Dow Jones Industrial Average Opens Flat as Markets Eye China Trade, U.S. Midterm Elections

The Dow Jones Industrial Average moved little in pre-market trading as investors continued to monitor ongoing trade developments with China. But the big news this week is tomorrow's busy midterm election. Forecasters project that Democrats will win back the U.S. House of Representatives and reinstall Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. Republicans are expected to hold on to the Senate.

Here are the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 25,270.83 -109.91 -0.43%
S&P 500 2,723.06 -17.31 -1.04%
Nasdaq 7,356.99 -77.06 -0.63%

Now here's a closer look at today's most important market events and stocks.

The Top Stock Market Stories for Monday

  • Investors are speculating over whether the United States and China are making any progress on a trade deal. This morning, Chinese President Xi restated his commitment to free trade in a speech and argued that protectionism is negative for the global economy. The Chinese leader said his nation is engaging in "a new round of high-standard opening up" its economy to the world. The speech comes just days after U.S. President Donald Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said no momentum existed on a deal between the world's two largest economies to reverse the ongoing trade war.
  • Election jitters have largely centered on what Democrats might do should they regain the House. Some speculate that they will spend a significant amount of time investigating the Trump White House, while others believe they will aim to impeach the president. Should Democrats win both Chambers, markets may experience a sell-off as the party has suggested it plans to reverse tax cuts and a few other policies that have helped bolster the economy in the last 18 months.
  • Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) fell more than 1.6% this morning after the company received its second stock downgrade in the last two days. Investment firm Rosenblatt Securities slashed its rating from "Buy" to "Neutral" on concerns about underwhelming iPhone sales. Rosenblatt analysts still kept its price target at $200 per share. Bank of America Merrill Lynch cut its rating on Apple last week.

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Stocks to Watch Today: BRKA, LOW, TGT

  • Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A), (NYSE: BRK.B) did it again. The conglomerate beat earnings and revenue expectations and purchased roughly $1 billion of its stock back. This was the first buyback since 2012 as the cash-rich company continues to benefit from strong sales and the recent tax cuts. B shares of the company's stock added 2.7% in pre-market hours.
  • Lowe's Corp. (NYSE: LOW) announced it plans to close 51 North American locations after conducting a strategic review of its business. The company said that the to-be shuttered locations were either underperforming or the locations were within 10 miles of another retail location. Shares were flat in pre-market hours.
  • The robots are taking over. Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) announced it will unveil "skip the line" check out technology in its stores on Thanksgiving Day this year. The mobile checkout technology will allow users to pay for items anywhere in the store with their smartphones and bypass cashier lines on their way out the door. The statement comes not long after Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced a similar program. Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has long been the leader of mobile checkout technology and is creating cashier-less stores as part of its brick-and-mortar retail strategy.
  • Look for earnings reports today from Avis Budget Group Inc. (NYSE: CAR), Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), Loews Corp. (NYSE: L), Marriott International (NYSE: MAR), Mylan NV (NYSE: MYL), Sysco Corp. (NYSE: SYY), and Valvoline Inc. (NYSE: VVV).

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About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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