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The Dow Jones today will open in the green again after a 34-point loss on Friday. The S&P 500 is now up 17.7% for the year - and it's on track for its best first-half performance since 1997.
But international issues loom large this week. More on what that means for stocks below.
Here are the numbers from Friday 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 Monday
- U.S. President Donald Trump said the White House is prepared to negotiate with the Iranian government without any preconditions. Over the weekend, Trump addressed his decision last week to call off a strike on Iran after the nation fired a surface-to-air missile and struck an American drone. On top of that, six oil tankers have been attacked in, or near, the Strait of Hormuz since the beginning of May. This morning, the United States will announce new sanctions against Iran as it aims to prevent the Middle Eastern nation from pursuing the development of nuclear weapons.
- Markets have priced in a 100% probability that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates in July. Last week's decision by the Fed to not cut rates was positive for the stock market, but gold prices surged on concerns of rising inflation and expectations of the coming reduction in the benchmark rate. Last week's key lesson is that the U.S. central bank is still a major influence on the markets and can shift sentiment on a dime. Back in January, the Fed made a major pivot on rate policy when it said it would be patient with further rate hikes in 2019. That set off the first-half rally that we have witnessed since the beginning of the year.
- Investors continue to eye ongoing trade developments between the United States and China. Leaders from the U.S. and China are poised to meet at the G-20 conference in Japan; however, chip stocks are under pressure after the U.S. Commerce Department barred five Chinese companies from purchasing U.S. components without the approval of the American government. In addition, the U.S. government is considering a ban on all American companies from purchasing 5G components from Chinese companies, according to The Wall Street Journal. Last week, investors largely focused on central banks around the globe and priced in the expectations for rate cuts, more stimulus, and greater flexibility in monetary policy around the globe.
Money Morning Insight of the Day
5G is coming: The breakthrough of the century could rest on this $6 stock.
CNBC reports that this opportunity is worth $12.3 trillion... and it's gearing up to make an appearance all over America.
In fact, some of these devices are showing up right in your neighborhood - and we're willing to bet you didn't even notice.
Our Silicon Valley insider mapped out all the details in this report.
Stocks to Watch Today: GS, TMUS, S, DISH, CZR, ERI
- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) is facing negative press after the prime minister of Malaysia expressed disappointment in the firm's handling of the 1MDB scandal. In the wake of the multibillion-dollar scandal involving one of the nation's state funds, the firm has offered to compensate Malaysia with just $241.73 million. The firm raised $6.5 billion and collected $600 million in fees from the fund. However, about $4.5 billion of that fund would later go missing, with millions ending up in the personal bank account of the country's former prime minister. Current Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad called Goldman's offer "peanuts" and said it's not adequate.
- T-Mobile US Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) are working on closing a deal between the two mobile carriers. The U.S. Justice Department is expected to approve a deal in the next few days. According to reports, the agency is likely to approve a deal on news that Dish Network Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH) is likely to purchase Boost Mobile and Sprint's spectrum assets to address antitrust concerns.
- In deal news, Eldorado Resorts Inc. (NYSE: ERI) is buying Caesars Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ: CZR) in a $17.3 billion deal that will create the largest casino company in the United States. The deal comes just three months after Carl Icahn joined Caesar's board and pushed for the deal. Shares of CZR stock popped more than 12.4% on news of the deal.
- No major U.S. company will report earnings on Monday. Look for the calendar to heat up Tuesday, when we hear quarterly reports from Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU), FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN), and SYNNEX Corp. (NYSE: SNX).