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The Dow Jones news today will focus on a major policy announcement from the Trump administration on his tax plan.
Let's look at the numbers from Monday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
- Dow Jones: 20,763.89; +216.13; +1.05%
- S&P 500: 2,374.15; +25.46;+1.08%
- Nasdaq: 5,983.82; +73.30; +1.24%
Today's market highlights:
- Markets are anticipating a major tax reform plan that would drop the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%.
- On Monday, the Dow rose more than 200 points after investors cheered the results of the first round of the French presidential election. Reports said the VIX, which measures stock market volatility, dropped by 26% on Monday, which is the largest one-day drop in six years.
- Shares of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) rallied more than 6% after a huge profit announcement. Meanwhile, McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) easily topped Wall Street earnings expectations.
- The showdown between the United States and North Korea could get ugly as soon as today. We explain how investors should protect their profits and principal below.
Here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a look at Tuesday's economic calendar.
What's Ahead for the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today
- The Dow Jones projected a 161-point gain in pre-market hours thanks to a huge earnings report from Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) and increased optimism over earnings season. CAT stock rallied more than 6.4% after reporting earnings per share of $1.28, a figure that was more than double what Wall Street analysts expected. The company also hiked its quarterly outlook, a sign the company expecting greater demand in the global construction industry.
- Geopolitical tensions continue to swell as U.S. strikes on North Korea could happen this week. The move would be retaliatory - and only under the most extreme of circumstances - but Pyongyang is expected to test yet another missile any day now. Investors must be prepared for the unthinkable to happen.
- That's why Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald is preparing our readers this week. "If North Korea hit one of its neighbors, there would be panic-selling on a scale that no one's ever experienced," Fitz-Gerald predicts. "Depending on how 'containable' the damage is." For example, "if the damage is containable," Fitz-Gerald says, "a clinical term even if there are millions of casualties - the markets will bottom quickly albeit probably at least 5% to 10% lower.
If the damage is "uncontainable," however, Fitz-Gerald recommends investors consider the following two plays to ride out the global chaos in order to survive financially...
Trending: Will the Stock Market Crash Soon?
- Crude oil prices were flat, a sign that the commodity could break a six-day losing streak Tuesday. Markets remain skeptical that OPEC producers will extend their deal to reduce excessive global output at a time that U.S. production and inventory levels are on the rise.
- The WTI crude oil price today added 0.1%, while Brent crude gained 0.1%.
- But the big story today is the possibility of a government shutdown later this week. With Congress returning from recess, leaders have just a few days to piece together a deal that would prevent the government from having to close its doors and failing to pay its bills. On Monday, congressional leaders reported no progress in a deal. Democrats are opposed to President Trump's demands that any spending bill includes funding for a wall along the Mexican border. Check out our latest insight on the possibility of a shutdown and what it means for your money. Read it all, right here.
Stocks to Watch Today, April 25, 2017:
The Ultimate “Rocky” Stock
- Shares of Express Scripts Holding Co. (Nasdaq: ESRX) plunged more than 13% after the pharmacy benefits giant announced that its largest customer Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) will likely not renew its contract in 2019.
- In earnings news, shares of McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) added more than 2.4% after the fast-food giant easily topped Wall Street quarterly expectations. The firm reported earnings per share (EPS) of $1.47 on top of $5.676 billion in revenue. Wall Street called for EPS of $1.32 on top of $5.476 billion in revenue.
- Meanwhile, investors will be looking for a report from Arconic Inc. (Nasdaq: ARNC) after its CEO recently stepped down from his role. The firm is facing activist pressure from hedge fund Elliott Management. Last week, its CEO Klaus Kleinfeld stepped down after it was revealed that he sent a vague, potentially threatening letter to Elliott chief Paul Singer without his board's approval.
- Look for earnings reports from United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X), Rowe Price Group Inc. (Nasdaq: TROW), Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT), The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO), and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG). Here's more on the companies reporting in today's earnings calendar.
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
- FHFA House Price Index at 9 a.m.
- S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI at 9 a.m.
- New Home Sales at 10 a.m.
- Consumer Confidence at 10 a.m.
- Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- State Street Investor Confidence Index at 10 a.m.
- Four-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- 52-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Two-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.