Why the Dow Jones Today Might Stay Flat After the Third Straight Fed Rate Cut

The Dow Jones today could see only a slight uptick as investors await the latest interest rate update from the Federal Reserve.

More on this below. Also affecting the Dow today: a round of earnings reports from some of Silicon Valley's top players. We'll tackle those stories and more.

But first, here are the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 27,071.42 -19.30 -0.07
S&P 500 3,036.89 -2.53 -0.08
Nasdaq 8,276.85 -49.13 -0.59

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 Wednesday

  • This morning, economic data appeared much better than many economists had expected. U.S. GDP ticked up 1.9% in the third quarter, a figure that beat expectations by a tenth of a percentage point. Though I haven't fully dug into the Commerce Department report just yet, my early interpretation is that consumer spending continues to outpace expectations by a modest margin. Meanwhile, we received positive news on the jobs front. Private payrolls, according to ADP, topped 125,000 new positions in October. That figure was also higher than forecasts. However, it's worth noting that ADP did downwardly revise its estimates for September. On Friday, the U.S. Labor Department will release the official report for October.

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  • Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is leading headlines today. The U.S. Central Bank will likely cut interest rates by a quarter percentage point after its meeting concludes today. This would be the third straight interest rate cut by the Fed. However, it will likely be the last for some time. The broader consensus is that the central bank will halt additional cuts and monitor the health of the U.S. economy before making any future decisions. The Fed's committee meeting will follow the official decision at 2:30 p.m. EST today.
  • Finally, it's another busy day of earnings reports. Later this afternoon, Wall Street awaits the release of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) earnings after the bell. The iPhone maker is expected to report earnings per share of $2.84.

Stocks to Watch Today: GE, BA, AXE

  • Shares of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) popped more than 8.8% this morning after the firm topped Wall Street earnings expectations and increased its forecast for 2019 cash flow. The firm did announce that it lost about $9.5 billion during the quarter. GE is still facing challenges from its aviation unit. It will continue to wait for the Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) 737 Max to take back to the skies.
  • Speaking of Boeing, the company's CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, will testify before Congress again on Wednesday. The topic will be whether the aviation sector requires greater regulatory oversight and the state of the 737 Max jet. On Tuesday, the CEO showed remorse about the company's design mistakes on the popular jet. Muilenburg said that his firm followed regulatory guidelines. He also indicated that the firm would welcome additional insight.
  • Shares of Anixter International Inc. (NYSE: AXE) popped more than 14% after the security and electrical giant announced plans to be acquired by a private equity firm. Clayton, Dubilier & Rice will pay $81 per share in cash. The deal also includes a valuation that takes on about $3.8 billion in debt.
  • On the earnings front, Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX), Twilio Inc. (NASDAQ: TWLO), Lyft Inc. (NASDAQ: LYFT), 3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD), Cree Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE), Molson Coors Brewing Co. (NYSE: TAP), and Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) will report today.

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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.

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