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The Dow Jones today fell after news that Chinese phone maker Huawei would sue the U.S. government for banning its products.
This was a setback for investors who have waited on the edges of their seats for good news to come out of U.S.-China trade talks. More on this below – and how Jack Daniel's whiskey feels about it.
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
- Investors are eyeing news that the U.S. deficit with China hit a 10-year high during December. This widening deficit occurred even in the face of U.S. President Donald Trump's large tariffs on Chinese goods. Trump has been slapping tariffs on China to reduce this deficit. However, Americans continued to buy cheap manufactured goods while the Chinese government has scooped up cheap commodities and raw materials from other nations. Yesterday, shares of Brown-Forman Corp. (NYSE: BF.B), the manufacturer of Jack Daniel's whiskey, fell 7% after announcing the tariffs were hurting sales. Now, new tensions in the trade deal are emerging as the Chinese tech firm Huawei has sued the U.S. government over a ban to sell its equipment to the United States.
- Before the bell, the European Central Bank planned to announce its latest decision on interest rates and other monetary policy matters. The ECB Bank Chief Mario Draghi hosted a press conference to discuss the bank's forecast for the European economy. Many analysts project that several key markets – like Germany – have seen a cooldown in economic activity in recent months. The ECB has never raised interest rates during any part of Draghi's eight-year term.
- The 2020 election is heating up around one issue – but it's not the one that you think. In fact, Money Morning Special Situation Strategist Tim Melvin projects that President Trump will do something shocking before the election: legalize cannabis across the United States. Think that's crazy? Well, you'd be amazed at how easy it would be. You'll also be shocked by how much money you could make by getting out in front of this trend – check out Tim's latest insight right here.
Stocks to Watch Today: KR, AMZN, PEP
- Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has learned that brick-and-mortar retail is difficult. The e-commerce giant announced plans to shut all 87 of its pop-up shops inside other stores' locations, including Whole Foods and Kohl's Corp. (NYSE: KSS). The stores – which will close in April – were designed to showcase Amazon products and services like Echo smart speakers, Fire TV, Amazon Prime, Audible, and Kindle. Still, the firm will likely add pop-up shops like these when it begins unveiling new Amazon grocery stores. The firm will open as many as 3,000 Amazon Go stores by 2021.
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- Shares of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) continue to slump. The stock was off another 1%, a day after falling another eight percentage points. The downturn came after its CEO announced its industrial division will be cash-flow negative in 2019.
- Shares of PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) were off 1% this morning after the stock received a downgrade from Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE: CS). While the Swiss bank called PepsiCo a "high quality" business, it raised concerns about its need to heavily invest over several years into struggling business lines and snack products. It also raised concerns about the ongoing competitive threats in the industry. CS set a price target for Pepsi at $100 per share, which is well below yesterday's trading price of $116.
- Look for other earnings reports from American Outdoor Brands Corp. (NASDAQ: AOBC), Burlington Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: BURL), Care.com Inc. (NASDAQ: CRCM), Chuy's Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CHUY), El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LOCO), GNC Holdings Inc. (NYSE: GNC), H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB), Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: HOV), Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG), and UMH Properties SH (NYSE: UMH).
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.