Dow Jones Industrial Average Slumps as Middle Eastern Tensions Point to Future Conflict

The Dow Jones Industrial Average could lose more than 100 points today following last week's U.S. bombing that killed Iran's top military leader.

Iranian officials have threatened revenge for the bombing, while U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to increase military response in the event of any Iranian action against U.S. interests. More below on how this will move the Dow today.

Here are the numbers from Friday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 28,634.88 -233.92 -0.81
S&P 500 3,234.85 -23.00 -0.71
Nasdaq 9,020.77 -71.42 -0.79

Now here are what I think will be the most important market events and stocks on Monday morning.

The Top Stock Market Stories for Monday

  • On Friday, markets sold off after President Trump authorized a strike that killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani. The news sent oil prices higher and increased concerns that Iran will respond at some point. Over the weekend, reports emerged that certain Iranian leaders are trying to put a bounty on Trump's head. Meanwhile, Iran's leadership announced it will no longer abide by the 2015 uranium enrichment limits under the nuclear deal.

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  • The ongoing threats between the U.S. and Iran have commodity process pushing higher. Gold prices rallied to a nearly seven-year high while Brent crude prices pushed above $70 for the first time since early 2019. Iran has vowed to retaliate against the United States and has threatened U.S. interests. However, it remains unclear what the next move could be. If Iran targets oil production in Saudi Arabia or Iraq - the two largest producers in OPEC - oil prices could push significantly higher in the weeks and months ahead.
  • Meanwhile, investors are turning their eyes to a critical week of economic data. On Friday, the U.S. Labor Department will give the December jobs report. Analysts expect that the U.S. economy added 160,000 jobs for the month, according to Refinitiv.

Stocks to Watch Today: F, CALM, C, BAC, HPQ, XRX

  • Shares of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) are in focus as the firm prepares to report fourth-quarter and full-year auto sales this morning. The company had reported Q3 sales of 580,251 in the United States. The figure represents a 4.9% decline year over year. Auto experts have expected total sales in the industry to decline by 1% for 2019.
  • Shares of Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: CALM) slumped more than 10% this morning after the nation's largest egg producer reported a big quarterly loss. The firm reported an EPS loss of $0.21, well below the consensus expectation of a $0.03 profit. The firm also fell short of Wall Street revenue projections and raised concerns about "challenging" market conditions in the year ahead.
  • In deal news, Mizuho Financial, Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), and Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) are reportedly teaming up to provide Xerox Holdings Corp. (NYSE: XRX) with up to $24 billion to purchase rival HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ). The deal would create the world's largest manufacturer of printers. Hedge fund manager Carl Icahn has actively pursued this deal. But it's still to be determined - HP previously rejected an all-cash offer.
  • Look for an additional earnings report from Commercial Metals Co. (NYSE: CMC).

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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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