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The Dow Jones news today features OPEC renewing its production cut agreement for nine more months. Dow Jones futures are up 60 points ahead of the bell.
Here are the numbers from Wednesday 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 Thursday's economic calendar.
The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday
- Today's most important stock market news is happening in Vienna, Austria. Oil ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC countries announced a nine-month extension to their production deal to cap excessive oil output. OPEC, Russia, and other producers previously agreed to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day for six months. Despite the news, the WTI crude oil price today fell 1.13%. Brent crude dipped 1.0%.
- Gold prices are in focus as investors continue to pile into safe-haven assets thanks to a weakening U.S. dollar. Despite some weakness over the last month, the gold price is up more than 9% to $1,257.90 so far in 2017. This is just the beginning of a bigger rally. Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth expects it to rise to $1,400 per ounce by the end of this December. Here's what you need to know about gold as we approach a red-hot summer.
- The price of Bitcoin continues to swell. On Thursday, the cryptocurrency jumped above $2,750 a coin for the first time. It has shown gains in 27 of its last 30 periods, more than doubling its value over the time frame. If you're looking to get in on the commodity, our team has put together a simple report to teach you how to buy Bitcoin. Read it here.
- The U.S. Federal Reserve is again in focus today as three members of the central bank take to the podium to discuss the strength of the U.S. economy and monetary policy. Yesterday, the Fed released minutes from its meeting in early May. The Fed set a roadmap to begin winding down its $4.5 trillion balance sheet and said that it will tie future interest rate hikes to the performance of the U.S. economy. Markets expect that the central bank will raise interest rates during its next meeting in June.
- Global markets are weighing news that Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the credit rating of China for the first time in almost three decades. Moody's Corp. (NYSE: MCO) argues that China's economic strength will erode due to slowing growth and rising debt. But Moody's is missing one of the biggest stories of the year. China's new Silk Road could be one of the largest sources of economic growth and infrastructure spending in global history. And savvy investors should tap into this $1 trillion project. We teach you how, right here.
Four Stocks to Watch Today: HP, BBY, FB, SHLD
- In earnings news, shares of HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) added more than 3.4% after the company topped Wall Street earnings expectations after the bell Wednesday. The hardware giant reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.40 on top of $12.38 billion in revenue. The EPS figure beat expectations by a penny, while its revenue easily beat estimates of $11.94 billion. It was the third quarter in a row that the company reported rising revenue thanks to a rise in personal computer and printer sales.
- Shares of Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) rallied more than 14% in pre-market hours after the big-box retailer reported fiscal 2018 first-quarter earnings this morning. Wall Street analysts forecast a consensus EPS of $0.40 on top of $8.264 billion in revenue. Best Buy blew these numbers away. It topped EPS expectations by $0.20 and reported a surprise increase in same-store sales in the United States.
Ford Stock Is Our 2017 Best Buy
- Shares of Sears Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD) added more than 10% in pre-market hours after the company reported a smaller quarterly EPS loss than most analysts had expected. The firm reported an EPS loss of $2.15. Wall Street expected a loss of $3.05. The firm also reported a smaller decline in same-store sales than analysts expected. That said, the firm saw an 11.9 decline. Don't be fooled by the company's pop today, as its financial state is still dire.
- Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) is generating headlines again after the social media giant made a huge splash in the online content space. According to reports, Facebook has partnered with Buzzfeed, Vox, ATTN:, and Group Nine Media to develop original shows for its new content platform. The decision to create a two-tiered content platform will help the firm compete for video advertising dollars against its rivals Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) and Snapchat Inc. (NYSE: SNAP). FB stock added 0.2% in pre-market hours.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Costco Wholesale Corp. (Nasdaq: CSCO), GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME), Ulta Beauty Inc. (Nasdaq: ULTA), Splunk Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLK), and Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE: HRL).
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- International Trade in Goods at 8:30 a.m.
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Fed Governor Lael Brainard speaks at 10 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index at 11 a.m.
- Four-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Three-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Six-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Seven-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.
- Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan speaks at 6 p.m.
- Louis Fed Bank President James Bullard speaks at 10 p.m.