The Dow Jones news today features the latest report of 222,000 jobs added in June while U.S. President Donald Trump will be meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin later today. Dow Jones futures are up 38 points this morning.
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 Four Top Stock Market Stories for Friday
- This morning, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that the June unemployment rate hovered at 4.4% and the economy added roughly 222,000 jobs for the month. The announcement coincides with the ninth-straight year of economic expansion since the Great Recession hit. Since 2010, the U.S. economy has added 16.4 million jobs. The figure was a significant uptick from the projected 179,000 jobs expected in June.
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- Investors will soon turn from the jobs report to a semi-annual report from the U.S. Federal Reserve on its recent policy decisions and plans to roll back its massive balance sheet. Next week, Fed Chair Janet Yellen is set to testify before Congress. Ahead of this appearance, the Fed will issue its report on the state of the U.S. economy and its plans for monetary policy for the balance of the year. Markets will be looking to determine if the central bank views the U.S. economy as healthy enough to see one more interest rate hike by December.
- Geopolitical concerns continue to abound. President Trump rattled investor confidence when he said he is considering a “severe” response to North Korea’s continued defiance of international laws about missile testing. Trump said that the United States is prepared to move on its own, but he also said that he would like to reach a diplomatic solution through cooperation with other nations. President Trump will also meet Russian President Vladimir Putin later today during the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany. With geopolitics at the forefront, investors need to prepare for the next two weeks, which could be very rocky for the market. Here’s why.
- Crude oil prices were cratering again Friday as traders weigh the likelihood that global supplies are ticking higher. Despite news Thursday that U.S. inventory levels fell by 6.3 million barrels last week, new data indicates that U.S. production increased last week. The uptick in U.S. production complements a new report indicating that OPEC production ticked higher for the second consecutive month in June. The WTI crude oil price today fell 2.3%, and Brent crude dipped 2.1%.
Four Stocks to Watch Today: UAL, TSLA, BRK.A, LB
- In deal news, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: A) is close to reaching a deal to purchase the parent company of Oncor Electric Delivery, one of the nation’s largest electricity transmission companies. The deal is estimated to cost roughly $9 billion, which would be the company’s largest purchase since its takeover of Precision Castparts Corp. in 2016.
- Another day, another public relations problem for United Airlines Inc. (NYSE: UAL). According to reports, the company is facing yet another image problem after it forced a mother to hold her child on her lap for several hours after forcing the child to forfeit a seat to another passenger. The airline sold the child’s seat to a standby passenger during the second leg of their trip from Honolulu to Boston. The company has suffered several PR problems since a Kentucky doctor was forcefully dragged off a flight in April.
- Investors have to keep an eye on Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) again. The stock is off more than 20% from its 52-week high on June 23, and a rash of downgrades continue to pummel shares. Investment firms are concerned about the firm’s failure to meet delivery estimates during the second quarter. That said, CEO Elon Musk took to the podium to bring up an issue completely unrelated to the stock’s recent downturn. He warned this week that the world’s population is spiraling out of control and that few individuals seem to be concerned about the issue.
- Friday could be another tough day for L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB). Shares were off more than 14% Thursday after the parent of Victoria’s Secret reported a 6% decline in June sales. The “Retail Ice Age” continues to pummel companies in the brick-and-mortar industry. That said, Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) stock continues to gain strength as it encroaches on the retail sector and eats up market share around the country.
Friday’s U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Employment Situation at 8:30 a.m.
- EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
- Baker-Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
- Treasury STRIPS at 3 p.m.
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