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The Dow Jones Industrial Average will see little growth today after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell hinted at no interest rate cuts in the near future - against U.S. President Donald Trump's wishes.
Other items affecting the Dow Jones today: a week of solid earnings reports and the Trump administration's announcement that the United States might close a trade deal with China very soon. More on this below.
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
- A busy earnings season continues on Thursday. Headlining today's round of updates is biotech insurance giant Cigna Inc. (NYSE: CI). The firm reported adjusted earnings per share of $3.90, a figure that topped expectations by $0.17. Cigna also beat revenue expectations and increased its 2019 outlook thanks to stronger performance from the recently acquired Express Scripts. CI stock was up 0.3% in pre-market hours.
- According to CNBC, the Trump administration may reach a new trade deal with China by next Friday, May 10. The two countries have been engaged in talks for months to avoid an escalation of a trade war. While the countries have made progress, a few roadblocks still exist, including President Trump's desire for China to purchase more U.S. goods and enforcement of intellectual property theft. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He plans to visit Washington next week to continue discussions.
- Finally, the U.S. Federal Reserve threw cold water on the idea that it could cut interest rates this year. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a news conference that the recent lack of inflation may be "transitory." President Trump argued this week that the Fed should cut rates and introduce new stimulus measures to bolster the U.S. economy. However, Powell's statements dismissed such speculation, and the Fed Open Market Committee voted to maintain the benchmark rate between 2.25% and 2.5%.
Stocks to Watch Today: QCOM, BYND, AAPL, TSN
- Shares of QUALCOMM Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) were falling in pre-market hours when the chipmaker reported earnings after the bell yesterday. Even though the firm topped Wall Street earnings and revenue expectations, shares retreated. The company also announced that it expects to generate $4.5 billion to $4.7 billion in revenue from its recent settlement with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL).
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- Investors are preparing for the IPO of Beyond Meat, which will begin trading on the Nasdaq Thursday under the ticker BYND. The artificial meat giant will price shares today at $25 each, which is higher than the expected range between $21 and $23. That share price would give the firm a valuation of $1.46 billion. It's worth noting that meat producer Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN), which was a minority shareholder in Beyond Meat, sold its stake in the company before the IPO. Tyson plans to create its own line of plant-based "meats."
- Look for additional earnings reports from Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS), Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI), DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP), Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. (NASDAQ: DNKN), Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE: HBI), HollyFrontier Corp. (NYSE: HFC), Monster Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ: MNST), Murphy Oil Corp. (NYSE: MUR), Royal Dutch Shell Plc. (NYSE: RDS.A), Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UAA), and United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X).
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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.