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The Dow Jones today could end with its third consecutive day of record-high closes. But Dow Jones futures are starting the day down 32 points in premarket trading...
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 today's most important market events and stocks, plus Thursday's economic calendar.
The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday
- The Bank of England announced that it will maintain interest rates near record-low levels again. However, the central bank hinted that rates could begin to rise very soon. The central bank is working diligently to stave off any negative impact of its upcoming Brexit split from the European Union. In a statement, the leaders of the central bank said that there are still many significant risks that could rattle the nation's economy. Some economists are critical of the central bank given that inflation levels are rising. The UK economy is heating up and could face a downturn when the nation pulls away from Europe, which means the bank will need tools to act.
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- Gold prices are in focus after North Korea pushed its way back into the headlines this morning. The rogue nation has threatened to "sink" Japan and turn the United States into "ashes and darkness." But that's not the only reason to watch gold. The U.S. dollar is at its lowest level in three years, as traders continue to monitor inflation levels here in the United States. The dollar is now off 11% since the start of the year, and many investors are calling for the U.S. Federal Reserve to aggressively raise rates.
- Crude oil prices rose Thursday morning thanks to increased optimism about global demand. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a massive decline in gasoline supply yesterday. The EIA said that gasoline inventory levels fell by 8.4 million barrels in a week. That's the single largest decline since the agency began tracking this figure in 1990. The WTI crude oil price today added 1.0%. Brent crude gained 0.6%.
- The U.S. economy is still evaluating the negative impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The home construction industry is especially vulnerable. This morning, U.S. homebuilder Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN) reported positive news. The company's communities that were affected by the storms did not experience any flooding. Lennar has a heavy presence in the South and Southeast, where it generated about 40% of its revenue. Still, the storms will delay the construction of roughly 700 projects in this quarter alone.
- Finally, get ready for a good, old-fashioned Congressional grilling. The U.S. House of Representatives has called Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) CEO Richard Smith to testify over the firm's massive data breach. More than 143 million Americans were affected by the company's weak security. A new revelation from Argentina found Equifax's security was so lax that its administrative login and password were both the word "admin." Shares continue to plunge, and many technology experts are calling on Congress to make significant changes to the way that credit agencies collect and use information.
Four Stocks to Watch Today: ORCL, LDCC, THC, TSLA
- Shares of Lattice Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: LSCC) are up this morning despite news that U.S. President Donald Trump blocked a deal that would have allowed a China-backed equity firm from buying the company for $1.3 billion. The U.S. government has been highly skeptical of Chinese funds and other nations from dipping a toe into the U.S. tech space. In fact, just this week, the U.S. government ordered that its agencies remove antivirus software of a Russian company over security concerns.
What Happened to America's Favorite Company?
- Shares of Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) are in focus after CEO Elon Musk introduced the "beast." The newest project from the electric vehicle manufacturer is a semi-truck that will be tested in late October. Musk bragged about the new vehicle on Twitter and called it "unreal" to see in person.
- Shares of Tenet Healthcare Corp. (NYSE: THC) are up nearly 7.5% in premarket hours. The company has hired a team of advisers to explore strategic options. This means that the company may put itself up for sale. Both The Wall Street Journal and Reuters broke the story on Thursday morning.
- The earnings calendar is very light Thursday. However, we will be looking for a fiscal first-quarter 2018 report from cloud computing giant Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL). Wall Street anticipates that the firm will report quarterly earnings of $0.61 per share on top of $9.02 billion in revenue.
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Consumer Price Index at 8:30 a.m.
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Three-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Six-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 10-Year TIPS Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.
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