Dow Jones Today Climbing as Fed Discusses COVID-19 Policy Efforts

The Dow Jones will push higher today as the U.S. Federal Reserve wraps up its April meeting on monetary policy.

Several companies have announced notably lower earnings - one down as much as 42% from Q1 of last year, which we'll talk about. More on what's moving the Dow today, below.

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

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 24,101.55 -32.23 -0.13
S&P 500 2,863.39 -15.09 -0.52
Nasdaq 8,607.73 -122.43 -1.40

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

  • The Federal Reserve will wrap up its two-day meeting on monetary policy this afternoon. Investors are looking for insight on the unprecedented policy efforts offered by the Fed since March. Fed Chair Jerome Powell isn't expected to announce any new initiatives in a statement today, but it should provide a bit of an assessment on the state of the U.S. economy in the wake of COVID-19. The U.S. central bank is more likely to take action after its next meeting in June. The time until that meeting will give the central bank an opportunity to assess unemployment and economic conditions across the nation.

Free Guide: Today's volatile market is perfect for making money with options, and you can learn from a pro with Tom Gentile's Options 101: The Easiest Options Guide You'll Ever Read. Click here to get it.

  • The United States - with more than 1 million infections - represents about one-third of all global coronavirus cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. The death toll in the United States - at more than 58,300 in under three months - has topped the number of Americans who died during the Vietnam War, which lasted more than 10 years. While U.S. states plan to reopen parts of their economies, the focus now centers on the ability to test as many people as possible. President Trump said Tuesday that the United States would soon be able to test as many as 5 million people per day. However, that figure dwarfs the most that the U.S. has been able to test so far in a single day, roughly 314,000.
  • June WTI oil prices jumped nearly 14%, while Brent crude gained another 4.1% thanks to a weekly inventory report from the American Petroleum Institute. The private inventory report said that the number of U.S. barrels in storage popped by 10 million last week to 510 million. That figure was actually lower than analysts had expected. Despite the rally, the outlook for oil remains bearish. Large countries around the globe have shuttered their economies due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which has sapped international demand.

Stocks to Watch Today: BCS, GOOGL, SBUX

  • Barclays Plc. (NYSE: BCS) was the latest financial institution to take a mighty hit from the coronavirus. The firm reported a 42% drop in first-quarter profit year over year. The company also announced it was suspending buybacks, eliminating its dividend, and taking a $2.62 billion credit impairment charge due to the anticipated slump caused by coronavirus. COVID-19 is the latest development that compounds a period of ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty tied to weak global trade and the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union (a.k.a. Brexit).
  • Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) stock surged more than 8% this morning after the company reported better-than-expected revenue after the bell on Tuesday. The firm has weathered ongoing concerns about falling advertising budgets and weak travel demand. Although the company fell short of Wall Street forecasts on earnings per share at $9.87, its $41.16 billion in revenue represented double-digit growth for the quarter. The company experienced strong growth in YouTube advertising, and company executives explained that sheltering in place has driven huge upticks in consumer engagement.
  • Shares of Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) slipped more than 1% after the firm announced that same-store sales had declined by 10% for the quarter in its two largest markets - the United States and China. The company also warned its investors that it faces a difficult third quarter, even though its China locations have begun to reopen.

This Fast Money Move Could Make You $4,238

America's No.1 Pattern Trader is going live on camera to show readers how they can make hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in extra income.

You see, he's found a way to predict the future buying patterns of nearly every stock on the market. And with this trick, he's lining up major payday appointments left and right.

We're talking about cashing in on some of the biggest stocks on the market: Netflix, Apple, Facebook, even Amazon.

The best part is this options trading strategy is super easy to understand and even easier to put into action.

All it takes is three simple steps, a few clicks of your mouse, and you're on your way to what could be life-changing wealth...

Click here to see how he does it.

Follow Money Morning onFacebook and Twitter.

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.

Read full bio