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The Dow Jones today could be in for another roller-coaster day as the U.S. and China race to bang out a trade agreement before next week's deadline. Today the two largest economies in the world are drafting memorandums of understanding, an encouraging sign. But any setback could send stocks reeling.
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.
The Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday
- While global trade remains front and center, markets are still digesting the release of the Federal Reserve's minutes from its January meeting. The U.S. central bank highlighted some global economic risks that could hinder growth. Among them include a rapid downturn in global financial stimulus and deteriorating market conditions. It is also worth noting that the FOMC admitted its role in December's wild ride that sent stocks plunging.
- Credit agencies are beginning to raise concerns about the impending Brexit if no deal is reached by the United Kingdom and Europe soon. Fitch Ratings placed Britain on its "Ratings Watch Negative" list and threatened to cut the nation's AA rating. In a report, the agency cited "heightened uncertainty over the outcome of the Brexit process. and an increased risk of a disruptive 'no-deal' Brexit, where the UK would leave the EU without a withdrawal agreement in place." No deal appears imminent at this time.
- In deal news, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS) will launch a new credit card that will be paired with various iPhone features and help Apple customers better manage their finances. According to The Wall Street Journal, the card will run on Mastercard's network and will provide 2% cash back on purchases (in addition to potential bonuses for Apple products and services). The card comes at a time when payment processing is facing increased competition and innovation.
Money Morning Insight of the Day
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Stocks to Watch Today: NKE, GRMN, FIT, FOSL, NAVI
- Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) is facing a public relations problem this morning and shares are off nearly 2%. Last night, Duke University star basketball player Zion Williamson was injured in the opening minute of a marquee game against the University of North Carolina. Williamson slipped while dribbling and his Nike shoe split apart, causing him to fall and injure his knee. The No. 1 ranked Duke Blue Devils, who were favorites against their rivals at home, were blown out after Williamson was forced to leave the game. The game was heavily televised, attended by celebrities and former President Barack Obama, and fetched ticket prices upwards of $10,000. Williamson is likely the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft this year. The company called the event an "isolated occurrence."
- Shares of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN) popped to an 11-year high thanks to a strong earnings report and forward guidance on Wednesday. The fitness and navigation device manufacturer reported that smartwatch sales are "on fire" from outdoor enthusiasts. The firm's outdoor segment experienced a 25% jump in revenue for the quarter, while the firm hiked its 2019 revenue outlook and topped analysts' expectations. The news helped boost shares of Fossil Group Inc. (NASDAQ: FOSL) and Fitbit Inc. (NYSE: FIT).
- Shares of Navient Corp. (NASDAQ: NAVI) slid 4.2% after hedge fund Canyon Capital withdrew its bid from earlier this week to buy the student loan servicing giant for $12.50 per share. The hedge fund announced it will now launch a proxy fight to replace many of the company's board of directors. While this might be bad news for NAVI in the short term, there are still 1.5 trillion reasons to own this stock.
- Look for other earnings reports from Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU), Barclays Plc. (NYSE: BCS), Boyd Gaming Corp. (NYSE: BYD), Domino's Pizza Inc. (NYSE: DPZ), Dropbox Inc. (NYSE: DBX), First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR), Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (NYSE: HPE), Kraft Heinz Co. (NYSE: KHC), Stamps.com (NASDAQ: STMP), and Wendy's Co. (NYSE: WEN).
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.