Dow Jones Industrial Average Ticks Lower Ahead of Critical Brexit Vote

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average projected a 24-point decline in premarket hours as all eyes turned to London for a crucial Brexit vote. Today, the British Parliament will vote on Prime Minister Teresa May’s proposed strategy to leave the European Union. Mrs. May is largely expected to lose the vote, possibly by a historic margin.

A failure to secure parliamentary backing for the current proposal increases chances of the United Kingdom leaving the world’s largest trading bloc without a deal – a development sure to rock global financial markets.

The U.K. is slated to exit the world’s largest economic bloc on March 29; however, the U.K. is woefully unprepared for a departure. Concerns about its future from a social, economic, and political standpoint are boiling ahead of today’s vote, which happens around 2 p.m. EST.

Here are the numbers from Monday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 23909.84 -86.11 -0.36%
S&P 500 2582.61 -13.65  -0.53%
Nasdaq 6905.92 -65.56 -0.94%

Now, here’s a closer look at today’s Money Morning insight, the most important market events and stocks to watch.

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The Top Stock Market Stories for Tuesday

  • JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) leads a busy day earnings reports on Tuesday. Jamie Dimon’s firm reported revenue of $26.80 billion, a figure that was just short of Wall Street expectations. The firm reported earnings per share of $1.98, which also fell short of consensus forecasts of $2.20. That earnings miss snapped the company’s streak of topping Wall Street profits expectations for 15 quarters in a row. The firm cited weak bond trading as a key reason for its miss. JPM stock was off 3% in premarket hours.
  • China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said it wants a “good start” in the first quarter of the year. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Monday that the Chinese government is considering different approaches to meet its 2019 economic goals, according to Chinese state television. That has generated speculation that more stimulus is coming.

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Stocks to Watch Today: CMCSA, DAL, GCI

  • Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) has faced a wealth of pressure thanks to cord cutters and streaming competitors like Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and Hulu. Now, the company plans to launch an ad-supported streaming service for its NBCUniversal brand in 2010. The service will allow the company to showcase its film franchises like Jurassic Park and popular television shows like “This is Us” and “The Office.” The news also comes as the Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and WarnerMedia plan to launch streaming services this year. Markets expect that Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) will also launch its own streaming service in early 2019.
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  • In deal news, markets are still digesting news that Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM) plans to purchase Goldcorp (NYSE: GG) for $10 billion. The massive deal will create the world’s largest gold producer and bolster both firms’ development pipelines.
  • Shares of Unitedhealth Group (NYSE: UNH) added 1.4% in premarket hours after the health insurance giant reported earnings before the bell. The firm reported a 12.2% year-over-year jump in revenue to $58.42 billion thanks to higher premiums, bolstered membership, and diverse sales streams. Although net earnings dipped by 16% to $3.10 per share, the figure still topped Wall Street EPS estimates of $3.05 per share.
  • Shares of Gannett Co. (NYSE: GCI) popped more than 21% yesterday on news that the newspaper publisher has received a hostile takeover offer from MNG Enterprises, a firm controlled by hedge fund Alden Global Capital. The proposed offer of $1.36 billion would give MNG – also known as Digital First Media – a wealth of regional newspapers and USA Today. The hostile takeover comes three years after Gannett called off a deal to merge with Tribune Publishing, which owns the Chicago Tribune and the Baltimore Sun.
  • Look for earnings reports from Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL), Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), United Continental Holdings (NYSE: UAL), ADTRAN (Nasdaq: ADTN), Harris Corp. (NYSE: HRS), and IHS Markit Ltd. (Nasdaq: INFO).

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