Dow Jones Industrial Average Dips on China Trade Concerns

The Dow Jones Industrial Average will slip Thursday after Chinese officials voiced concerns about a long-term trade deal with the United States.

I have more on this below. In addition, the latest round of earnings failed to boost optimism for investors. We're deep into earnings season and weighing a thick round of economic data this week.

But before we dive into the latest trade developments and more, here are the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 27,186.69 +115.27 +0.43
S&P 500 3,046.77 +9.88 +0.33
Nasdaq 8,303.98 +27.12 +0.33

Now, here's a closer look at what I'm following today. These are the most important market events and stocks.

The Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday

  • The Dow pushed lower this morning on chatter over trade between the United States and China. According to Bloomberg, Chinese officials are raising concerns about the long-term viability of a trade deal between the two countries. The Trump administration has been pushing for a "phase one" deal to announce ahead of a major summit in Chile next month. However, the two nations remain far apart on issues like intellectual property and technology transfers.

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  • On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates for the third straight time. The central bank cut its benchmark rate by another 25 basis points. If history is a guide, the last time the central bank slashed interest rates three consecutive times, the stock market rallied sharply. Pay close attention to statements this week from other members of the Fed. With the Labor Department delivering the October jobs report tomorrow, investors should expect a lot of questions about the health of the U.S. economy and monetary policy moving forward.
  • Oil prices continue to decline this morning as concerns about global inventory weigh on commodities. Brent crude was off another 0.2% at $60.46, while WTI crude slipped 1.2% to hit $54.36. Weak manufacturing data in China complemented news of an uptick in U.S. crude inventories. This morning, we saw data that China's manufacturing levels have declined for the sixth consecutive month. That figure has raised concerns about the health of the Chinese economy and its impact on global crude demand.

Stock to Watch Today: MO, KHC, TWTR, FB

  • Shares of Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) popped 1.5% after the tobacco company topped earnings expectations this morning. The firm reported earnings per share of $1.19, a figure that beat Wall Street expectations by $0.04. The bigger news today is that the firm took a $4.5 billion write-down on Juul, the e-cigarette company. The FDA is considering additional regulations, and even bans, on certain e-cig products across the country.
  • Shares of Kraft Heinz Co. (NYSE: KHC) popped more than 7% this morning after the company easily beat earnings expectations. The firm reported EPS of $0.69. However, the firm did see net sales in the United States fall by 1.6% year over year, in addition to a decline in quarterly revenue.
  • Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) announced that it will stop accepting political ads ahead of the 2020 election. The firm's CEO, Jack Dorsey, said that political ads are a small source of revenue. However, most pundits see the firm's decision as a direct shot at Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has remained defiant about accepting ads on his platform. As always, U.S. President Donald Trump offered his opinion on the matter. This morning, Trump's campaign manager called Dorsey's commitment to blocking political ads a "very dumb decision."
  • Look for additional earnings reports from Pinterest Inc. (NASDAQ: PINS), Arista Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: ANET), Alteryx Inc. (NYSE: AYX), Fortinet Inc. (NASDAQ: FTNT), and Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI).

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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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