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The Dow Jones Industrial Average will see minimal growth today as trade talks between the United States and China continue to stall.
China has asked the United States to drop existing and planned tariffs in order to streamline a phase one deal. More on this below.
First, here are the numbers from Thursday 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 Friday
- U.S.-China trade progress hit a snag over agricultural purchases and China's unwillingness to curb technology transfers. Multiple media outlets state that China is hesitant about committing to specific farm purchases from American farmers. The ongoing trade battle and China's buying from nations like Brazil have pushed the U.S. agricultural sector into a recession. China has said that it is interested in continuing a dialogue about a phase one trade deal; however, it wants the United States to roll back existing tariffs. Optimism over a deal also slipped after the U.S. Senate pressed for a vote for a Hong Kong rights bill. As protests escalate across Hong Kong, China continues to maintain its hard line on region. The country has lodged "stern representations" on the issue, according to China's Foreign Ministry.
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- In other trade news, President Trump plans to make a decision on auto tariffs in the near future. While Congress has yet to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA), Trump has not provided any detail on whether he plans to level tariffs on auto parts or vehicles from the European Union, Japan, and South Korea. EU officials said Thursday that they expect that the White House will issue a delay on tariffs later this week.
- Finally, it's a bad time for oil and gas companies across Europe. According to reports, the European Investment Bank will halt investments in fossil fuel energy projects at the end of 2021. The EIB said that it will only finance clean energy projects. The EIB says it will "unlock 1 trillion euros of climate action and environmental sustainable investment" to promote renewable energy projects across the European Union by 2030.
Stocks to Watch Today: AMZN, MSFT, RH, BRK.A, WFC, OXY, FTCH, PSX
- Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is heightening its battle against the Trump administration. The firm cited "unmistakable bias" after the Pentagon awarded a military contract for a cloud network to Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT). Amazon filed a notice that it plans to protest the contract with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. "Numerous aspects of the JEDI evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias – and it's important that these matters be examined and rectified," Amazon told CNBC this week.
- Shares of Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc. (NYSE: RH) surged more than 6.8% after hours on news that Warren Buffett has taken a stake in the furniture maker. According to a new SEC filing, Buffett purchased 1.2 million of RH shares. The filing revealed that Buffett increased the Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A) stake in Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY). The report also showed that Berkshire cut its stakes in Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) and Phillips 66 Corp. (NYSE: PSX).
- Shares of Farfetch Ltd. (NYSE: FTCH) popped more than 20% after the company reported earnings after the bell Thursday. The luxury e-commerce website reported a quarterly loss of $0.18 on top of $255.48 million in revenue. The company hiked its fourth-quarter EBITDA outlook during the release. Shares before the report were off nearly 60% on the year.
- Look for additional earnings reports from JD.com Inc. (NASDAQ: JD), J.C. Penney Company Inc. (NYSE: JCP), and Eros International Plc. (NASDAQ: EROS).
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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.