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The Dow Jones today is pointed up as the United States and China inch toward a complete "phase one" agreement on trade.
Also moving the Dow today: corporate earnings and Brexit news. This week features a critical schedule of economic data that could make or break the fourth quarter for investors. More on these factors below.
First, 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
- First up, investors are preparing for one of the busiest weeks of the year for earnings and economic data. This week, markets will receive an update on U.S. GDP in the third quarter. In addition, look for Friday's jobs report, which could help propel the S&P 500 to a new record. Meanwhile, investors have cheered the latest rounds of earnings. So far this season, 202 firms from the S&P 500 have reported earnings. Roughly 78% of those companies have topped Wall Street earnings expectations. In addition, very few have mentioned the prospect of a recession during their earnings calls.
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- The markets appear optimistic that the U.S. and China are close to finalizing phase one of a trade agreement. Investors are hoping to hear additional concessions between both sides. President Trump said that he hopes the two sides have a framework in place before he attends a summit in Chile alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping.
- Finally, the markets are celebrating news that a Brexit will not happen this month. The European Union has provided an extension for Brexit until Jan. 31. The additional time will provide both the EU and Britain additional time to work out issues like the hard Irish backstop and other factors that have stalled the deal. However, the extension could create more headaches across Britain as Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn eyes the role of Prime Minister.
Stocks to Watch Today: GOOGL, TIF, T
- Shares of Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) are in focus as the firm prepares to report earnings after the bell. While the bottom-line figures will generate buzz, investors are more focused on details around the company's antitrust battle with 48 states. The state of Texas is leading a group of 48 state attorneys to address antitrust concerns around its online advertising business.
- Shares of Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) popped more than 20% on takeover rumors. According to reports, French luxury giant LVMH has made a $14.5 billion offer to take over the high-end jeweler.
- Shares of AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) added 1.7% this morning after the firm topped Wall Street earnings expectations before the bell. The firm said it added more mobile phone subscribers than analysts had expected. The firm added 101,000 postpaid subscribers during the quarter. Wall Street expected the firm to lose 172,000 subscribers. AT&T remains under pressure from activist hedge fund Elliott Management to divest certain assets and bolster shareholder value.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NYSE: WBA), Beyond Meat Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND), Spotify Technology SA (NASDAQ: SPOT), NXP Semiconductors NV (NASDAQ: NXPI), T-Mobile US Inc. (NYSE: TMUS), Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG), and Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. (NYSE: DO).
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.