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The Dow Jones news today will focus on Fed Chair Janet Yellen's testimony in front of Congress as investors look for signals about the Fed's strategy. Dow Jones futures are up 80 points this morning as news about Donald Trump Jr. and connections to the Russian government continues to break.
Here are 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, plus Wednesday's economic calendar.
The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Wednesday
- U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will testify before the House Financial Services Committee today on monetary policy and the state of the American economy. While interest rates are always a key part of the question and answer portion of the event, expect Yellen to face many questions about the central bank's plans to cut down its massive balance sheet in the months ahead. The testimony will accompany speculation reported Tuesday by Reuters that U.S. President Donald Trump could name adviser and former Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS) executive Gary Cohn as Janet Yellen's future replacement.
- Markets are still trying to make sense of yesterday's release of emails between Donald Trump, Jr., and a Russian lawyer offering "high level and sensitive information" on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election campaign. Trump Jr.'s tweets indicated the release of these emails would be part of "Russia and its government support" for Trump's election. U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) suggested that treason is now a possibility. The Russia email matter has raised new concerns that related uncertainty could overshadow efforts by Republicans to get healthcare reform and tax cuts implemented in 2017 and even in 2018.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced the Senate will delay its recess until the third week of August. The Senate is attempting to wrangle with healthcare reform, banking reform, and a string of other major legislative priorities. The decisions after six GOP senators – David Perdue (R-GA), Steve Daines (R-MT), John Kennedy (R-LA), Mike Lee (R-UT), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Luther Strange (R-AL) – called for the Senate to address major issues like the annual budget and government funding rather than returning to members' home states.
- Earnings season will continue today with the release of reports from Jamba Inc. (Nasdaq: JMBA), AngioDynamics Inc. (Nasdaq: ANGO), MSC Industrial Direct Co. Inc. (NYSE: MSM), Eros International Plc. (Nasdaq: EROS), and Celadon Group Inc. (NYSE: CGI). However, markets are more focused on the upcoming reports from major investment banks on Friday. Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), and Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) will all report earnings on Friday morning.
- Crude oil prices were pushing higher after the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. crude inventory levels fell by 8.1 million barrels last week. That figure followed another announcement Tuesday that European crude inventory levels were on the decline. The news signals that global demand is still strong and offsets concerns about OPEC's ability to support commodity prices and prevent a rising supply glut. The WTI crude oil price today added 1.4%. Brent crude gained 1.2%.
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- Shares of Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE: HOG) fell more than 1.4% in premarket hours after the iconic motorcycle manufacturer received a downgrade from investment firm Bernstein. Analysts at the investment firm raised concerns about a recent study indicating that millennials are not as inclined to purchase motorcycles in the years ahead. The company said that HOG will face a "long, uphill ride" to achieve sustainable unit growth.
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- Shares of Fastenal Co. (Nasdaq: FAST) are in focus after the company reported second-quarter earnings results before the bell. Wall Street had anticipated earnings per share (EPS) of $0.50 on top of $1.1 billion in revenue.
- Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) were up in premarket hours as the company concludes its third annual Prime Day. During its third annual sales event, the company announced a service to take on Best Buy Co. Inc.'s (NYSE: BBY) Geek Squad. It also announced record sales of its Echo home assistant product.
- Shares of Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) are trying to recover in premarket hours. Shares dropped another 8% on Tuesday, well below their IPO price of $17.00. It appears that technical traders and machines are swooping in right now to purchase the stock. The sharp downturn came after Snap received a downgrade from Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), one of the firms that helped bring it public. People who have been selling their stock remain concerned about the stock's real value as it approaches its IPO lockout deadline.
Wednesday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.
- Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaks at 8:30 a.m.
- Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations at 10 a.m.
- Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies at 10 a.m.
- EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10:30 a.m.
- 10-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.
- Beige Book at 2 p.m.
- Kansas City Federal Reserve President Esther George speaks at 2:15 p.m.