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The Dow Jones today will see triple-digit growth on reports the American economy added 263,000 jobs in April, hitting a record-low unemployment rate.
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's Department of Labor report indicates that the official U.S. unemployment rate fell to 3.6% in April, thanks to a huge surge in new jobs. The economy added 263,000 positions last month, well ahead of the average forecast of 199,000. The report shows the resiliency of the U.S. economy despite ongoing theatrics in Washington, D.C., over the Mueller investigation and political battles over Federal Reserve positions. U.S. unemployment is now at its lowest levels since 1969.
- The price of Bitcoin hit a five-month high and topped $5,700. However, the bigger cryptocurrency news is that Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is reportedly seeking partners for the launch of a new crypto-payment platform. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the company is working on "Project Libra," the code name for the payment service, and has spoken to companies like Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) and MasterCard Inc. (NYSE: MA) about the project. It would reportedly include a new digital currency – pegged to the U.S. dollar – that could be transferred across its WhatsApp messenger network.
- Oil prices will finish the week with a loss after a sharp decline in the wake of Wednesday's inventory report from the Energy Information Administration. The uptick in U.S. crude storage was significant enough to offset concerns about Iranian and Venezuelan sanctions that are hindering both nations' exports. In addition, there have been reports that Saudi Arabia is likely to hike output through June in order to meet rising domestic demand for energy.
Stocks to Watch Today: AMZN, FCAU
- Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) received a boost this morning. According to Warren Buffett, his investment firm Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A) has been snapping up shares of the e-commerce giant. Buffett said that he isn't the person behind those deals, instead saying that "one of the fellows" who manages capital at the firm was buying AMZN. Buffett said that analysts can expect to see AMZN in Berkshire's 13 F. Some analysts consider Berkshire's purchase to be a wake-up call for investors in the brick and mortar retail space.
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- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NASDAQ: FCAU) leads a busy day of earnings reports. Shares of the automobile market popped 3% despite news that quarterly profits fell by 47% year over year. The firm reported losses in China and Europe; however, it also confirmed its full-year guidance and showed optimism about sales tied to new models of its vehicles.
- Look for other earnings reports from Dominion Energy Inc. (NYSE: D), Francesca's Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: FRAN), Newell Co. (NYSE: NWL), Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL), TransCanada Corp. (NYSE: TRP), and WP Carey Inc. (NYSE: WPC).
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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.