Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow remains more than 1,700 points below its all-time high of Jan. 26.
  • Jobless claims in the U.S. for the week ended March 3, rose 21,000 to 231,000, rebounding from a more than 48-year low.
  • Donald Trump announced a 25% tariff on imported steel and a 10% levy on non-American aluminum.

Wall Street Overview

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished higher on Thursday, March 8, as investors absorbed details of President Donald Trump's announcement on tariffs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 93 points, or 0.38%. The S&P 500 rose 0.45% and the Nasdaq gained 0.42%.

Trump announced a 25% tariff on imported steel and a 10% levy on non-American aluminum. The tariffs will go into effect in 15 days. The president agreed to exempt Canada and Mexico. The plan would impact countries such as Brazil, South Korea, Turkey, Japan and China, but also includes an appeals process for the countries affected.

"If the same goals can be accomplished by other means, America will remain open to modifying or removing the tariffs for individual nations, as long as we can agree on a way to ensure that their products no longer threaten our security," Trump said.

Stocks fell on Wednesday, March 7, after Gary Cohn, the head of Trump's National Economic Council, resigned and investors braced for what could be an escalating global trade war.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 82 points, or 0.33%, to 24,801 and the S&P 500 declined 0.05%. The Nasdaq rose for a fifth straight day, closing up 0.33%.

Cigna Corp. (CI) - Get Reportreached a deal to buy pharmaceutical benefit manager Express Scripts Holding Co. (ESRX)  for $67 billion in cash and stock, and $15 billion in debt. 

Cigna's deal consists of $48.75 in cash and 0.2434 a shares of stock of the combined company for each Express Scripts share. The transaction values Express Scripts at $96.03 a share, which is a premium of almost 31% from Express Scripts' closing price on Wednesday of $73.42.

Express Scripts shares rose 8.5% Thursday. Cigna shares fell 11%.

Kroger Co. (KR) - Get Report earned 63 cents a share on an adjusted basis in the fourth quarter, matching forecasts. Revenue of $31.03 billion topped consensus of $30.82 billion, while same-store sales rose 1.5%, meeting estimates.

The giant grocer said it expects same-store sales growth in 2018 of 1.5% to 2%. The stock fell 12% on Thursday.

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Warehouse king Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) - Get Report  posted a same-store sales increase of 8.4% for the holiday season quarter. Earnings of $1.59 a share for the quarter ended Feb. 18, topped forecasts of $1.47.

Costco shares were down 0.89% as gross profit margins compressed, falling slightly from the prior year to 10.98%.

Snap Inc. (SNAP) - Get Report is planning to lay off about 100 software developers in what would be the company's largest round of cuts to date. The stock fell 2%.

Burlington Stores Inc. (BURL) - Get Report jumped 5% after the retailer beat fourth-quarter earnings expectations and issued an upbeat first-quarter outlook.

Jobless claims in the U.S. for the week ended March 3, rose 21,000 to 231,000. A week earlier, jobless claims dropped to 210,000, the lowest level since December 1969.

The official U.S. jobs report for February will be released on Friday, March 9.