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The Dow Jones today will see more gains after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell suggested the U.S. central bank will cut interest rates during its July meeting. Details further down.
Plus: Find out the president's feelings on Bitcoin.
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
- Investors are excited to hear Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell tell the U.S. Senate Banking Committee that the central bank can accommodate the U.S. economy with another rate cut if necessary. Powell has faced pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, who has argued that rate cuts will not drive significant inflation. Trump wants to slash borrowing costs in order to help expand the U.S. economy.
- Oil prices are pushing a six-month high as investors eye the ongoing storm along the Gulf Coast. WTI crude topped $60 per barrel and touched six-week highs as Storm Barry hit producers and refiners across the region. Producers in the Gulf of Mexico have cut 1 million barrels of daily crude oil production over the last few days. The tropical storm is expected to hit landfall by Saturday along the Louisiana coast. The pullback comes as global oil prices are pushing higher thanks to OPEC production cuts, tension in the Middle East, and declines in U.S. inventory levels.
- The price of Bitcoin hit $11,600 after President Trump said he wasn't a fan of global cryptocurrencies. The statement comes after Fed Chair Jerome Powell testified his belief that Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) may need a banking license before it launches its new cryptocurrency project Libra. Trump tweeted that the U.S. dollar is the "only real currency in the USA." Following that statement, the CEO of Coinbase – the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States – said that Bitcoin had achieved another goal and touted the fact that governments cannot control the world's largest cryptocurrency.
Stocks to Watch Today: MO, GS, VLO, ILMN
- Shares of Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) is adding 1.5% as the tobacco giant bounces off of recent lows. The stock received an upgrade to "Buy" from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS). The investment bank noted that tobacco stocks are trading at 10-year lows on valuation.
- We're just a few months away from the new international maritime laws that will trigger higher diesel fuel prices. The International Maritime Organization will implement new rules requiring all global shipping companies to shift to low-sulfur fuel in order to reduce emissions and improve ocean quality. So who is the winner? Those new IMO rules for 2020 scream "buy" for oil refining stocks like Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO). Here's what you need to know.
- Shares of Illumina Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) slumped more than 15% after the company reported a weak revenue outlook for the second quarter. The firm reported that it expects revenue to hit $835 million, a figure that is roughly $52 million lower than initial expectations. The company will report quarterly earnings on July 29.
- Look for earnings reports from Infosys Ltd. (NASDAQ: INFY) and Amyris Inc. (NASDAQ: AMRS).
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