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The Dow Jones news today is highlighted by a new round of earnings reports and updates on the global energy front.
Let's look at the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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Dow Jones: 20,659.32; -42.18; -0.20%
S&P 500: 2,361.13; +2.56; +0.11%
Nasdaq: 5,897.55; +22.41; +0.38%
Today's market highlights:
- Overnight, Asian shares were weaker, while European stocks were mostly firmer.
- On Wednesday, the markets were stagnant after the United Kingdom invoked Article 50 to officially began the process of withdrawing from the European Union.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) – largely considered the markets' fear gauge – was down 1.3% on the day.
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Here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a look at Thursday's economic calendar.
What's Ahead for the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today
- Dow Jones futures projected an 11-point decline as investors eye another busy day of earnings reports and economic data. This morning, markets will be reacting to a report that U.S. GDP grew at 2.1% in the fourth quarter, a figure that slightly topped Wall Street expectations.
- Crude oil prices pushed higher as concerns about rising U.S. inventory levels have offset news of a major supply disruption in Libya. Production in Libya is off more than 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) after armed protestors blocked the country's western oil fields. The WTI crude oil price today was up 0.6%. Brent crude added 0.2%.
- Brexit has weighed on the stability of the European Union and the euro, as the European Central Bank prepares to tighten monetary policy. German investors are anticipating the ECB will end its decades-long policy of low interest rates in the near future, a decision that would emulate the U.S. Federal Reserve's recent commitment to higher interest rates.
- The Saudi Aramco IPO is generating a lot of buzz after the company appointed JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), and HSBC Holdings Plc. (NYSE ADR: HSBC) as its international financial advisers. The company is expected to be valued at more than $2 trillion when it goes public, and it will easily top the list of the most valuable public companies in the world. Here's what you need to know about the largest IPO in market history.
- But the big news is Russia. This morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke at the International Arctic Forum, where he said his government played no role in interfering with the U.S. elections. American intelligence agencies have accused Putin's government of hacking the Clinton campaign's emails and leaking them to WikiLeaks. In addition, Putin threw doubts behind the climate change movement and said that he is prepared to meet with President Donald Trump in the future.
Stocks to Watch Today, March 30, 2017:
- Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) are in focus after billionaire activist investor Bill Ackman apologized for his investment in the Canadian drug company. Ackman's hedge fund Pershing Square Capital lost a staggering $3 billion after Ackman doubled and tripled down on the losing stock. The stock had topped $250 less than two years ago, but has plunged to roughly $11.00 per share since due to the firm's underwater balance sheet and scandals in the C-suite. Shares of VRX stock added 0.2% in pre-market hours.
- Shares of Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE ADR: TM) are off in pre-market hours after the company announced plans to recall 2.9 million vehicles over defective airbags. The firm said that none of the vehicles recalled will come from the United States market.
- In earnings news, shares of Lululemon Athletica Inc. (Nasdaq: LULU) plunged more than 20% in pre-market hours after the yoga apparel retailer reported a huge fourth-quarter earnings miss and offered a weak first quarter outlook. The firm reported weak consumer traffic at its brick-and-mortar locations and said it struggled to convert customers on its e-commerce site.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Lindsay Corp. (NYSE: LNN), AngioDynamics Inc. (Nasdaq: ANGO), Science Applications International (Nasdaq: SAIC), Titan Machinery Inc. (Nasdaq: TITN), Franklin Covey Co. (NYSE: FC), Inventure Foods Inc. (Nasdaq: SNAK), and Affirmed NV (Nasdaq: AFMD).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester speaks 9:45 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report 10:30 a.m.
- Three-Month Bill Announcement 11 a.m.
- Six-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Farm Prices 3 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet 4:30 p.m.