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The Dow Jones today is up as investors continue to cheer an expected rate cut later this month by the Federal Reserve.
More on this, and other events moving the Dow today, below. Plus: France's new tax on big tech.
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
- Fed Chair Jerome Powell will testify today before the Senate Banking Committee, a day after speaking with the House Financial Services Committee. Powell said the Fed is likely to more actively support economic growth due to the recent stalling in business investments across the country. The news sent gold prices higher as the dollar weakened. Interestingly, Bitcoin prices are down nearly $1,000 over the last 24 hours as investors watch capital flow back into stocks.
- France has enacted a digital tax on U.S. tech companies, a controversial move that will surely face scrutiny among international regulators. The new tax will hit tech giants with a 3% levy on French revenue, a decision that immediately prompted an investigation from the White House. U.S. President Donald Trump said the new tax "unfairly targets U.S. companies."
- Oil prices hit a six-week high thanks to new tensions in the Middle East and the impact of a major storm in the Gulf of Mexico. WTI crude topped $60.50, while Brent crude surpassed $67 per barrel. Three Iranian ships attempted to seize a British ship operated by BP Plc. (NYSE: BP) in the Strait of Hormuz. Iranian ships pulled back after receiving warnings from a British warship. The uptick in prices comes as OPEC slashes its 2020 forecast for global oil demand.
Stock to Watch Today:
- Shares of Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) jumped another 2% after the company topped Wall Street earnings expectations. The airline reported earnings per share of $2.35, topping Wall Street expectations of $2.28. The firm also reported a record quarterly profit of $12.25 billion.
- In tariff news, Fastenal Co. (NYSE: FAST) plunged more than 4.3% after the firm fell well short of earnings expectations. The firm reported a 3.2% year-over-year profit decline thanks to "slowing in the second quarter of 2019," according to a press release. The firm's $1.37 billion in Q2 revenue also fell short of expectations. Despite its ability to increase prices to offset tariffs, the firm says it was unable to counter marketplace inflation.
- Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced plans to retrain roughly 100,000 of its employees with new skills by 2025. That figure represents about one-third of its global workforce. The new skills will likely prepare employees for new careers or more advanced jobs in the organization.
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