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The Dow Jones today is pointing down after China reported its lowest economic production increase since 2003. More on this, and other DJIA impacts, below.
Plus: What's pumping up oil prices?
Here's a closer look at today's Money Morning insight, the most important market events, and stocks to watch.
First, here are the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
|Index||Previous Close||Point Change||Percentage Change|
The Top Stock Market Stories for Wednesday
- Weakness in the Chinese economy has investors wondering if the nation's central bank is preparing to introduce new stimulus measures. The combination of lowering industrial production to 5.4% year over year and the threat of new tariffs has raised concerns about whether the nation's economy can continue to experience weakness without social strife. This morning, U.S. President Donald Trump continued to stoke fears about an ongoing trade war with China. Trump hiked tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods last week and has threatened to raise levies on $300 billion more. Trump tweeted Tuesday that the United States is "in a much better position now than any deal we could have made." Meanwhile, Trump has until midnight this Friday to decide whether to slap import tariffs on European vehicles.
- This morning, the U.S. Commerce Department announced that retail sales fell in April, raising new worries about the state of the American economy and confidence of the American consumer. Retail sales dropped 0.2% last month. Analysts had expected an uptick in sales by 0.2% year over year. Keep a close eye on shares of Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), and Kohl's Corp. (NYSE: KSS) on Wednesday.
- Oil prices were falling Wednesday after the American Petroleum Institute announced a surprise uptick in crude and gasoline inventories for the previous week. Still, crude prices continue to receive support from ongoing tensions in the Middle East. Keep an eye on prices later today, when the U.S. Energy Department reports the official inventory numbers later this morning.
Stocks to Watch Today: BABA, M, BA
- Shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) gained 1.7% after the Chinese e-commerce giant topped Wall Street earnings expectations. The firm reported stronger-than-expected cloud revenue, which boosted its bottom line.
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- Shares of Macy's Inc. (NYSE: M) added more than 2% after the retail giant topped Wall Street earnings expectations. The retailer reported earnings per share of $0.44 on top of $5.504 billion in revenue. Wall Street had expected EPS of $0.33 on top of $5.505 billion. The company reported stronger online sales and reaffirmed its 2019 outlook.
- Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) is under pressure again today on news that the company reported zero new jet orders last month. Not only has the firm seen no new orders for the grounded 737 Max jets, but it has also failed to secure new contracts on the 777 and 787 Dreamliner.
- Today, look for more earnings reports from Children's Place Inc. (NASDAQ: PLCE), Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), Embraer SA (NYSE: ERJ), Flowers Foods Inc. (NYSE: FLO), and Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ: JACK).
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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.