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The stock market news is the Dow pushing higher as investors eye another busy day of economic data and earnings reports.
Let's look at the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 20,728.49; +69.17; +0.33%
S&P 500: 2,368.07; +6.93; +0.32%
Nasdaq: 5,915.44; +16.80; +0.30%
Today's market highlights:
- On Thursday, banking stocks pulled the market higher after the U.S. Commerce Department reported stronger than expected economic growth for the fourth quarter of 2016. Commerce said Q4 GDP increased by 2.1%, topping consensus expectations of 1.9% growth.
- U.S. Federal Reserve leaders are prepping for more interest rate hikes this year, and Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren wants three more this year.
- One Texas oil field is about to produce $1 trillion in value for investors. Here's how you can profit…
- This country could sink the European Union… and it's not Greece.
Now, here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a preview of Friday's economic calendar.
What's Ahead for the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today
- Dow Jones futures today are flat, projecting a six-point decline ahead of the last trading day of the first quarter.
- Crude oil prices are sliding after a three-day rally that has been fueled by increased optimism over OPEC's plans to cap excessive output. Various media outlets are reporting that OPEC leaders and Russian oil ministers are considering an extension to their six-month deal to help support crude prices. The WTI crude oil price today fell 0.3%. Brent crude dipped 0.7%.
- Oil traders are often too hung up on the small, day-to-day price swings that have become common in a world where the United States and OPEC are engaging in a supply war. But Savvy investors have their eyes on the long-term profit potential of the U.S.' massive trove of shale oil and natural gas. In fact, one region in Texas and New Mexico is poised for a $1 trillion oil boom in the years ahead. It's time that you learned about Permania and a way that you can make easy double-digit profits right here.
- Gold prices were ticking lower despite having one of the best quarters in a year thanks to ongoing geopolitical uncertainty. But while everyone is talking gold, we want to point readers to one precious metal that continues to slide under the radar. We're talking about investing in platinum. Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth sees big returns for investors willing to hold on to platinum in 2017. In fact, he expects investors to net a 6% profit by the end of the year as platinum prices rise to $1,300. Here's how you can get started on the platinum profit opportunity.
- The Federal Reserve is in focus today as several members of the central bank will speak at events across the United States. On Thursday, Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester projected that the United States would rebound from a tepid first quarter of economic growth. Lester also argued in favor of raising interests rates a few more times in 2017. According to CME Group's FedWatch Tool, the probability of an interest rate hike in May sits at just 4.3%. Markets expect the central bank to take action in June.
- But the big news is Greece. After three bailouts since 2011, the tiny, embattled country is a massive threat to the stability of the European Union. Greece lenders continue to fight about the best way to handle a fourth bailout for the country, and the July 7 deadline is fast approaching. We break down just how bad things have gotten and why Greece's debt has the potential to send the euro – the economic bloc's common currency – plunging.
- While mainstream media outlets are finally catching up on the threat Greece poses to the EU, there is another country that could set the economic bloc on fire. Forget Greece's bailout. This country is an even greater threat to economic stability across the continent.
Stocks to Watch Today, March 31, 2017:
- New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT) has been a punching bag of President Donald Trump since he first announced his candidacy the nation's highest office. Earlier this week, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to voice his displeasure with the media giant and said that the newspaper was "failing." But Money Morning dug into the numbers and uncovered something that would certainly surprise critics of the Grey Lady. The stock has been on a solid run, and it looks poised for even greater returns in the future. Here's what you need to know about NYT stock.
- In earnings news, shares of BlackBerry Ltd. (Nasdaq: BBRY) are in focus as the firm prepares to report its fourth-quarter results. Wall Street anticipated that the Canadian technology company will report an earnings per share (EPS) loss of $0.01 on top of $294 million in revenue.
- Look for additional earnings reports from DXP Enterprises Inc. (Nasdaq: DXPE) and NCI Inc. (Nasdaq: NCIT).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Personal Income and Outlays at 8:30 a.m.
- Chicago PMI at 9:45 a.m.
- Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
- Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari speaks at 10 a.m.
- Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard speaks at 10:30 a.m.
- Baker Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.