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The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 150 points in pre-market trading as markets raised new concerns about the health of the European Union's economy.
This morning, the European Commission cut its growth outlook for the world's largest economic bloc due to ongoing trade concerns and other factors. Its growth rate is dismal - clocking in at just 1.3% for 2019, down from 19% from last year. The report raises new concerns about further global economic slowdown.
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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 most important market events and top stocks to watch...
The Top Stories Moving the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today
- A mega-merger is coming to the financial sector on Wall Street. This morning, BB&T Corp. (NYSE: BBT) announced plans to purchase SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI) in a deal worth $66 billion. The agreement creates the sixth largest bank in the United States, and more deals are expected to come. SunTrust shareholders will receive about 1.3 BB&T shares in exchange for what they own. This puts SunTrust shares at roughly $62.85 per share, which is 7% higher than yesterday's closing price.
- Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell stressed on Wednesday night the importance of public trust in the U.S. central bank. In a town hall event in Washington, D.C., Powell outlined his biggest concerns facing the U.S. economy over the next 10 years. Topping his list was "income inequality" and "sluggish productivity." Powell noted that middle-class and working-class wages have grown at a slower pace than those at higher levels. Powell suggested that the country adopt policies that address the growing wealth divide.
- Gold prices hit $1,312.70 this morning, a one-week low, thanks to a stronger U.S. dollar. The yellow metal continues to lag behind industrial metal palladium. Meanwhile, silver prices continue to remain red-hot. After a 15% jump over the last three months, there looks to be even more room to rally. Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth outlines where silver prices will head from here. Here's what you need to know.
Money Morning Insight of the Day
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Stocks to Watch Today: TWTR, GPRO, CMG
- Social media giant Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) leads a busy day of earnings reports. Shares fell 7.5% after the firm issued weaker-than-expected guidance. The company said its expenses would increase by 20% in 2019. Throughout the day, we'll be looking at the firm's performance in attracting younger Americans to utilize the platform. The firm did beat analysts' projections for quarterly revenue (reporting $909 million). Its $0.31 per share in profits beat expectations $0.25 per share.
- Shares of GoPro Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRO) added 2.2% after the company reported earnings after the bell and said that it is on a path to profitability. However, to get into the black, the firm had to cut several hundred employees to keep operating expenses below $400 million.
- Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) popped more than 10% after the company blew out earnings expectations after the bell yesterday. The company's ongoing turnaround has produced a big uptick in consumer foot traffic. The firm reported EPS of $1.72, well above the $1.37 per share. Revenue came in at $1.23 billion and topped expectations, as did same-store growth at 6.1%.
- Look for other earnings reports from ANGI HomeServices Inc. (NASDAQ: ANGI), ArcelorMittal SA (NYSE: MT), Cardinal Health Inc. (NYSE: CAH), Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. (NASDAQ: DNKN), Expedia Group Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE), GrubHub Inc. (NASDAQ: GRUB), IAC/InterActiveCorp. (NYSE: IAC), Kellogg Co. (NYSE: K), Macerich Co. (NYSE: MAC), Mattel Inc. (NYSE: MAT), News Corp. (NASDAQ: NWSA), Penn National Gaming Inc. (NASDAQ: PENN), Sanofi SA (NYSE: SNY), Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN), World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: WWE), and Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM).
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.