The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 are under pressure as concerns about Chinese and U.S. trade relations reemerged on Thursday.
According to reports, U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are unlikely to meet in coming weeks and strike a deal before the March 1 deadline. China’s economy is already struggling due to the ongoing trade spat, and concerns about U.S. growth continue to rattle domestic sentiment.
Here are the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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Now here’s a closer look at today’s most important market events and stocks to watch today…
The Top Stories Moving the Dow Jones Industrial Average
- The ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China continues to weigh on global markets. Asian markets and European markets were in the red this morning. According to reports, President Trump is poised to sign an executive order that will ban Chinese telecommunications equipment on American wireless networks. That ban comes as the 5G, ultra-high-speed network continues development. In the wake of national security concerns around Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE, the Trump administration aims to bolster security ahead of 5G deployment.
- Yesterday, BB&T Corp. (NYSE: BBT) and SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI) announced plans to create the sixth largest bank in the United States through a mega-merger. However, Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) says that the deal “deserves serious scrutiny.” Waters is the chair of the powerful House Financial Services Committee. Waters questioned how mergers between regional banks would affect customers and blamed recent deregulatory efforts for the deal. The news came the same day that Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) announced plans for a $2.5 billion buyback plan, an action that will receive additional scrutiny from Democratic leaders in the U.S. Senate.
- On the global front, concerns about the British economy are moving into overdrive. The Bank of England slashed its 2019 economic outlook and said that the nation’s GDP would grow at its slowest pace since 2009. That news comes shortly after the European Commission cut its growth outlook for 2019 down to 1.6%. Both forecasts take into account the ongoing uncertainty around the British departure from the European Union, which still has failed to reach a proper resolution just weeks from a hard landing.
Money Morning Insight of the Day
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Three Stocks to Watch Today: FB, AAPL, TSLA
- Shares of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) are under pressure after another government took action on the social media giant’s data policies. German regulators announced yesterday that they would limit the company’s ability to collect and combine consumer data and target advertising across all of its services. This ruling could make it far more difficult for the firm if it integrates the messaging platforms of Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp.
- Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) are in focus after news broke that it shifted its modem chip engineering team from its supply chain to its internal hardware group. Reuters suggests that it is aiming to develop modem chips in-house after years of buying them from companies like Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) and Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC). Such a change could bolster company profits in a big way in the future. Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald argues that Apple stock is a bargain right now. It’s just one of several that tap into the unstoppable investment trends that can make you very rich. Learn more right here.
- On Monday (Feb. 4), Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) announced it was acquiring Maxwell Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: MXWL), a battery and ultra-capacitor company. This might seem like a typical acquisition where a larger company scales its output by buying a smaller competitor. This is a much different move…
- On Friday, look for earnings reports from Arconic Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNC), Exelon Corp. (NYSE: EXC), Hasbro Inc. (NYSE: HAS), Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX), and Ventas Inc. (NYSE: VTR).
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