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The Dow Jones today slipped first thing this morning as we wait to hear remarks from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
Wall Street is pulling back from its strong September start. Yesterday, the Dow closed above 29,000 for the first time since early February. Read further to see what's moving the Dow today.
First, here are the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
|Index||Previous Close||Point Change||Percentage Change|
Now, here's a closer look at what I'm following today. These are the most important market events and stocks.
The Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday
- On Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department announced that initial weekly jobless claims hit 881,000 last week. That figure is well below the 950,000 expected by economists, according to the Dow Jones. The number is also under 1 million, a key threshold on which many economists are measuring the resilience of the jobs market.
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- Johns Hopkins University reports that COVID-19 cases topped 6.1 million on Thursday. The nation reported 39,760 new cases, down from the seven-day rolling average. However, case totals are rising by 5% week over week in 23 states and the District of Columbia. With that said, a vaccine is turning into a potential October surprise for the 2020 election. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has instructed states to prepare to distribute a possible vaccine by Nov. 1.
- Last, the U.S. budget figure is the ugliest it has ever been, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The federal budget will hit a deficit record of $3.3 trillion in 2020 thanks to unprecedented efforts to support the U.S. economy and push back against COVID-19. This figure is more than double the amount of debt that the American economy took on back in 2008 and 2009. In addition, U.S. federal debt will exceed the nation's yearly GDP next year for the first time since the end of World War II.
Stock to Watch Today: FB, KSU, BX, PVH
- Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) announced it will be banning new political ads in the final week before the 2020 presidential election. The company will only publish ads submitted before October 27, according to a new company announcement. The firm also said it will link any posts by a candidate claiming victory before the final ballot counts to results from the National Election Pool and Reuters. Facebook has been under pressure for months after CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that candidates could publish ads that hadn't been vetted for lies, spam, or misinformation. Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR), meanwhile, has already banned political ads heading into the 2020 election.
- Shares of Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU) are up nearly 100% since bottoming out in mid-March. But that hasn't deterred private equity companies from making takeover offers for the railroad giant. According to reports, private equity giants Blackstone Group Inc. (NYSE: BX) and Global Infrastructure Partners have pitched offers for the railroad firm. KSU is currently valued at nearly $18.5 billion. However, no official figure has hit the airways just yet.
- In earnings news, PVH Corp. (NYSE: PVH), the firm behind Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, has reported earnings per share of $0.13, well above analysts' projections for a loss of $2.43. PVH saw strong demand for casual clothing as more employees worked from home and no longer required dress clothing for work. Shares are up another 3% and have more than doubled since hitting March lows.
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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.