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The Dow Jones now is ticking higher after a blowout Q2 earnings report from Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT). The S&P 500 closed at an all-time high yesterday, wiping out COVID-19 stock market losses.
More on this below. Here's everything moving the Dow today.
We'll start with the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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Now let's take 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, investors are paying close attention to earnings reports and the latest developments on geopolitical tensions between the United States and China. This morning, U.S. President Donald Trump approved that Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) can approach ByteDance about purchasing the Chinese social media firm TikTok. Trump recently ordered ByteDance to divest its U.S. operations over concerns about user privacy. Oracle now joins Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) as the suitors for the social media app and its domestic operations. Oracle has closer ties with the White House than its rivals. CEO Larry Ellison has hosted fundraisers for President Trump.
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- Today, we'll be paying close attention to the release of minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's latest meeting. These minutes will likely set the policy for the Fed's next meeting in September. Right now, the big story affecting the markets is the negative-inflation-adjusted yields for U.S. government bonds. This trend has driven investors around the globe into safe-haven assets like gold and more speculative stocks.
- Meanwhile, COVID-19 already has schools and universities facing new clusters of the virus as students return to campuses. The University of Notre Dame has suspended in-person classes for undergraduate students for at least two weeks. More than 100 students tested positive just a week into the fall session. Other schools like Michigan State University, Ithaca College, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have also followed suit in delaying in-person classes. Across the United States, the number of COVID-19 cases has officially topped 5.4 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Stocks to Watch Today: TGT, LOW, MNTA, JNJ
- Shares of Target Corp. (NYSES: TGT) surged more than 7.6% after the company reported a huge second quarter. CEO Brian Cornell said that canceled vacations had a bigger positive impact on its profitability and not the stimulus checks offered by the U.S. government. The retail giant reported earnings per share of $3.38, crushing the consensus forecast of $1.62. The firm also reported a quarterly revenue increase, with same-store sales surging 24.3% compared to the same period in 2019.
- Shares of Lowe's Cos. Inc. (NYSE: LOW) popped thanks to stronger-than-expected Q2 earnings from the home improvement retailer. The firm reported earnings per share of $3.75, a figure that easily topped consensus expectations at $2.95. Lowe's same-store sales rallied a staggering 34.2%, more than double the expected rise from analysts. The company also benefited from a surge in digital sales, with the channel offering a 135% jump in receipts.
- In deal news, shares of Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: MNTA) rallied nearly 70% on news of a takeover. According to a press release, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) has announced a deal to acquire the autoimmune treatment company for $52.50 per share ($6.5 billion in cash).
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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.