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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell slightly in pre-market trading this morning, falling seven points as markets gave back a small fraction of Wednesday's gains. The Dow surged Wednesday thanks to a surprising speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Yesterday, Powell suggested that the U.S. central bank may be done raising interest rates for the balance of 2018.
Powell and his team have taken criticism recently from U.S. President Donald Trump for hiking rates too quickly, an action that has rattled investor sentiment and could cool the economy. Markets will be paying close attention as the Fed prepares to release minutes from its November meeting.
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
- The 2016 Panama Papers investigation has spurred a massive new investigation in Germany. This morning, German officials raided the offices of Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE: DB) on suspicion that two company employees helped certain customers launder money gained from illegal methods. Shares of DB stock fell more than 3% after legal officials seized written and electronic documents from the bank
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Stocks to Watch Today: DIS, AAPL, DLTR
- Shares of Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) dipped slightly in pre-market hours despite news that the company has hiked its semi-annual dividend from $0.84 to $0.88 per share. The firm will pay its next dividend on Jan. 10. The payout is designated for shareholders of record as of Dec. 10.
- Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) added 0.5% despite a stock downgrade at Canaccord Genuity. The Wall Street analyst slashed his 12-month price target for AAPL stock from $250 to $225 due to concerns about weakening smartphone demand. Despite the price cut, the new target still represents upside of nearly 25%, and the analyst still maintains a "Buy" rating.
- Shares of Dollar Tree Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR) slumped 4.6% after the discount retailer fell short of Wall Street revenue and same-store sales expectations before the bell. The firm reported earnings per share of $1.18, topping Wall Street forecasts by $0.04. However, the company continues to struggle due to freight and labor costs that have pushed higher, while its purchase of Family Dollar continues to create problems for its bottom line.
- Look for earnings reports from Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF), Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. (NYSE: BBW), Express Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPR), GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME), HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ), Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: PANW), and VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW).