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The stock market news today is dominated by the start of Brexit and another round of speculation about the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Let's look at the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 20,701.50; +150.52; +0.73%
S&P 500: 2,358.57; +16.98; +0.73%
Nasdaq: 5,875.31; +34.77; +0.60%
Today's market highlights:
- The British pound was falling as Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to invoke Article 50 today and begin the United Kingdom's withdraw from the European Union.
- The announcement comes a day after Scottish officials announced they will hold another independence referendum that would separate the country from the UK.
- On Tuesday, the Dow gained 150 points thanks to a strong uptick in banking stocks. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) all gained more than 1.5% and helped offset losses in the healthcare sector.
Now here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a look at Wednesday's economic calendar.
DJIA Today: Dow Futures Flat Ahead of Speeches from Fed Members
- Dow Jones futures are flat this morning as markets prepare for another busy day of earnings reports and economic data. Investors will be eyeing several speeches by members of the Federal Reserve and monthly updates on crude supplies and home sales.
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- Gold prices were sliding thanks to stronger economic data and increased expectations that the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates in the months ahead.
- A stronger U.S. dollar pushed the greenback up from four-and-a-half-month lows after the U.S. consumer confidence level hit 125.6 in market. That was the highest level of confidence in the U.S. economy since December 2000.
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- Crude oil prices were pushing higher on news of a large supply disruption in Libya and increased speculation that OPEC members may extend its production cut deal. Armed protesters in Libya's western fields have reduced the nation's output by a little more than 252,000 barrels per day (bpd), according to the National Oil Corporation (NOC). The WTI crude oil price today added 0.48%. Brent crude gained 0.53%.
- Still traders will be eyeing a weekly inventory update from the Energy Information Administration on the state of crude stocks in the United States.
- But the big news is the Keystone XL pipeline. Last week, President Donald Trump issued a presidential permit that reverses President Barack Obama's 2015 decision to kill the Keystone XL pipeline. The permit fully display's Trump's favorable stance on oil and natural gas pipelines. Shares of TransCanada Corp. (NYSE: TRP) have been showing steady gains in recent trading session.
- That's why investors need to know about the best Keystone pipeline stocks of 2017 to make a tidy sum on the vast amount of crude oil and natural gas being produced in the United States. Here's what you need to know.
Stocks to Watch Today, March 29, 2017:
- Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) are down 0.1% despite news of a big upgrade from UBS analyst Steven Milunovich. The Wall Street analyst set a price target for AAPL at $151.00 per share and said a $200.00 target would be possible in the next three years.
- In earnings news, shares of Paychex Inc. (Nasdaq: PAYX) fell more than 0.6% as the payroll and human resources management firm prepares to report earnings before the bell. Wall Street anticipates that the firm will report earnings per share (EPS) of $0.54 on top of $798.39 million in revenue.
- Meanwhile, shares of Dave & Buster's Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: PLAY) fell more than 3.5% in pre-market hours after the firm topped Wall Street earnings expectations in the fourth quarter. Though the firm beat EPS estimates, it also issued a very cautious forecast for the fiscal year ahead.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Luluemon Athletica Inc. (Nasdaq: LULU), HB Fuller Co. (NYSE: FUL), Progress Software Corp. (Nasdaq: PRGS), Worthington Industries (NYSE: WOR), and UniFirst Corp. (NYSE: UNF).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.
- Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans speaks at 9:20 a.m.
- Pending Home Sales Index at 10 a.m.
- EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren speaks at 11:30 a.m.
- Two-Year FRN Note Auction at 11:30 a.m.
- Seven-Year Note Auction at 1 p.m.
- San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams speaks at 1:15 a.m.