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The Dow Jones Industrial Average could lose a few points as the deadline for a fresh set of U.S. tariffs on China inches nearer.
Investors are hoping that China and the United States will be able to enact a "phase one" deal to avoid the Dec. 15 tariffs. This would set the two nations on a path toward a more robust deal heading into 2020. More factors moving the Dow today, below.
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
- Investors will spend the bulk of this week speculating on Sunday's trade deadline between the United States and China. The latter country has experienced a number of challenges to its economy this quarter due to the ongoing trade spat between the two nations. China's exports dipped in November for the fourth straight month. That said, China continues to demand that the U.S. roll back tariffs as part of any "phase one" deal. The Trump administration, however, appears ready to slap China with a new round of tariffs ahead of Sunday's deadline or wait until after 2020 to return to the negotiating table.
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- Next, the U.S. Federal Reserve will kick off its two-day conference on monetary policy on Tuesday. Although the Fed is not going to cut interest rates this month, investors are focusing on just how long it will maintain a low benchmark rate.
- In deal news, pharmaceutical and biotech M&A appear to be heating up again, thanks to lower interest rates and increased demand for specialty drugs. This morning, ArQule Inc. (NASDAQ: ARQL) announced it will be sold to Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) in a deal worth roughly $2.7 billion, or $19 per share. That price represents a 101% premium from Friday's closing price. Meanwhile, Synthorx Inc. (NASDAQ: THOR), a California-based biotech firm, announced it will be sold to French powerhouse Sanofi SA (NYSE: SNY). THOR stock will be snapped up for $68 per share. That price represents a more than 168% premium to Friday's closing price of roughly $25 per share.
Stocks to Watch Today: S, TMUS, ORCL, LULU
- The future of the U.S. wireless industry is on display this week. A lawsuit brought by a dozen states will attempt to block a merger between the Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and T-Mobile U.S. Inc. (NYSE: TMUS). Thirteen states and the District of Columbia will argue before a New York judge that the deal to merge the No. 3 and No. 4 wireless carriers would simply drive up the price for customers. The two companies, however, argue that the $26.5 billion planned merger would lead to greater innovation and lower prices.
- It could be a banner year for the Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS). The entertainment giant is reportedly on the verge of reaching $10 billion in box office sales in 2019. The company – with a little less than a month left in the year – has crushed its previous annual record (set in 2016) of $7.6 billion. The news comes as the firm's film, Frozen 2, continues to easily top box office sales both in the United States and around the globe. The production company has five films that topped $1 billion in sales. It will also release a new Star Wars film on Dec. 20, all but guaranteeing that it surpasses this historic mark.
- Shares of Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) are in focus as the athletic leisure wear giant prepares to report earnings after the bell on Monday. The athletic company will look to maintain solid momentum heading into 2020, thanks to its expansion into new product lines. Shares of Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) will report earnings after the bell Monday as well. Investors will be extremely interested in the company's 2020 outlook, given the range of forecasts issued by competitors during recent earnings calls.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST), Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ: AVGO), Stitch Fix Inc. (NYSE: FIX), GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME), MongoDB Inc. (NYSE: MDB), and Thor Industries Inc. (NYSE: THO).
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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.