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The Dow Jones Industrial Average projected a 230-point gain ahead of a busy day of earnings reports. This morning, the U.S. Labor Department reported another strong October jobs report. The agency said that the U.S. economy added 250,000 new jobs last month. That figure easily topped expectations of 190,000 new jobs.
The official unemployment rate now sits at 3.7%. On Thursday, the same agency reported that U.S. weekly jobless claims hit 214,000, which is the lowest levels of Americans seeking unemployment benefits since 1973. It's not all good news for the markets, however. The strong jobs report could add additional justification for the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates again in December.
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
- On Thursday afternoon, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) fell 6.5% after the bell following the company's quarterly earnings report. The tech giant's market capitalization fell under $1 trillion after the firm fell short of iPhone shipment expectations. The firm also proved short on guidance expectations. The firm did report earnings per share of $2.91, a figure that beat expectations by $0.13. Quarterly revenue came in at $62.9 billion, which also beat expectations as well. However, iPhone sales fell well short of forecasts.
- On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he had a "very good conversation with President Xi Jinping of China." Trump said that discussions to address the ongoing trade dispute are progressing ahead of the G-20 Conference in Argentina. However, this morning, the White House said that markets and economists shouldn't get too excited over the prospect of a deal between the two nations just yet.
- Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) continues to eradicate the brick-and-mortar retail space. With the Holiday season approaching, it will be make-or-break for a number of physical retail giants. But what if we told you that we have identified one of the best "Amazon-proof" stocks that could easily net you a solid 100% return? To read all about it, go here right now.
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Three Stocks to Watch Today: BABA, XOM, CVX
- Shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) are on the move this morning after the Chinese e-commerce giant reported earnings before the bell. BABA stock added 0.5% after the company topped earnings estimates and reported revenue that was in line with Wall Street expectations. The firm said that its active customer base increased by 25 million people from the same period last year.
- Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) added 2% after the energy giant reported earnings per share of $1.46, a figure that beat expectations by $0.23. The company also reported quarterly revenue of $76.6 billion, easily topping expectations. This report was highly positive for Exxon after a string of weak reports rattled investor confidence in recent quarters.
- Shares of Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) will also report earnings before the bell. The energy giant is expected to report earnings per share of $2.06 on top of $42.79 billion in revenue. The report comes shortly after Chevron sold its first LNG bulk cargo to China's Zhenhua. While that is a positive development, just days ago, Petrobas announced it was stopping Chevron's plan to stop offshore drilling off Brazil's coast as part of a broader crackdown on offshore development.
- Today, look for earnings reports from Seagate Technology Plc. (NYSE: STX), AbbVie Inc. (NASDAQ: ABBV), Watts Water Technologies Inc. (NYSE: WTS), CBOE Global Markets Inc. (NASDAQ: CBOE), and Buckeye Partners LP (NYSE: BPL).