Why Chinese Economic Growth Is Boosting the Dow Jones Today

The Dow Jones today will get a significant bump after reports of China's manufacturing sector expanding in March at its fastest rate in eight months. Good news for investors eyeing U.S.-China trade talks.

More on how this will impact the Dow below.

Plus: continued Brexit pressure and a food company that's doubling Wall Street targets.

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

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 25,928.68 +211.22 +0.82%
S&P 500 2,834.40 +18.96 +0.67%
Nasdaq 7,729.32 +60.16 +0.78%

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 Monday

  • This morning, airline stocks are sliding on news of a system-wide glitch that has left flights grounded across the country. Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV), Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL), and United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL) reported technical problems across the country and said a third-party vendor is responsible for the delays. The glitch comes a week after travelers on American Airlines Group Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) and JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ: JBLU) reported computer outages and delays across the United States.

  • This morning, Chinese officials surprised markets with news that the nation's manufacturing sector expanded last month. The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) reading came in at 50.8, above the 49.9 figure expected by economists. A reading above 50 signals that the sector expanded from the previous month.
  • Don't forget about Brexit. Today, the British Parliament will hold a second round of votes on alternatives to the existing deal on the table from Prime Minister Theresa May. Last week, the governing body rejected a deal May negotiated with the European Union for the third time. The country has just two more weeks to reach a deal or it will crash out of the world's largest trade bloc. That short deadline is made worse by the fact that the nation is no closer to a solution than it was more than 1,000 days ago, when voters decided to depart the European Union.

Stocks to Watch Today: CALM, K, FB, AAPL

  • There is no egg on the faces of Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: CALM) executives this morning. The egg producers announced quarterly earnings per share of $0.82, well above Wall Street expectations at $0.43. The firm also beat revenue expectations and announced plans to expand its business.

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  • In deal news, Kellogg Co. (NYSE: K) shares ticked higher on news that the food giant plans to sell its Keebler and Famous Amos brands to Ferrero for $1.5 billion. Ferrero is an Italian company that owns Nutella and Nestle's candy brand.
  • Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg has called for European-style privacy laws in a blog post and Washington Post op-ed over the weekend. Zuckerberg has asked that government take a more proactive role in regulating the Internet across four areas. The op-ed echoes Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook's call for federal privacy regulation last year. However, some privacy advocates argue that Zuckerberg's call for more government intervention has little to do with protecting Americans' privacy and more to do with Facebook protecting itself after recent data breaches and privacy mishaps.
  • Look for earnings reports from Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: CALM), Digital Ally Inc. (NASDAQ: DGLY), and Eastman Kodak Co. (NASDAQ: KODK).

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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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