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The Dow Jones today started 200 points down after the U.S. Department of Labor released the February jobs report. The U.S. economy added just 20,000 jobs for the month, well below the industry expectation of 180,000.
With the U.S. labor slump and continued trade tensions with China, Wall Street should see a lot of red today. But there are still winners to watch in the market. More on this below.
Here are the numbers from Thursday 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 Friday
- This morning, China's Shanghai Index plunged more than 4% thanks to growing concerns about a trade recession in the world's second-largest economy. The country announced that dollar-denominated exports fell by 20.7% in February compared to last year. The figure missed economists' expectations of a 4.8% year-over-year decline by a wide margin. The Shenzhen Composite also fell by 3.8% on the day.
- In deal news, a blockbuster could be on the horizon in Europe. Multiple outlets report that Commerzbank AG (OTC MKTS: CRZBF) and Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE: DB) are in talks about a possible merger. The news comes as economic development in Germany has slowed, raising new concerns about a recession in Europe's top-performing economy.
- Oil prices slid this morning as concerns about the global oil supply mixed with worries about rising U.S. supplies. The European Central Bank said this week that it expects "continued weakness" in the world's largest economic block. And while OPEC plans to cut production, their efforts are being undermined by growing output in U.S. shale fields. The current oil market has analysts concerned about the stability of the world's largest public producer of oil and gas. This morning, investment bank Cowen downgraded Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) from outperform to perform and slashed its 12-month forecast to $75. That figure represents a 25% decline from previous forecasts.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: FIZZ, NAV, CZR
- Shares of National Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ: FIZZ) plunged more than 16% after the company blamed "injustice" on a poor quarterly earnings report. In a bizarre and somewhat rambling quarterly earnings press release, the firm's chair and CEO Nick Caporella compared the management of a brand to the care for "someone who becomes handicapped." Caporella apologized for the fact that company profits slumped 39.6% year over year.
- Shares of Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV) popped more than 3.7% after the trucking firm topped Wall Street revenue expectations. Navistar reported earnings per share of $0.11 on top of a 28% jump in quarterly revenue. Wall Street had expected EPS of $0.16 but dismissed the shortfall due to one-time charges. The firm said it was the best quarter it has experienced since 2010.
- Caesars Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ: CZR) added 2.5% on news that hedge fund titan Carl Icahn has boosted his stake in the firm from 9.78% to 15.53%. According to an SEC filing, Icahn not only increased his stake in the firm, but he also reached an agreement to add three of his own nominees to the gaming giant's board of directors.
- On Friday, look for earnings reports from Vail Resorts Inc. (NYSE: MTN) and Big Lots Inc. (NYSE: BIG).