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The Dow Jones today is flat as Washington can't seem to agree on a stimulus package. Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that Congress and the White House are still miles apart on an agreement to provide economic stimulus to millions of Americans.
The White House has recently pitched a $1.8 trillion stimulus plan, while the Senate plans to vote on a limited stimulus bill that will offer "targeted relief for American workers, including new funding" for the Paycheck Protection Program.
Before we get into this story and more, here are the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
|Index||Previous Close||Point Change||Percentage Change|
Now here's a closer look at today's most important events and stocks. We'll also discuss the stories that slipped under the radar of the mainstream financial press on Wednesday.
Top Stock Market Stories for Wednesday
- This morning, we're paying very close attention to stimulus talks and the latest round of earnings reports on Wall Street. But the bigger news this morning is the future of 5G. On Tuesday, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) introduced four new iPhone models. All of these phones will have 5G capabilities, and it appears that the company will be partnering with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) on a rollout plan. Apple shares were still off on Tuesday by 2.7%. But analysts already anticipate heavy sales heading into the holiday.
- Johns Hopkins University reports that U.S. deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 215,000 on Tuesday and hospitalizations increased to their highest levels since August. The big news today is that the wife of U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia tested positive for COVID-19. She had attended the White House Rose Garden event in September where President Trump nominated Amy Comey Barrett to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, we saw some positive economic data out of IMF. The global body increased its economic forecast for the global economy with one condition: The IMF now expects the global economy to contract by 4.4%. Previous estimates called for a 4.9% contraction in 2021.
- Finally, oil prices continue to drop on growing concerns about global demand. OPEC said this week that oil demand in 2021 will increase by 6.54 million barrels per day to 96.84 million bpd. That figure is still 80,000 barrels lower than the forecast provided a month ago. Demand expectations are slipping due to ongoing economic concerns about the global COVID-19 pandemic. Brent crude prices dropped 0.3% to hit $42.33 per barrel, while U.S. WTI crude dropped $0.11 to hit $40.09.
Stocks to Watch Today: BAC, GS, COP, CXO
- Shares of Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) were flat this morning after the massive financial institution reported earnings. The firm reported earnings per share of $0.51, a figure that topped expectations by $0.02. The bank said it has set aside about $1.4 billion for potential loan losses. That figure was actually much smaller than what the firm had set aside during the first and second quarter.
- Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) added 0.4% after a blowout quarter for the Wall Street giant. The company reported earnings per share in Q3 of $9.68. That figure for Q3 was well ahead of the Wall Street consensus of $5.57. The firm also topped revenue expectations before the bell. The firm continues to benefit from its continued commitment to growing its asset management business.
- Finally, in deal news, we're seeing even more consolidation in the energy patch. According to reports, ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) is in talks to purchase rival Concho Resources Inc. (NYSE: CXO). Shares of CXO are up 1.25%. A deal could come within the next few weeks, according to reports. However, it's possible that this deal could fall through in Q4 as well.
- Look for other earnings reports from U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: PNC), and UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH).
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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.