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This morning, the Dow continued to climb after the Department of Labor released the official December jobs report. The Labor Department reported that the U.S. economy added 312,000 new jobs during the final month of 2018. That figure was well ahead of economists' expectations of 176,000.
Investors are hoping for a big rebound after the Dow plunged more than 600 points thanks to a surprise cut to its forward guidance by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). Investors continue to fret about an economic slowdown in China after Apple CEO Tim Cook warned about the state of the world's second largest economy.
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
- Today, the Democrats will take over the House of Representatives for the first time since 2011. Congressional Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will return to the role of Speaker of the House, replacing Republican Congressman Paul Ryan (D-WI). Investors are wondering how the Democrats plan to spend their time in power in the Lower Chamber. Many are hoping that the Democrats will move on a bipartisan infrastructure program to help bolster the economy. But let's be serious: Many Democrats want to move on impeachment proceedings against U.S. President Donald Trump. Today, California Democrat Brad Sherman will re-introduce articles of impeachment against the President. Sherman has accused the president of obstruction of justice over Robert Mueller's investigation.
- The House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday funding the U.S. government without money allocated for a border wall. The government shutdown – the second longest in nearly 20 years – is entering its third week, and the post-Holiday hiatus is starting to affect rank-and-file government workers who aren't being paid. In addition, the Internal Revenue Service is having a hard time keeping up with Americans' tax requests, which could create a significant problem come tax season this year. The tax agency is operating with just 12.5% of its normal workforce, or roughly 10,000 employees. This is especially problematic given that this is the first year that Americans will comply with the recent tax reform law.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: AAPL, INTC, TSLA
- Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) are trying to rebound after their worst daily performance in company history. Shares slumped roughly 10% after CEO Tim Cook said that Chinese consumers weren't buying iPhones and other company gadgets. The firm's surprise cut to forward guidance rattled investors' sentiment. Fears accelerated after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) warned that the stock's decline still had a ways to go and compared the iconic tech giant to the now largely forgotten phone maker Nokia.
- Shares of Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) popped nearly 3% after the tech giant received an upgrade from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch (NYSE: BAC). The investment bank hiked its rating from "neutral" to "buy" and raised its price target on the firm from $52 to $60. Analysts cited a low multiple and the firm's foothold in key emerging industries like "cloud computing, A.I., advanced autos, and 5G."
- Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) will deliver Model 3 vehicles to China starting in March 2019. Shares popped more than 2% on the news.
- On Friday, look for earnings reports from Greenbrier Companies Inc. (NYSE: GBX), RPM International Inc. (NYSE: RPM), and Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: CALM).