptcy. The retail company has been unable to adjust to the shift in consumer taste. The 132-year-old company had $134 million in debt payments due today that it could not meet. The owner of both Sears and Kmart has struggled in the era of Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN). Sears is reportedly looking for buyers to snap up its brick-and-mortar locations.
- Today, look for earnings reports from Charles Schwab Corp. (NYSE: SCHW), JB Hunt Transport Services Inc. (NASDAQ: JBHT), Sky Solar Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ: SKYS), and USA Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: USAT).