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The Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat in pre-market hours as investors continue to monitor developments on trade between the United States and China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to meet with U.S. trade officials as both nations try to strike a deal to avoid higher tariffs.
Also, investors continue to cheer news of an agreement to prevent a government shutdown and data showing lower inflation levels in the U.S. economy.
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 stocks to watch…
The Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday
- Investors are cheering the news that the United States is working on a trade deal with China at a time that U.S. inflation data stays weak. Yesterday, the Consumer Price Index revealed no change in prices during January thanks in part to falling gasoline prices. Given that inflation does not threaten the U.S. economy, the U.S. Federal Reserve is less likely to move on interest rates again anytime soon. That news complements rising optimism on the state of the U.S. economy. On Tuesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell downplayed the likelihood of a recession during a speech in Mississippi. However, Powell did say that rural areas of the country need access to more affordable small business credit and better employee training. Powell wants to spread the benefits of the strengthening economy.
- The busy earnings season continues Thursday. Today, pay close attention to quarterly recaps from Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA), a chipmaker that was a hot stock during the cryptocurrency run-up. The stock has been under pressure since it received a wave of downgrades in January due to concerns about revenue. Also, you'll want to keep a close eye on a report from Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE: CGC). The stock has surged by 73% year to date, and many analysts are expecting even more growth in the future. Today, analysts expect that the cannabis producer will report a net quarterly loss of $0.17 per share. The earnings report comes while the World Health Organization has changed its rules on cannabis. This is the latest development that could make you a lot of money. Money Morning Special Situation Strategist Tim Melvin says something big is on the horizon, and you can cash in now on this explosive stock.
- Tax season is upon us. And major changes to your annual income report and tax payments have already occurred. The changes affect every single American who will file their taxes by April 15, 2019. But the shakeup could also make you a bundle. Today, we take a look at the one stock that is ready to break out in the middle of tax season. And you can get this stock – sitting right in our Buy Zone – on the cheap. Go here for more.
Money Morning Insight of the Day
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Stocks to Watch Today: YELP, CSCO, AAPL, NFLX
- Shares of Yelp Inc. (NASDAQ: YELP) added 5.5% after the consumer platform crushed earnings expectations and hiked its stock buyback program by $250 million. The strong earnings report comes a month after news emerged that one of its largest shareholders – SQN Investors – had launched a proxy fight against the company. SQN wants to see the firm improve financial performance and consider selling. On Wednesday, the company also announced three new board members.
- Shares of Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) popped more than 3.4% after the tech giant topped Wall Street earnings after the bell Wednesday. The firm reported earnings per share of $0.73, beating expectations by $0.01. The company also issued revenue and a third-quarter forecast in line with analysts' estimates. Cisco will also increase its stock buyback program by a whopping $15 billion.
- Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is taking dead aim at streaming giant Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) and premium content provider HBO. The tech giant is planning to unveil a new streaming product that will offer free original content to owners of Apple devices. According to reports, neither Netflix nor Hulu are expected to be a part of this new "Channels" service. The platform will be like the application developed by Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) for its Prime Video Channels.
- Look for other earnings reports from Ares Management Corp. (NASDAQ: ARES), Arista Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: ANET), AstraZeneca Plc. (NYSE: AZN), Bloomin' Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: BLMN), CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS), Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO), Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE: CS), Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK), Iron Mountain Inc. (NYSE: IRM), Zoetis Inc. (NYSE: ZTS), TransCanada Pipelines LP (NYSE: TRP), and Waste Management Inc. (NYSE: WM).
Public Law 92-313 Creates $11.1 Billion Cash Bonanza
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