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The Dow Jones news today is highlighted by stocks rising ahead of the bell after a stronger-than-expected May jobs report. But today's stock market news isn't all positive. Investors continue to watch developments in the upcoming UK elections, where the race is tightening, and former FBI Director James Comey has agreed to testify in front of Congress on Trump's handling of the Russia investigation as early as next week.
Here are the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
|Index||Previous Close||Point Change||Percentage Change|
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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 will be the busiest day for economic data this week. While updates on manufacturing growth and construction spending will influence individual sectors, the big news will center on U.S. employment. This morning, ADP reported that the U.S. private sector added 253,000 jobs in May, a figure that crushed expert expectations of 185,000. Meanwhile, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits came in slightly higher than economists had anticipated. Markets are gearing up for tomorrow's release of the May employment report by the U.S. Labor Department.
- The "Fab Five" tech stocks are all hovering near all-time highs. This list is comprised of Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB), Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL), and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL). With these tech stocks rallying to new records, some investors are saying that this reminds them of the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s. Not so fast, says Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald. Keith explains that this situation is much different. Keith thinks this is the "finest example of capitalism most people are going to see in a generation." Here's what you need to know about where these stocks will head next.
- Crude oil prices were mixed over concerns regarding a rise in U.S. crude inventory levels and doubts that President Trump will keep the United States in the Paris Climate Accord. Traders will be keeping an eye on the weekly U.S. inventory report from the Energy Information Administration later this morning. Ahead of the report, the WTI crude oil price today added 0.1%. Brent crude dipped 0.2%.
- It will be a busy day in the automotive sector as manufacturers announce May vehicle sales. JD Power and LMC Automotive predict that sales will increase by 0.5% compared to the same period last year. That comes despite an environment where discounting and promotions are driving sales. Keep an eye on General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE: FCAU), and Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) as the firms release individual sales figures throughout the day.
Ford Is Our Top Stock to Watch This Year
- Finally, markets have been panicking over the recent decision by Moody's Corp. (NYSE: MCO) to downgrade the China credit rating. The ratings agency raised concerns about the sustainability of China's growth rate and its rising levels of debt. But too many people have been ignoring one of the greatest financial opportunities in 70 years. We're talking about a $5 trillion economic initiative that could transform the world. You can learn how to get your share of this huge windfall, right here…
Four Stocks to Watch Today: DG, PANW, BAC, HPE
- Shares of Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) added more than 3.5% after the discount retailer topped Wall Street earnings expectations before the bell this morning. The firm reported earnings per share (EPS) of $1.03, topping analyst forecasts by four cents. Revenue also topped Street estimates thanks to a jump in same-store sales, an increase in overall customer spending, and a reduction in lower advertising costs.
- Meanwhile, shares of Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE: PANW) popped more than 12% in pre-market hours after the company easily topped Wall Street earnings expectations after the bell Wednesday. The cybersecurity giant reported strong customer growth and issued a financial guidance that exceeded analysts' expectations.
- Shares of Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) are under pressure after the company's CEO Brian Moynihan said yesterday that lower-than-expected interest rates and a decline in trading revenue will affect its Q2 earnings report. Similar statements were made by the chief financial officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM).
- Shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (NYSE: HPE) fell more than 1.1% in pre-market hours after the company fell short of second-quarter earnings expectations by posting a profit loss. The firm said that stronger competition, a rising U.S. dollar, and valuation concerns after the sale of its business unit hurt the firm's bottom line.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Lululemon Athletica Inc. (Nasdaq: LULU), Broadcom Ltd. (Nasdaq: AVGO), Workday Inc. (NYSE: WDAY), Mobileye NV (Nasdaq: MBLY), CIENA Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN), and Five Below Inc. (Nasdaq: FIVE).
Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Challenger Job-Cut Report at 7:30 a.m.
- ADP Employment Report at 8:15 a.m.
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Productivity and Costs at 8:30 a.m.
- Gallup Good Jobs Rate at 8:30 a.m.
- PMI Manufacturing Index at 9:45 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- ISM Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- Construction Spending at 10 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- EIA Petroleum Status Report at 11 a.m.
- Three-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Six-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.