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The Dow Jones now could gain as COVID-19 stimulus talks are back on between Congress and the Trump administration.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke Thursday at length about the possibility of getting a deal done quickly. More below on what’s moving the Dow today.

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

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 28,425.51 +122.05 +0.43
S&P 500 3,446.83 +27.38 +0.80
Nasdaq 11,420.98 +56.38 +0.50

Now, here are what I think will be the most important market events and stocks on Friday morning.

The Top Stock Market Stories for Friday

  • COVID-19 is back in focus as investors hope Congress can put together a new stimulus deal. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that the Democrat-led House will not back a standalone bailout for the airline industry, despite the sector’s recent threats to furlough tens of thousands of workers.

  • Meanwhile, cannabis stocks have been surging thanks to speculation that a Biden administration would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. Biden’s running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said during Wednesday’s vice-presidential debate that a Democratic-led White House would quickly move on marijuana laws at the national level. Shares of Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB), Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY), and Hexo Corp. (Nasdaq: HEXO) were pushing higher again Friday.
  • Finally, oil prices are dipping this morning despite the latest news from the Gulf Coast. Hurricane Delta shut down the largest amount of U.S. oil production in 15 years as it pushed through the Gulf of Mexico this week. The storm halted most of the region’s oil output and roughly 65% of all natural gas production. The storm has cut 92% of the Gulf’s oil output. That is the largest figure since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Stocks to Watch Today: AMD, AAPL, T

  • Shares of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) are down more than 3% on speculation that the semiconductor giant will purchase rival Xilinx Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX). Shares of XLNX are up more than 17% this morning on expectations for a deal worth roughly $30 billion. The deal would be the latest in the ongoing trend of consolidation in the semiconductor sector. AMD has seen its shares surge this year thanks to the ongoing shift toward a Digital First economy. The deal would come as soon as November.
  • Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is driving headlines after the company announced it will extend its Apple TV+ service through February 2021. The company had issued free trials with the purchase of various Apple products when it launched in 2019. The company has produced quality content like the Morning Show and obtained rights to leading films like Greyhound. However, in the age of the streaming wars, the firm is attempting to capture market share from rivals like Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Hulu.
  • Finally, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is attempting to sell DirecTV. But the company has struggled to obtain significant interest from private buyers. Reports indicate that the company may not find a deal for more than $20 billion. It recently announced plans to lay off thousands of employees from WarnerMedia in order to cut costs by up to 20%. The firm said that it is restructuring its organization due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation’s largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.

Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.

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