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The Dow Jones today is down after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened tariffs on China again.
The U.S. Senate also just passed a bill that draws awareness to recent events in Hong Kong. This could ruffle some feathers in Beijing. More on these events - and others moving the Dow today - below.
Before we get to that, here are the numbers from Tuesday 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 Wednesday
- This morning, investors are again worried about the state of trade between the United States and China. Reports indicate that the Trump administration may slap new tariffs on China if it doesn't come to the table for a deal. On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a Hong Kong human rights bill, a direct rebuke at the Chinese government over heightened tensions in the region. The bill will now head to the U.S. House of Representatives. China has accused the United States of interfering in its political matters.
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- Retail earnings are set to hit high gear on Wednesday. The sector will attempt to rebound from disappointing reports yesterday from Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) and Kohl's Corp. (NYSE: KSS). This morning, look for reports from Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) and Lowe's Cos. Inc. (NYSE: LOW).
- Finally, the Federal Reserve will release minutes from its most recent meeting on monetary policy. The central bank cut interest rates for the third time in 2019 during its October meeting. Now, investors are interested to see where different members of the central bank sit on future rate cuts. Markets largely anticipate that the minutes will show a consensus that the Fed should hold rates in place for the foreseeable future. However, the minutes will also provide insight into the Fed's view on the economy and its outlook for 2020.
Stocks to Watch Today: AMZN, AMRN, WORK
- Antitrust concerns are picking up again in Washington, D.C. According to reports from last night, Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) admitted to Congress that it used "aggregated data" from its third-party sellers to determine which products to manufacture on its own. The report also indicates that Amazon used this data to study and market its own "private label" products. The Federal Trade Commission has been interviewing third-party sellers for several months. Amazon now sells about 158,000 private brand products that compete with third-party sellers on its own e-commerce platform.
- Shares of Amarin Corp. Plc. (NASDAQ: AMRN) slumped 4.4% after Oppenheimer downgraded the pharmaceutical company. An analyst from the investment firm slashed its price target to $7 and cited underwhelming sales and path to growth. The analyst also no longer sees Amarin as a feasible takeover target.
- Shares of Slack Technologies Inc. (NYSE: WORK) are trying to rebound after Tuesday's 8.3% slump. The work messaging service cratered after it received bad news from competitor Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT). According to reports, Microsoft's competing Teams product has 20 million users. Slack reported in September that it has 12 million users. Slack shares are now off 50% since its 52-week peak of $42 during its first day of trading. Expect the problems to get worse. Microsoft is integrating its Teams product into its Microsoft Office product and offering free versions of the tool to carve away market share from its Unicorn rival.
- Look for earnings reports from L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB), Copart Inc. (NASDAQ: CPRT), Chemical & Mining Co. (NYSE: SQM), Cubic Corp. (NYSE: CUB), Spire Inc. (NYSE: SR), and La-Z-Boy Inc. (NYSE: LZB).
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