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Let's look at the numbers from Friday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 20,663.22; -65.27; -0.31%
S&P 500: 2,362.72; -5.34; -0.23%
Nasdaq: 5,911.74; -2.61; -0.04%
Today's market highlights:
- On Friday, the Dow fell more than 65 points as the first quarter of 2017 came to a close. Banking stocks slumped and contributed most to the day's decline as the Trump administration's fiscal policy goals face increasing opposition in Washington.
- Markets are paying attention to threats from the Trump administration to "handle" North Korea without the assistance of China.
- The monthly auto sales report headlines a busy day of economic data.
- A WrestleMania sell-off could rattle Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE: WWE).
- Silver prices have significant upside from Friday's closing price of $18.256 per ounce.
- Investors await Wednesday's release of the minutes from the Fed's March meeting.
- The Brexit could create economic uncertainty for at least… two years.
Here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a look at Monday's economic calendar.
What's Ahead for the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today
- The Dow Jones futures project a 15-point gain ahead of a busy day of economic data. The U.S. Commerce Department is expected to announce an expansion of construction spending in March, one month after a surprise 1% decline. Meanwhile, keep an eye out for the monthly national manufacturing index from the Institute for Supply Management.
- New York Fed President William Dudley will take part in a panel on U.S. household borrowing. The conversation will center on rising student-loan accounts, home ownership, and other forms of traditional borrowing. Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker will host a lecture called "From 'Real Bills' to 'Too Big to Fail.'"
- While Fed speakers dominate the Monday news headlines, the markets appear more interested in the minutes from March's Fed Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. While the Fed raised rates for the second time in four months, investors are wondering why the central bank didn't take a more hawkish stance on rates for the year ahead. Investors will be parsing through the minutes when they are released on Wednesday for additional clues into the Fed's next move.
- The Fed continues to generate many concerns for investors. In fact, after 10 years of record-low interest rates, many are wondering the same thing: "Will the stock market crash as the Fed hikes rates again?" We tackle that question and take a look at similar conditions in the past. Then, we provide our stock market crash protection plan, right here.
- Last week, UK Prime Minister Theresa May officially triggered "Article 50" of the Brexit process, thus commencing separation proceedings between the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU). But investors should know that this isn't going to be a quick process. The Brexit drama is going to continue… for at least two years. Here's how to protect yourself from future volatility and global uncertainty in one of America's strongest business sectors.
- Crude oil prices were mixed after Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) reported that the number of U.S. production rigs in operation increased for the 11th consecutive week. During the first quarter of 2017, crude prices slumped 5.8%. The markets have become more concerned about rising U.S. production and record-level inventory numbers than optimistic about OPEC's
- The WTI crude oil price today added 0.26%. Brent crude added 0.17%.
- There are plenty of ways to make money in today's energy markets. But too many investors are falling for energy investments that can lose a lot of money. There's a list of energy stocks that you must ignore right now. We break them down, right here.
- A crisis is on the horizon for a major global economy and that could push silver prices much higher. Money Morning Resource Strategist Peter Krauth has found a way that investors can push the price of silver 5% higher to $24.00 this year. Read all about it, right here.
Must Know: Seven Ways to Tell If Your Gold Is Real
- But the big news is today's update on auto sales. Today's monthly auto sales report will provide a better understanding of consumer sentiment and spending in a sector that has had a volatile start to 2017. Automotive sales have been rising since the Great Recession, but investors are not paying closer attention to rising inventory levels, surging consumer auto debt, and the use of discounting to lure additional sales. It will be a busy day of trading for Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and their domestic and international rivals.
Stocks to Watch Today, April 3, 2017:
- Shares of Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE: WWE) are in focus as the company prepares for an investor call. There's a strong chance shares of WWE stock will fall today, and we've found a way for savvy investors to take advantage of this trend for a potential 88% profit… Here's how to profit from the WrestleMania sell-off.
- Shares of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) are in focus after the company announced a recall of more than 52,000 F-250 pickups. The company said that the trucks could roll after their automatic transmissions are shifted into the park position. The announcement comes the weekend before auto manufacturers release a very critical monthly sales report. Expect heavy trading volumes of GM stock Monday.
- Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) has bad news for its employees. The firm announced it will shut down its production plant in Aurora, Ill. The firm says it will cut roughly 800 jobs in the process. The firm said it is shifting production to other manufacturing facilities across the country.
- In earnings news, shares of Perrigo Co. (NYSE: PRGO) are in focus as the firm prepares to report fourth-quarter results. Wall Street anticipates the firm will report earnings per share (EPS) of $1.76 on top of $1.362 billion in revenue.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- PMI Manufacturing Index at 9:45 a.m.
- ISM Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- Construction Spending at 10 a.m.
- New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley speaks at 10:30 a.m.
- Four-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Three-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Six-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Gallup US Consumer Spending Measure at 2 p.m.
- Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker speaks at 5 p.m.
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