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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over 50 points in pre-market trading as investors awaited news from today's U.S. Federal Reserve meeting on interest rates. Markets largely ignored this morning's announcement that Americans seeking unemployment benefits came in at 214,000, a figure that was in line with economists' expectations. The Dow Jones surged more than 445 points yesterday after the Democrats secured the U.S. House of Representatives during the midterm elections.
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.
ELECTION UPDATE: Michigan just legalized adult-use marijuana. Three stocks to watch now.
The Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday
- Marijuana stocks climbed after anti-cannabis Attorney General Jeff Sessions submitted his resignation to U.S. President Donald Trump. The departure of Sessions could fuel a radical shift in policy on marijuana, as Sessions had been hostile to the issue of states' rights on the matter. Here's what is likely to happen next in Washington.
- Today, the Fed's two-day meeting will likely end with the central bank holding pat on interest rates. Efforts to raise rates have had a negative impact on the housing market. Mortgage applications hit a four-year low this week, while mortgage rates jumped to a seven-year high.
- Bad news for the Trump administration: China's economy appears to be turning the corner. The nation's export industry appeared to shake off concerns about the ongoing trade war with the United States. Exports surged 16% year over year in October even though the U.S. had slapped 10% tariffs on $200 billion in goods that month. This is just the first stage, however, on these tariffs. The United States plans to raise tariffs from 10% to 25% on this vast amount of goods by the end of the year.
Stocks to Watch Today: DIS, WYNN, TSLA
- Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) leads a busy day of earnings reports on Thursday. The entertainment giant will report earnings after the bell. Wall Street expects that the firm will report earnings per share of $1.35 on top of $13.74 billion in revenue. Investors will keep a close eye today on two major developments: the company's comments on its recent deal for Fox that aims to bolster its digital subscription business, and performance at its Disney entertainment locations.
- Shares of Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ: WYNN) plunged nearly 14% after the company noted a big slowdown in gaming in its location in Macau, China market. The company noted a slowdown in gaming in both Las Vegas and Singapore are well. The firm's CEO noted a negative trend in its ability to retain premium players. As China has experienced an economic downturn, players have continued to return to the casinos. However, their bets have gotten smaller in the process.
- Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) has replaced Elon Musk as chair of the board as part of a deal between the CEO and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to settle charges stemming from a Twitter incident a few months ago. Australian telecom executive Robyn Denholm, who is already a member of the company's board, will replace Musk and join the company full time after a six-month notice period.
- Look for earnings reports from Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), AstraZeneca Plc. (NYSE: AZN), Cardinal Health Inc. (NYSE: CAH), D.R. Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI), Dropbox Inc. (NYSE: DBX), Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTZ), Skyworks Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: SWKS), and Yelp Inc. (NASDAQ: YELP).