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Let's look at the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Dow Jones: 20,648.15; -41.09; -0.20%
S&P 500: 2,352.95; -7.21; -0.31%
Nasdaq: 5,864.48; -34.13; -0.58%
Today's market highlights:
- On Wednesday, the Dow dropped 41 points after investors scoured through the minutes from the March meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve.
- President Donald Trump will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida to discuss bilateral trade, North Korea's nuclear program, and more.
- Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE: RL) could be the latest victim of the "Retail Ice Age."
- Crude prices rose despite a surprising uptick in U.S. inventory levels.
Here's a look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus a look at Thursday's economic calendar.
What's Ahead for the Dow Jones Industrial Average Today
- Dow Jones futures are up 19 points as investors prepared for a busy day of economic data, earnings reports, and geopolitical chatter. With the world watching President Trump's meeting with China's president over the next two days, economic data and earnings reports may take a back seat.
- In economic news, the number of U.S. job cuts increased by 17% last month, according to the Challenger report. However, the figure is still much lower than last year. Later this morning, the U.S. Labor Department will announce the number of Americans who sought unemployment benefits last week. Economists anticipate that figure will
- The ongoing news on jobs will reach an apex tomorrow when the Labor Department releases the official jobs report from March and updates the unemployment rate. Markets are keeping a close eye on tomorrow's jobs report as it will likely impact the decisions of the Federal Reserve on its next interest rate hike.
- Wednesday, the Federal Reserve released minutes from its March meeting. The report indicated that the central bank wants to begin shrinking its $4.5 trillion balance sheet in 2017. The minutes also stated that several officials at the central bank believe that equity prices are "quite high."
- Shares of Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE: RL) have been slumping. The iconic retailer is the latest failing company to become a victim to the "Retail Ice Age." The company is trying to cut costs... much like Sears Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD), JCPenney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP), and Macy's Inc. (NYSE: M). But who is to blame for the company's demise? We answer that question, right here.
- Crude oil prices were on the rise although the Energy Information Administration had announced a surprise uptick in U.S. oil inventories. Markets had anticipated that inventory levels would have fallen last week, especially after the American Petroleum Institute announced an inventory decline on Tuesday. However, the EIA's announcement proves that oversupply remains a key concern even though OPEC has taken unprecedented efforts to reduce supply and support crude prices. The U.S. has reached a record amount of inventories - 535 million barrels.
- The WTI crude oil price today added 0.65%. Brent crude gained 0.68%.
- But the big news is the Saudi Aramco IPO. The energy giant is expected to have a market capitalization north of $2 trillion. That figure is nearly three times the size of the current largest public company on the markets - Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL). Given that the firm controls 20% of the global proven oil reserves and that it has massive geopolitical influence on the energy markets, investors are lining up to purchase Saudi Aramco stock. The Saudi Aramco IPO will be the largest public entry to the markets in global history. In fact, its market cap will likely surpass those of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), Royal Dutch Shell Plc. (NYSE ADR: RDS.A), BP Plc. (NYSE:BP), and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), combined.
- So when can you buy Saudi Aramco stock? Here's what you need to know.
Stocks to Watch Today, April 6, 2017:
- Taser International Inc. (Nasdaq: TASR) officially changed its name to Axon Enterprise Inc. (Nasdaq: AAXN). To reflect the name change, the company will trade under the new ticker symbol AAXN. The company changed its name to better reflect the broadening scope of products the company develops for law enforcement and the military. Here's more on the name change.
- Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) have been pushing higher on news that the global e-commerce giant will stream 10 Thursday night NFL games in the upcoming season. The firm reached an agreement to pay $50 million for the rights to play games for its Amazon Prime customers. The news overshadowed a company announcement that it will refund millions of unauthorized purchases by minors.
- In earnings news, shares of Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE: STZ) are in focus as the company prepares to report fourth-quarter results. Wall Street anticipates that the company will report earnings per share (EPS) of $1.37 on top of $1.587 billion in revenue.
- Look for additional earnings reports from CarMax Inc. (NYSE: KMX), WD-40 Co. (Nasdaq: WDFC), Perrigo Co. (NYSE: PRGO), PriceSmart Inc. (Nasdaq: PSMT), RPM International Inc. (NYSE: RPM), and Fred's Inc. (Nasdaq: FRED).
Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Challenger Job Cut Report at 7:30 a.m.
- Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
- Gallup Good Jobs Rate at 8:30 a.m.
- San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank Chair John Williams Speaks at 9:30 a.m.
- Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30v
- Three-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Six-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Three-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Ten-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
- 30-Year Bond Announcement at 11 a.m.
- Treasury STRIPS at 3 p.m.
- Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
- Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.