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The Dow Jones news today focuses on stocks falling ahead of the non-farm payrolls report before the bell.
Here are the numbers from Thursday 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 Friday's economic calendar.
The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Friday
- Dow Jones futures projected a 10-point decline ahead of the U.S. Labor Department's release of the April jobs report. Economists anticipate that the nation added 185,000 jobs last month. They also anticipate that the U.S. unemployment rate will be 4.6%.
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- Following the April jobs report, markets will be looking for guidance from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who will speak at Brown today. On Wednesday, the U.S. central bank announced that would not increase interest rates in May. In a statement after the FOMC meeting, Yellen said that current weakness in the economy is only temporary and hinted that two more rate hikes were on tap for 2017. Keep an eye on additional speeches today from Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams and Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer.
- Markets will digest a busy round of legislation in Washington D.C. Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted by a slim margin on a bill to repeal and replace portions of the Affordable Care Act. The bill will now head to the U.S. Senate where it will face an uphill battle to receive enough votes for passage. Meanwhile, the House Financial Services Committee has approved a bill that would gut a significant portion of the Dodd-Frank Act. Finally, look for additional chatter about President Trump's proposed tax reforms, which are gaining momentum on Capitol Hill.
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- On the international front, European markets are pressing higher on the expectation that Emmanuel Macron will defeat Marine Le Pen in the second and final round of the French presidential election on Sunday. Macron is a pro-European Union leader who supports massive financial bailouts of the Greek and Italian economies and would ensure France remains in the European Union. Le Pen leads a nationalist, anti-immigrant front that wants to pull France out of the European Union. According to recent polls, Macron is forecasted to win by a three-to-two vote margin.
- Crude oil prices fell to their lowest levels in nearly five months on concerns about rising U.S. supplies and uncertainty over whether OPEC members and Russia will vote to extend their deal to cap excess global production. This morning, the Saudi OPEC governor said that members and non-members must extend the deal to help support prices. However, as U.S. shale production continues to rise, it will be harder for some of these countries to justify cooperation. The WTI crude oil price today is up 0.1% today. Brent crude added 0.23%.
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- Shares of Activision Blizzard Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) fell more than 1.7% despite news the company topped Wall Street profit and revenue expectations after the bell Thursday. The company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.31 on top of $1.196 billion in revenue. Wall Street consensus expectations were earnings of $0.22 per share on top of $1.013 billion in revenue.
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- It's Warren Buffett's world, and we're all just living in it. Investors are gearing up for the Berkshire shareholder meeting 2017in Omaha, Nebraska set for tomorrow. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: A) will report first-quarter results after the bell today. Tomorrows' meeting is one of the most watched and studied events of the year given Buffett's influence over the markets and companies for decades. Money Morning breaks down of the biggest things shareholders could ask Buffett this weekend. Here's what you need to know.
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- Speaking of Warren Buffett, the "Oracle of Omaha" told CNBC he sold off about one-third of his stake in International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM) during the first two quarters of 2017. Buffett said he doesn't value the company in the same way he did at the beginning of the decade and raised concerns about rising competition in the technology space. Berkshire still owns a little more than 50 million shares of the company, but said that the company has failed to perform the way his firm expected.
- In deal news, the majority of shareholders in Syngenta AG ADR (NYSE: SYT) have finally given ChemChina the support needed to takeover the international agribusiness giant for $43 billion. The deal was originally announced in February 2016 and was China's largest foreign transaction ever. The deal, which set off a round of megamergers in the global agriculture industry, is set to close on May 18.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Cognizant Technology (Nasdaq: CTSH), Moody's Corp. (NYSE: MCO), PDC Energy (Nasdaq: PDCE), MSG Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: MSGN), Ruth's Hospitality Group (Nasdaq: RUTH), CIGNA Corp. (NYSE: CI), AppFolio (Nasdaq: APPF) and Colfax Corporation (NYSE: CFX).
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)
- Employment Situation at 8:30 a.m.
- Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer speaks at 11:30 a.m.
- San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams speaks at 12:45 p.m.
- Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
- Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks at 1:30 p.m.
- Chicago Fed Bank President Charles Evans speak at 1:30 p.m.
- Consumer Credit at 3 p.m.
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