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In Dow Jones news today, the index is projected to decline 14 points at the open as markets prepare for another busy day of earnings reports, Federal Reserve speculation, and chatter about oil prices.
Here are the numbers from Friday, July 7, 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 Monday
- The U.S. Federal Reserve is back in focus as Janet Yellen prepares to testify before Congress twice this week on the economy and state of monetary policy. But first, San Francisco Fed Bank President John Williams will speak in Australia on growth expectations for the U.S. economy. Markets are looking for additional clues into the timing of the next interest rate hike in the wake of Friday's June jobs report. On Friday, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that American employers added 222,000 jobs, a figure that easily topped economists' expectations.
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- Earnings season kicks into swing this Friday with quarterly reports from Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM). But first, markets are digesting news that a California judge has provided initial approval for Wells Fargo to pay customers impacted by a massive scandal involving fraudulent accounts at the organization. The total settlement is expected to cost roughly $142 million.
- Keep an eye on United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) and other American steel makers this afternoon. That's because the Trump administration is on the verge of announcing new international tariffs on steel. The Trump administration – which has advocated for a large U.S. infrastructure program – has raised concerns about American dependence on foreign products for bridges, roads, and other projects.
- It will be a light day of economic data as investors instead focus on earnings reports and the Federal Reserve. The report of most interest is the May consumer credit update set for an hour before market close.
- Crude oil prices fell as concerns about oversupply continue to rattle trader sentiment around the globe. Higher U.S. drilling activity and growing supplies in OPEC and non-OPEC nations are leading to an imbalance in the supply and demand dynamic. OPEC officials are set to meet with Russia on July 24 to discuss the state of their deal to cap excessive production through 2018. However, Russia has said it is not interested additional cuts at this time. The WTI crude oil price today fell 1.1%. Brent crude dipped 1.0%.
Four Stocks to Watch Today: GM, SHLD, AMZN, TSLA
- General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) is generating a significant amount of attention this morning. A major lawsuit will begin in Manhattan over a claim that a vehicle's faulty ignition switch caused a power failure that resulted in an accident. This case could lead to the introduction of more than 200 other cases with similar claims.
- It will likely be a bad day for any investors of Sears Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD). The firm announced plans to close another eight department stores carrying its brand name and 35 Kmart locations. The Retail Ice Age continues to hammer away at brick-and-mortar companies that have been unable to keep up with the e-commerce giants overhauling the U.S. economy.
- It's time to kick off the annual Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) Prime Day. This is the third year of the event, which has delivered hundreds of thousands of deals for Prime members around the world. The event starts tonight at 9 p.m. EDT. Some analysts are projecting sales for the event to register between $800 million and $1 billion. By comparison, Amazon's first Prime Day returned $415 million in sales. Shares of AMZN stock were up 0.6% ahead of the 30-hour event.
The Tech Stock Dip Is a Buying Opportunity
- Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) is generating buzz after the firm announced it has won a contract in Australia to construct the world's largest giga-factory. This is positive news for the company after it recently announced its second-quarter vehicle delivery figure fell well short of analysts' expectations. The company just unveiled its latest Model 3.
- Look for earnings reports today from Barracuda Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: CUDA), WD-40 Co. (Nasdaq: WDFC), Helen of Troy Ltd. (Nasdaq: HELE), and Sky Solar Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq ADR: SKYS).
Monday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Labor Market Conditions Index at 10 a.m.
- Four-Week Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Three-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Six-Month Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- TD Ameritrade IMX at 12:30 p.m.
- Consumer Credit at 3 p.m.
- San Francisco Fed Bank Chair John Williams speaks at 11:05 p.m.