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The Dow Jones today will climb higher ahead of the latest update from the U.S. Federal Reserve. The central bank will complete its two-day meeting on monetary policy on Wednesday.
Virtually no one expects any changes to the central bank's stance on interest rates. However, investors are paying close attention to how the Fed plans to address inflation. Concerns about the economy continue to swell. More on everything moving the Dow today, below.
We'll start with the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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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
- Today, the stock market is going one way (higher), while the global economy appears headed in the opposite direction. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said this morning that global growth is expected to decline by 4.5% in 2020. That is a very lofty decline in the age of the pandemic. The OECD said that sectors like tourism and travel have been crushed due to COVID-19. The 4.5% cut is actually an improvement from the previous prediction of a 6% cut. The OECD predicts that global growth will rebound by 5% next year (but keep in mind a 5% decrease is a lot larger than a 5% increase).
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- Johns Hopkins University reports that the number of U.S. COVID-19 cases surpassed 6.6 million this week with the number of deaths surpassing 195,000. Economists and politicians are increasingly concerned about a potential "second wave" of cases heading into the fall that coincides with flu season.
- Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX) is generating buzz this morning after its executive vice chair issued a dire warning for the equity markets. Tony James said this morning that investors could suffer a "lost decade" for equities as governments continue to struggle with the ongoing fallout of COVID-19. James predicted a series of economic headwinds for the global economy, including higher taxes, a loss of supply chain efficiency, and growing distrust among nations that could fuel "deglobalization." This is certainly a trend to watch as we await a time when investors are forced to address the end of the sugar high tied to central bank-driven stimulus.
Stocks to Watch Today: FDX, ADBE, LUV
- Shares of Fed Ex Corp. (NYSE: FDX) rallied more than 9% after the global shipping giant crushed earnings after the bell on Tuesday. The firm reported earnings per share for fiscal Q1 2021 of $4.87. That figure blew consensus expectations of $2.70 out of the water. The earnings beat was another sign of the rising e-commerce boom and the impact of COVID-19 on the physical economy. The firm also reported revenue of $19 billion for the quarter. That figure also easily beat expectations.
- Shares of Adobe Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE) gained another 2.5% after the company topped Wall Street expectations on Wednesday. The company reported earnings per share of $2.57 on top of $3.23 billion. Wall Street had expected earnings of $2.41 per share on top of $3.16. The uptick in earnings was tied to the ongoing digitalization of the economy thanks to COVID-19. The ongoing work-from-home trend has fueled a sharp rise in the company's cloud computing products, which includes creative software and paperless document workflows.
- Finally, shares of Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) are up this morning after the company announced it has raised its September outlook and hiked its guidance trends. The firm expects to see a reduction in cash burn and an increase in its load factor. This is big news for one of the four largest airlines, which continue to struggle during the pandemic.
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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.