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The Dow Jones today could shed several hundred points as a perfect storm of events is brewing. Political tensions have risen in Washington following the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to nominate someone to replace Ginsburg, setting off questions about the future of the court. Ginsburg's death creates a new level of uncertainty just 43 days ahead of the election.
The Nasdaq is back in correction territory after falling 10% from its Sept. 2 highs. COVID-19 lockdowns persist in Europe. More on these stories below.
Here are the numbers from Friday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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Now here are what I think will be the most important market events and stocks on Monday morning.
The Top Stock Market Stories for Monday
- Over the weekend, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away. Her death has set off a media firestorm and accusations of hypocrisy should the Republican Party move forward with a nomination following their efforts to block Merrick Garland's hearings in 2016. However, President Trump says that the GOP has an obligation to nominate someone and give them a hearing given that the GOP holds the White House and the Senate. Trump is reportedly set to nominate a female judge to replace Ginsburg later this week. Democrats have said that any preelection nominee would be illegitimate. In addition, they have threatened to "pack the court" with new seats and potentially eliminate the filibuster should they take back control of the Senate after the election.
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- This morning, the markets are paying close attention to a series of negative catalysts. Among them, European markets plunged this morning after the United Kingdom considered another lockdown due to COVID-19. The U.K. reportedly said that it could see nearly 50,000 new cases per day as soon as mid-October. Around the globe, Johns Hopkins University reports 31 million cases and a death toll north of 960,000 people. In the United States, there have been more than 200,000 deaths since the outbreak started.
- Finally, bank stocks are under pressure after news broke that banks reported about $2 trillion in suspicious activity over a 20-year period. Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB) reportedly facilitated the transfer of about half of this money flagged to the U.S. government. These transactions are likely tied to efforts to avoid global sanctions and could include the transfer of monies out of places like North Korea. The news sent shares of HSBC Holdings Plc. (NYSE: HSBC) down 5%. The stock hit its lowest levels since the 1990s.
Stocks to Watch Today: NKLA, RCL, NCLH, ORCL, WMT
- Shares of Nikola Corp. (NASDAQ: NKLA) are off 25% on news that its founder, Trevor Milton, will step down from his role as CEO. According to reports, Milton is under pressure due to allegations that he might have misled investors and automakers. These allegations are part of a report released by short-seller Hindenburg Research last week.
- While COVID-19 cases are reemerging across the globe, there remain a number of industries still reeling from the outbreak, including cruise lines. This morning, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ: NCLH) submitted their latest protocols to ensure traveler safety to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The proposals include testing procedures for everyone on board and improved sanitation.
- Finally, there will be quite a debate about the future of TikTok Global. According to reports, Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) will take a 12.5% in the newly created company, which will control most of the popular app's operations. Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) will hold a 7.5% stake. The deal comes after the White House raised concerns about the Chinese firm ByteDance's access to U.S. consumer information.
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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.