Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • Stocks ended mixed with the Dow and S&P 500 I:GSPC   lower while the Nasdaq gained Wednesday. 
  • Target Corp. (TGT) - Get Report  rose 3% after second-quarter sales and earnings at the retailer beat forecasts.
  • Lowe's Cos. (LOW) - Get Report  rose 6% after same-store sales at the home-improvement company came in below analysts' estimates.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks ended mixed on Wednesday, Aug. 22, after Fed minutes showed concern over wage pressures and as two days of trade talks between the U.S. and China get underway. Investors appeared to shrug off the latest legal fallout surrounding President Trump.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average I:DJI  fell 0.3% and the S&P 500 I:GSPC  edged lower by 0.04%. The Nasdaq I:IXIC  rose 0.4%.

The S&P 500 set an intraday record high on Tuesday, Aug. 21, and closed with its fourth day of gains, setting up U.S. stocks to record their longest bull market run in history. 

According to brokerage firm LPL Research, the current bull market started on March 9, 2009, in the wake of the financial crisis. According to, the bull market turns 3,453 days old on Wednesday, eclipsing the previous record set in the 1990s, which ended with the dot-com bust.

China and the U.S. will return to trade talks on Wednesday but expectations are low that the mid-level discussions will yield any progress.

Meanwhile, Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to campaign-finance violations and other charges, saying Trump directed him to arrange the payment of hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model to fend off damage to his White House bid.

Also on Tuesday, Paul Manafort, former chairman of Trump's presidential campaign, was found guilty on eight counts of bank and tax fraud.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday released minutes from its last meeting on July 31-Aug. 1. The minutes showed members of the open-markets committee are seeing signs that wages are poised to accelerate. While the central bank didn't boost interest rates at that meeting, it has done so twice this year and economists expect the Fed to raise rates at its September meeting after consumer price inflation hit 2.9% in July, the highest level in six years.

Second-quarter earnings at Lowe's Cos. (LOW) - Get Report topped analysts' estimates but a same-store sales increase of 5.2% came in slightly below expectations. The home-improvement retailer also said it would close its Orchard Supply Hardware division.

Lowe's said it expects full-year same-store sales up 3%, and earnings of $4.50 to $4.60 a share. The stock rose 6%.

Target Corp. (TGT) - Get Report posted second-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.47 a share, 7 cents ahead of estimates and same-store sales of 6.5% easily came in ahead of forecasts.

The retailer also raised its outlook for 2018 adjusted earnings. Shares rose 3% on Wednesday. TheStreet's Executive Editor @BrianSozzi and reporter @KatherineRoss go head to head debating Target below. 

Zynga Inc. (ZNGA) - Get Report shares jumped 8% on Wednesday after the video game maker said it struck a multiyear deal with Walt Disney Co. (DIS) - Get Report to develop a "Star Wars" mobile game.

Disney is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells DIS? Learn more now.

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.

(HIG) - Get Report

reached an agreement to buy Navigators Group Inc.

(NAVG) - Get Report

for $2.1 billion, or $70 a share. Shares of Navigators Group rose 9%. Shares of Hartford fell 4%.