The Dow Jones news today will focus on the conclusion to a busy week of earnings reports and Amazon's entry into the retail home improvement market. Key reports from Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) and General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) will drive early performance in today's morning trading session.
The Dow will attempt to recover from a slight decline on Thursday, while the Nasdaq attempts to continue its upward momentum.
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Here are the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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
- Every major U.S. stock market index is sitting near a record high as markets prepare to digest another round of earnings reports. But while the Dow and Nasdaq are generating headlines, the strength of the European economy has fallen off the radar. The Euro pushed to a two-year high despite news that the European Central Bank plans to maintain low interest rates through at least December.
- It will be a tough day for home improvement stocks on news that Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is moving into their territory. Yesterday, shares of Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD), Lowes Co. (NYSE: LOW), Best Buy Corp. (NYSE: BBY), and Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR) all fell sharply. The reason? Sears Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD) announced plans to start selling its Alexa-integrated Kenmore appliances on Amazon. This is another huge blow to the retail sector and a sign that no company or industry is Amazon-proof.
- The U.S. dollar continues to slide as investigators are calling for a wider probe into any impact Russian meddling may have played in the 2016 election. The weakness in the dollar has been increasingly driven by policy failures in Washington over healthcare reform. Many investors now doubt that Republicans will be able to pass substantial tax reform or implement infrastructure spending in the months ahead.
- Crude oil prices were ticking slightly higher in premarket hours as traders eye the upcoming meeting among OPEC producers and several non-producers. Markets anticipate that OPEC leaders will attempt to woo Russia into expanding efforts to cap excessive production and curb oil prices. Traders also anticipate that the number of U.S. production rigs will continue to slow. Keep an eye out for a report from Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) later today. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.3%. Brent crude added 0.4%.
- Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) just put out a huge endorsement for Bitcoin. On Wednesday afternoon, the investment bank said that bitcoin prices could rise quickly to $3,000 after a recent slump earlier this week. That would be a roughly 66% gain from lows experienced last weekend. The investment bank went on to say that Bitcoin could potentially surge up to $3,700 per coin in the near future. For more on what is driving cryptocurrency prices, check out our daily insights on bitcoin prices and more, here.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: GE, SNAP, MSFT, GS
- Shares of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) are on the move this morning as the company prepares to report quarterly earnings. Analysts forecasted that the company would top expectations, but they've been burned in recent memory. The company has been slashing its costs in order to boost profitability. Perhaps the most important part of today's earnings report is that it will be the last one under CEO Jeff Immelt, who retires on August 1.
- Shares of eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) fell more than 4.1% after the company issued a lackluster quarterly outlook and reported earnings below Wall Street analysts' expectations. The company's profitability has been affected in recent quarters by steep investment in initiatives to attract new customers. Like many other competitors in the e-commerce space, eBay has struggled to keep up with rival Amazon.
Is Amazon a Buy?
- Shares of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) added nearly 1% in premarket hours after the company topped Wall Street earnings expectations. The company said that its quarterly profits doubled thanks to a tax benefit and incredibly strong growth in its cloud computing division.
- Shares of Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) are off more than 0.5% as the company's lockup period is on the verge of expiration. The stock is trading more than 10% below its IPO price, and we could see a make-or-break moment with many insiders able to sell their stock for the first time since going public. A mass sell-off would be a blow to investor confidence in the company.
- Look for other earnings reports from Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON), Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NYSE: CL), Moody's Corp. (NYSE: MCO), SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI), and Kansas City Southern Co. (NYSE: KSU).
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
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