The Dow Jones Today Is Up Nearly 150 Points Ahead of a Phase One Trade Deal

The Dow Jones today is surging ahead of a phase one trade deal signing between the United States and China.

I've got more on this below. Also, Russia's government is resigning en masse...

Before we get into this story and more, here are the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 28,939.67 +32.62 +0.11
S&P 500 3,283.15 -4.98 -0.15
Nasdaq 9,251.33 -22.60 -0.24

Now here's a closer look at today's most important market events and stocks. We'll also discuss the stories that slipped under the radar of the mainstream financial press on Wednesday.

The Top Stock Market Stories for Wednesday

  • This morning, markets are keeping a close eye on any last-minute developments between the United States and China on trade. The two nations are set to sign a phase one accord today in Washington. We haven't seen the text of the deal just yet, but we do know that it's a rather thin document. We also know that it will leave tariffs on roughly two-thirds of imports from China. It also could easily fall apart if China doesn't address currency, IP, and trade balance issues. After the two sides do sign a deal, expect a lot of questions about the timeline for the second phase, which may not come until after the 2020 election.

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  • In breaking news, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedov has announced that the nation's government is resigning en masse. Following an annual address to lawmakers by President Vladimir Putin, Medvedov and a number of highly influential people have resigned. It appears, however, that Putin may be pushing for a new faction of leadership to step up to help the nation achieve the 3% economic growth he wants in the years ahead. This is a developing story, so check back for updates in the coming hours.
  • Gold prices pushed back above $1,550 this morning. The uptick coincided with a warning from leadership at Bridgewater Associates. The world's largest hedge fund said that gold prices could rally as much as 30% in 2020. Bridgewater's co-chief investment officer said that brewing geopolitical tensions combined with dovish policies by central banks around the globe could push more investors into safe, non-interest-bearing assets.

Stocks to Watch Today: GS, TGT, NKTR

  • Shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) are off 1.1% after the Wall Street titan reported earnings this morning. The company topped revenue expectations for the fourth quarter thanks to a 33% jump year over year. However, a $1.1 billion legal bill ate into its profits. The company remains engaged with the U.S. Department of Justice over its role in the 1MDB scandal in Malaysia.
  • Shares of Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) plunged more than 6% after company announced "disappointing" holiday sales numbers. While the firm reported a 1.4% increase year over year in sales, its CEO said it faced weakness in its toys and electronics categories. That said, the firm still reaffirmed its Q4 guidance numbers. It also reported stronger sales in its apparel and beauty departments.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is turning the screws on opioid manufacturers. Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR) has withdrawn its application for a painkiller aimed at treating chronic lower back pain. The decision comes not long after the FDA voted against a recommendation for the drug's approval.
  • Look for earnings reports from Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH), Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI), and PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: PNC).

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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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