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Here are the numbers from Tuesday 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 Wednesday's economic calendar.
The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Wednesday
- The big news this morning is happening in China. Wednesday kicked off the ruling Communist Party's twice-a-decade meetings. The party will discuss its economic and cultural planning for the next five years. During a speech early on Wednesday, China's President Xi Jinping praised socialism and argued that the nation's government should have a stronger hand in the Chinese economy. The president also stated that China will become more open economically in the future. The speech contained nothing surprising, but it did raise questions about how China planned to further liberalize its economy with greater government intervention.
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- In Europe, three members of the European Central Bank are set to take to the podium today. ECB President Mario Draghi, Chief Economist Peter Praet, and Executive Board Member Benoit Coeure will discuss the state of the EU economy and monetary policy. Draghi will speak first during a conference in Frankfurt, Germany.
- Want to hear a wild prediction? Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), and Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) will all disappear within 50 years. That's right. New York University Stern School of Business Professor Scott Galloway said that the four tech giants will vanish due to sharp changes in the business cycle. In an interview with MarketWatch, Galloway said that technology firms are too hard to predict and that there is plenty of historical evidence to show how many companies that once dominated economies have disappeared over time.
- Crude oil prices were up slightly on U.S. government data that suggested the domestic market is tightening. According to the American Petroleum Institute, U.S. inventories slipped by 7.1 million barrels last week. Investors will be looking for a similar report this morning from the Energy Information Administration. Meanwhile, oil prices are trading at a slight premium as markets continue to monitor ongoing tensions in northern Iraq. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.2%. Brent crude gained 0.3%.
- Finally, geopolitical uncertainty is again in the news. Rather than ongoing chatter about nuclear weapons in North Korea, the danger can be found in Iran. This morning, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced that Iran's government would remain committed to the 2015 nuclear deal, but only if the United States remained in it. Khamenei said that Iran would "shred it" should the United States walk away from the deal.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: IBM, AMZN, MCD
- Shares of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) popped more than 5.5% after the company surprised Wall Street with a huge beat in earnings for the quarter. Big Blue reported earnings per share (EPS) of $3.30 on top of $19.15 billion in revenue. Wall Street analysts had expected EPS of $3.28 on $18.67 billion. The company hinted that it is on pace for sales growth after almost six straight years of declines. The company saw strong growth from its new businesses, including cloud computing and cybersecurity services.
What Happened to America's Favorite Company?
- Amazon.com Inc. will receive proposals from U.S. cities through Thursday for the granddaddy of all economic prizes in 2018. Cities are vying to host Amazon's second headquarters. The company announced in September that it was considering various proposals from cities all across the country. Given the logistics and human capital required, we dug into all of the variables. We believe that Amazon should choose one of these seven cities.
- This could be a long day for McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD). According to Reuters, authorities raided the firm's offices in Seoul, South Korea. The raid came after complaints that children had consumed undercooked hamburger meat from the establishments. The local prosecutors had confiscated documents linked to one of the company's suppliers. The investigation will be ongoing, but the worst-case scenario is further brand damage in the Asia-Pacific markets. Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM) experienced a significant meat scandal in 2015 in China and was forced to spin off its local businesses.
- Look for additional earnings reports from eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY), American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP), Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (NYSE: KMI), United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT), and U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB).
Wednesday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.
- Housing Starts at 8:30 a.m.
- Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations at 10 a.m.
- EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Beige Book at 2 p.m.
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