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The Dow Jones popped this morning after a massive quarter from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS). Investors largely ignored yet another record number of new COVID-19 cases and instead turned their attention to the busy slate of earnings reports across the U.S. market.
More on what's moving the Dow today, below.
Before we get into this story and more, here are the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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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
- Today, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) is driving the market higher after a dynamite second quarter. The firm reported a 93% gain in trading revenue during the quarter, prompting a 4.1% jump in Goldman stock this morning. The investment bank reported earnings per share of $6.26, a figure that significantly outpaced consensus expectations of $3.78 per share. Revenue came in at $13.3 billion, a figure that topped forecasts by roughly $3.5 billion. Goldman, out of the six largest banks in the nation, gets the largest share of its revenue from trading and investment banking activities.
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- Johns Hopkins University reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases across the United States. The university said that 67,400 new cases were added to the rolls on Tuesday. The seven-day average for new contractions is now triple the level nationally that we saw just four weeks ago. Texas, Florida, and California have accounted for roughly half of the next cases. U.S. President Donald Trump continues to argue that a sharp uptick in testing has facilitated the rise in cases, although medical advisers at the CDC have refuted that argument. Across the country, the two largest testing labs continue to face delays in turnaround time for test results, and tracing efforts have largely failed.
- Meanwhile, all eyes are back on the White House Wednesday. President Trump has reportedly signed new legislation that will hit China with new sanctions after the nation interfered with the autonomy of Hong Kong. The new executive order will end preferential treatment for Hong Kong and treat the region like mainland China. The new order ensures that Hong Kong receives "No special privileges, no special economic treatment and no export of sensitive technologies."
Stocks to Watch Today: MDNA, AAPL, UNH
- Shares of Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) rallied more than 10% this morning after the company reported a strong "immune response" to its COVID-19 vaccine under development. The firm reported that its potential vaccine produced antibodies for all 45 patients in its latest trials. The company said that the number of antibodies were four times higher than the average person who has recovered from COVID-19.
- Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) are in focus after a European Court announced that the company doesn't have to pay $15 billion in taxes in Ireland. A case dating back to 2016 had said that Ireland helped the firm pay "substantially less tax than other businesses over many years." However, the court now said that the European Commission failed to provide any lasting evidence that Ireland had provided special tax advantages to the tech company.
- In earning news, shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) are in focus after the company reported stronger than expected earnings before the bell. The firm presented EPS of $7.12, well above the consensus expectation of $5.28. The firm reported strong profits thanks to deferral of medical care due to the pandemic. The firm also said that it will maintain its current full-year forecast.
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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.