Prepare for a Volatile Dow Jones Today as Politics Take Center Stage

The Dow Jones today could be volatile today as three big events in Washington will dominate the news.

U.S. President Donald Trump is meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un today, while his former attorney Michael Cohen will testify before Congress on the president's alleged business ties to Russia. Plus, traders are still making sense of Fed Chair Jerome Powell's latest statements.

But uncertainty doesn't mean you can't make money. We'll break down exactly how to play the volatility today below.

Here are the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 26,057.98 -33.97 -0.13%
S&P 500 2,793.90 -2.21 -0.08%
Nasdaq 7,549.30 -5.16 -0.07%

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 Wednesday

  • President Trump will kick off his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday. The president will attend a "social dinner" in Hanoi, Vietnam, where they will follow up on their discussion of North Korea's nuclear program from their previous summit in Singapore. Trump is pushing for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and hopes that North Korea sees Vietnam as a model of economic liberalization in the region. Trump has said that he and Kim have a "very special relationship."

  • Investors looking to make money on China should pay attention. While the United States is focusing this week on resolving issues with North Korea, the real elephant in the room remains China. President Trump has extended the artificial March 1 deadline on tariffs in hopes of striking a deal with the world's second largest economy. However, it remains very unclear what will happen in the coming weeks. Investors should prepare themselves accordingly. Money Morning Quantitative Specialist Chris Johnson has scoured the numbers and given investors a number of ways to make money on this massive geopolitical trend, right here.
  • We are seeing some problems on the trading front from CME Group Inc. (NYSE: CME). The Chicago-based exchange operator halted trading for three hours Tuesday night after a glitch caused an outage. GME Globex is a massive platform that enables the trading of stocks, interest rates, forex exchange (currencies), commodities, and other assets. Pay close attention to the headlines, as it's still unclear if this was an internal issue or a cybersecurity event.

Money Morning Insight of the Day

According to Bloomberg's latest report, America could be heading for an economic disaster that would rival the Great Recession.

Billionaire Ray Dalio's hedge fund - Bridgewater Associates - has made a $22 billion bet against the market.

And Citibank calls our present situation "eerily reminiscent of the mortgage crisis."

To see why we believe some of the richest players in the world are preparing for a market collapse, click here.

Stocks to Watch Today: WTW, CHK, BBY

  • Shares of Weight Watchers International Inc. (NASDAQ: WTW) cratered more than 30% after the company fell well short of earnings expectations after the bell and issued worse-than-expected 2019 guidance. The firm reported adjusted earnings of $0.46, a figure that missed expectations by $0.14. The firm also issued weak forward guidance. After yesterday's slump, Oprah Winfrey's stake in the company plunged by a whopping $48 million.
  • Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) popped 10.2% after the natural gas producer reported earnings before the bell. Higher natural gas prices in the fourth quarter helped bolster the firm's bottom line. Total natural gas sales jumped 37% in Q4 to $3.07 billion, well above analysts' expectations of $2.28 billion. That strong natural gas revenue helped the firm report adjusted EPS of $0.49, which was a 49% jump year over year.
  • Shares of Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) popped 10% after the electronics retailer topped Wall Street earnings expectations before the bell. The firm's profit of $2.72 topped consensus expectations by $0.15 per share. The firm cited stronger-than-expected same-store sales, hiked its dividend from $0.45 to $0.50, and issued a positive 2019 outlook.
  • Today, look for more earnings reports from Apache Corp. (NYSE: APA), Box Inc. (NYSE: BOX), Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB), Dean Foods Co. (NYSE: DF), Fitbit Inc. (NYSE: FIT), HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ), L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB), Lowe's Co. Inc. (NYSE: LOW), Office Depot Inc. (NYSE: ODP), and Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ).

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About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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