How Today's Earnings Reports Will Lift the Dow Jones Industrial Average

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is trending up this morning thanks to highly anticipated earnings reports from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), which is up 3.3% already today.

Dow Jones futures today are up 68 points ahead of trading, but a Republican defector from the Senate's tax cut bill could threaten gains. Rising futures will help break a streak of losses for the Dow, but there's a secret to playing the pullbacks that investors are overlooking..

Here are the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 23,271.28 -138.19 -0.59%
S&P 500 2,564.62 -14.25 -0.55%
Nasdaq 6,706.21 -31.66 -0.47%

Now here's a closer look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus Thursday's economic calendar.

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The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday

  • dow jones industrial averageRepublicans appear ready to push their tax reform bill despite news that the cuts are deeply unpopular across the United States. In addition, GOP Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has stated that he does not plan to vote in favor of the bill, a harbinger of more problems ahead. Republicans will attempt to pass the law after Thanksgiving despite the fact that more opposition may emerge from their ranks over the next week.
  • While the GOP has its heart set on tax reform, a group of Democratic Congressmen has its goals aimed somewhere else: the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump. On Wednesday, four Democrats introduced five articles of impeachment against Trump. The decision stems from what they allege to be obstruction of justice from the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. While the Republican-run House of Representatives is unlikely to take up debate on this issue, the four Democrats aim to rally their base ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.
  • Bitcoin has strongly recovered since its recent downturn that saw the price fall in the $5,700 range. The uptick comes after Jack Dorsey's mobile payment firm, Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ), announced plans to integrate Bitcoin into its platform. Square executives say that they are experimenting with cryptocurrencies and hope for a big win as a result of this integration. In addition to an uptick of the Bitcoin price, markets saw shares of Square stock increase thanks to the uptick in enthusiasm.
  • In deal news, toymaker Mattel Inc. (NYSE: MAT) has turned down the latest takeover offer from rival Hasbro Inc. (NYSE: HAS). Mattel executives argue that the proposed deal undervalues itself and fails to account for possible antitrust violations.
  • Crude oil prices continue to slide after the Energy Information Administration announced Wednesday that crude inventory levels increased last week. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.6%. Brent crude gained 0.7%.

Three Stocks to Watch Today: WMT, BBY, AMZN

  • Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) are up 3.3% after the e-commerce giant reported quarterly earnings before the bell. Wall Street forecast earnings per share (EPS) of $0.97 on top of $121.01 billion in revenue. The firm easily topped those numbers, with an EPS of $1.00 on top of $123.18 billion.

What Happened to Sears?

  • Shares of Best Buy Corp. (NYSE: BBY) fell more than 3% after the retail giant fell short on quarterly earnings before the bell. Analysts projected EPS of $0.79 on top of $9.35 billion in revenue. Best Buy reported EPS of $0.78 on top of $9.32 billion in revenue.
  • Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and its grocery division Whole Foods are about to unveil a string of discounts to Prime members ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. The news should strike fear into grocery competitors like Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY), and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT).
  • Look for additional earnings reports from Splunk Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLK), Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS), Applied Materials Inc. (Nasdaq: AMAT), and Ross Stores Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST).

Thursday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)

  • Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
  • Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey at 8:30 a.m.
  • Import and Export Prices at 8:30 a.m.
  • Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester speaks at 9:10 a.m.
  • Industrial Production at 9:15 a.m.
  • Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
  • Housing Market Index at 10 a.m.
  • EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
  • Three-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • Six-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • Two-Year FRN Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 10-Year TIPS Auction at 1 p.m.
  • Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan speaks at 1:10 p.m.
  • Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard speaks at 3:45 p.m.
  • Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
  • Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.

Must Read: Five Double-Digit Dividend Plays to Secure Your "Second Salary"

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