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After falling 274 points yesterday, Dow Jones futures are flat this morning, ticking up only 10 points before trading. The terrorist attack in Barcelona yesterday raised global uncertainty, and global stock markets fell in response. Volatility in the Dow Jones Industrial Average is a reminder to know how to protect your money against global threats...
Here are the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
|Index||Previous Close||Point Change||Percentage Change|
Now here's a closer look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus Friday's economic calendar.
The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Friday
- The stock market fell yesterday as Wall Street critics lined up to admonish U.S. President Donald Trump over his response to the violence in Charlottesville last weekend. Many have concluded that self-inflicted wounds by the Trump administration are preventing Congress from advancing any pro-economic legislation, including tax reform, in 2017. In addition, there are rumors that the president's top economic advisor, Gary Cohn, may resign over his disappointment with Trump's Charlottesville remarks. Cohn's resignation could ignite a massive sell-off in the global markets.
- Airline stocks are still falling this morning in the wake of a terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain. On Thursday, a vehicle rammed through a crowd, killing 14 people. ISIS has declared responsibility, while police killed five suspects. Shares of United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL), American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL), Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL), and many other industry stocks fell by more than 3.5% on Thursday.
- The price of gold rose to top $1,300 this morning, while silver prices added another 1% to hit $17.22. Investors have lost faith in the Trump administration's ability to get tax reform passed, and the Barcelona terror attack yesterday raised doubt about global stability. That's leading investors to sell off stocks in favor of bonds and safe-haven assets.
- On Friday, Bitcoin prices dipped to $4,311.39 - a day after pushing through the $4,500 price level for the first time ever. That said, any retreat in Bitcoin prices is positive and presents a new opportunity for long-term investors. That's because some forward thinkers project that Bitcoin prices could reach $1 million. Here's the latest recap on the Bitcoin price and the recent surge in rival cryptocurrencies.
- Crude oil prices rose this morning thanks to a weaker U.S. dollar and reports of tightening supplies in the United States. Crude inventory levels in the country have been declining despite a reported uptick in production. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.2%. Brent crude gained 0.1%. Despite small gains today, oil prices are on pace for about a 2% to 3% decline this week. Markets will be paying close attention to the Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) weekly rig count later this afternoon, which will show investors if production is rising or falling.
Five Stocks to Watch Today: ROST, GAP, FL, NKE, DE
- In earnings news, some retail stores showed signs of life. Shares of Ross Stores Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST) popped more than 11%, while Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) added another 6%. Both firms reported better-than-expected earnings reports after the bell on Thursday.
- But it wasn't all great news in the retail sector. This morning, shares of Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL) cratered more than 18% after the company fell well short of Wall Street earnings expectations. The company reported dismal earnings per share (EPS) of $0.63 on top of $1.07 billion in revenue. Both figures were well below Wall Street earnings expectations. Analysts expected EPS of $0.90 on $1.81 billion in revenue. Shares of FL stock were already off 33% in 2017 ahead of today's dire earnings report.
What to Do With Your Money During Global Uncertainty
- Today's sell-off in Foot Locker was an ominous sign for shoe and apparel giants Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) and Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UAA). Shares of both firms fell more than 2%, as Wall Street worries about a broader slowdown in the sector.
- Meanwhile, shares of Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) were off more than 4.8% after the agricultural machinery giant fell short of quarterly sales expectations. Although the firm hiked its annual forecasts, the company is under pressure at a time when the agricultural sector has been strained by low grain prices and droughts across the globe. The firm topped EPS expectations of $1.93 by four cents. However, it narrowly missed revenue expectations of $6.885 billion.
- Look for additional earnings reports today from Hibbett Sports Inc. (Nasdaq: HIBB) and Estee Lauder Co. (NYSE: EL).
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
- Robert Kaplan speaks at 10:15 a.m.
- Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
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