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The Dow Jones today is mostly flat after China reported a GDP of 6%, well below economists' expectations. The news overshadowed earnings reports from a number of blue-chip firms.
More on this and other Dow impacts below.
First, here are the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
|Index||Previous Close||Point Change||Percentage Change|
The Top Stock Market Stories for Friday
- This morning, investors are weighing economic news out of China. During the third quarter, the nation's economy grew at its slowest pace since 1992. The 6% level raised questions about the success of the nation's stimulus efforts. More importantly, it drew many questions about the impact of the ongoing trade war between the United States and China. This is hardly surprising given the fact that we recently saw consumer confidence slide in the United States due to rising prices and supply chain woes. Sliding demand will reflect weak supply and economic output. We're crossing the point of no return for the global economy at this pace.
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- For years, I've followed the status of what could be the largest IPO in the history of the financial markets. I studied the macroeconomic and geopolitical factors that could make Saudi Aramco – the jewel of Middle East oil production – the largest "public" company in history. And now we will have to wait once again for the details to emerge. The company will delay announcing plans for its IPO until after it calculates third-quarter earnings. It could see a public valuation as high as $2 trillion. The Sept. 14 attack on Saudi production is a major worry that has rattled investor confidence in recent weeks.
- Next up, pay close attention to talk about the Brexit over the weekend. Phase one between the United Kingdom and Europe is complete as the two sides now have a draft of a deal. However, phase two is just underway. Prime Minister Boris Johnson must now return to Parliament to seek ratification of the deal. The vote will happen over the weekend. Meanwhile, Europe is now dealing with another trade headache, this time fueled by the United States. Reports indicate that the U.S. has imposed roughly $7.5 billion in new tariffs on EU goods. The tariffs hit products like olives, Scotch whisky, cheeses, and the aircraft giant Airbus.
Stocks to Watch Today: AXP, GM, T
- Shares of American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) are on the move after the company reported earnings before the bell this morning. The firm reported EPS of $2.08, a figure that topped expectations by $0.05. Revenue also beat consensus expectations on Friday. Shares gained 1.6% thanks to news that the credit card giant had increased its revenue outlook for the current quarter.
- Shares of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) are still in focus as the company faces an ongoing strike from members of the United Auto Works union. Although the two sides have agreed in principle to a deal after a five-week standoff, the union plans to keep the strike going while members vote on a new contract. GM has reportedly lost $1 million per day since the strike began. However, Michigan's economy could face significant challenges and lost tax revenue, while suppliers down the GM procurement chain are also struggling due to factors out of their control.
- AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is reportedly engaged with Elliott Management to address concerns of the activist hedge fund. Paul Singer's investment fund is seeking a number of cost-cutting initiatives and potential divestitures to help bolster shareholder value. Elliott believes that its management plan could help produce gains of 60% for AT&T stock by 2021. However, AT&T's union has suggested that the plans could cost up to 30,000 employees their jobs in the years ahead.
- Look for additional earnings reports on Friday from Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO), Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB), Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU), and Synchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF).
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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.