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The Dow Jones today is pointed down as markets are skeptical about a trade deal between the United States and China. Both sides will sit down and restart negotiations in Washington later this week.
We'll continue this discussion below. Also: The General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) strike is on its third week.
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
- Today the markets are focusing on trade after Friday's "Goldilocks" jobs report. The report didn't show incredible job growth, but it didn't signal any weakness either. In addition, the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, the lowest figure in 50 years. The Dow rallied 372 points on Friday, although it appears ready to give back some of those gains with trade back in focus. According to reports, China is seeking a trade discussion with a much narrower focus. Chinese leadership said over the weekend that it will not reform the nation's industrial policies or cut state subsidies.
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- The Federal Reserve is back in focus over interest rates and the state of the U.S. economy. Friday's jobs reports didn't set the world on fire, and concerns about a possible recession continue to spiral across the country. That said, noted Fed hawk Esther George reportedly backs another interest rate cut in 2019. The Kansas City Fed Bank president said over the weekend that she would support a cut if she saw evidence of an economic slowdown. George has dissented from cuts during the last two Fed Open Market Committee meetings.
- Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump continues to fight for his political life in Washington. Over the weekend, a second whistleblower came forward against Trump and said they have firsthand knowledge of major events surrounding the president's call with Ukraine's leader. The White House had engaged in a campaign against the first whistleblower due to the fact that this person's account was based on secondhand information.
Stocks to Watch Today: GM, GE, C, UBER
- General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) employees are still on strike. Now, economists worry that the repercussions of this massive auto workers strike could ripple across the U.S. economy. It has already impacted the state of Michigan. This morning, the UAW said that both sides are nowhere close to a new deal after three weeks of a strike.
- Shares of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) are moving up a little this morning after the firm announced a major shakeup with its current pension program. GE said it plans to slash its pension deficit by $8 billion. The firm is going to freeze the current pension plan and offer lump-sum buyouts to retirees who have not collected benefits. The plan will effectively freeze plans for 20,000 employees.
- Shares of Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER) popped 3.3% this morning after the ride-sharing firm received an upgrade from Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C). The investment bank conceded that the IPO lockup and ongoing battle with California over contractor laws remain negative. However, the firm believes that risk-reward profile is now positive. The firm raised Uber's price target to $45, the same level as its IPO. Shares ticked above $30 on the news this morning.
- Look for earnings reports from LeMaitre Vascular Inc. (NASDAQ: LMAT) and Ferrellgas Partners LP (NYSE: FGP) today.
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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.