Yellen talks; Trump Jr. tweets; Oil in focus


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1. Fed focus: The head of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, is set to begin two days of hearings on monetary policy before House and Senate lawmakers.

Her prepared comments are slated to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET and testimony before the House Financial Services Committee begins at 10 a.m. ET.

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Investors will closely monitor Yellen’s words as they try to gauge her plans for interest rates.

The Fed raised short-term interest rates in June — the third rate hike since December. It also recently upgraded its forecast for U.S. economic growth and unemployment this year.

2. Trumps moving the markets: President Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. managed to move markets on Tuesday with a few tweets. The U.S. dollar dropped versus nearly every major global currency and hasn’t recovered. Stocks markets also dipped but then rebounded.

Trump Jr. released emails showing he agreed to meet with someone he believed to be a “Russian government attorney” last summer after receiving an email offering him “very high level and sensitive information” that would “incriminate” Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

The response on Wall Street underscores how much investors are paying attention to the political turmoil in Washington.

“International investors are less likely to understand the nuances of U.S. political risk, and more likely to overreact. International investors dictate the dollar’s value,” said Paul Donovan, global chief economist at UBS Wealth Management.

U.S. stock futures were moving sideways on Wednesday.

European markets were mostly positive in early trading, while Asian markets ended the day with mixed results.

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3. Big day for oil: There are two big oil reports coming out Wednesday from OPEC and the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, better known as the OPEC cartel, is releasing monthly production figures. The EIA is releasing weekly U.S. crude inventory data at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Both reports are known to move market sentiment.

Oil prices were up 1.8% on Wednesday to trade around $46 per barrel.

4. Stocks to watch — Amazon, Twitter: Shares in Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) will be watched closely after the company wrapped up its third annual Prime Day, which uses deals to lure in loyal shoppers.

Prime Day has proven to be a major sales boon for Amazon in the past. Orders increased by more than 60% worldwide during last year’s sale compared to its first Prime Day in 2015.

Twitter (TWTR, Tech30) announced it’s hired Ned Segal to be the company’s new chief financial officer. He’ll start in August. Segal previously worked at Intuit (INTU) and Goldman Sachs (GS).

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5. Coming this week:

Wednesday — Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen begins hearings before House and Senate lawmakers; OPEC issues monthly oil report; U.K. releases unemployment figures
ThursdayDelta Air Lines (DAL) earnings
Friday JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C) and Wells Fargo (WFC) earnings

CNNMoney (London) First published July 12, 2017: 5:53 AM ET


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