Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

Stocks finished down Thursday as investors pulled back after the release of a whistleblower complaint that has sparked an impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump.

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down Thursday after the release of a whistleblower complaint that has sparked an impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump.
  • Peloton Interactive (PTON) - Get Report debuted on the Nasdaq at $27 a share, $2 below its IPO price of $29. Peloton Interactive, which finished down down 11.2% to $25.76, is Real Money's Stock of the Day.
  • Beyond Meat (BYND) - Get Report soared on news that McDonald's (MCD) - Get Report was preparing to test-launch a Beyond Meat burger offering in Canada.

Wall Street Overview

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which fell as much as 167 points, finished down 80 points, or 0.30%, to 26,891, the S&P 500 fell 0.24%, and the Nasdaq dropped 0.58% after tech stocks tumbled.

UnitedHealth

(UNH) - Get Report

, Chevron

(CVX) - Get Report

and Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

led the Dow's retreat.

The whistleblower complaint, released by the House Intelligence Committee, focuses on Trump's alleged attempts to pressure Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky into helping smear Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden.

"I am deeply concerned that the actions described below constitute 'a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, or violation of law or executive order' that 'does not include differences of opinion concerning public policy matters,' consistent with the definition of an 'urgent concern,'" the whistleblower said.

Trump blasted the accusation on Twitter Thursday, calling it "Another Fake News Story! See what was said on the very nice, no pressure, call. Another Witch Hunt!"

The New York Times, citing three unnamed sources, said Thursday afternoon that the whistleblower is a C.I.A. officer who was detailed to work at the White House at one point and has since returned to the agency.

Trump's personal attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, is named as a "central figure" in the effort. Giuliani has been pushing the theory that Biden pressured Ukraine to fire the country's chief prosecutor to prevent the prosecutor from investigating a Ukrainian gas company with ties to Hunter Biden, the former vice president's son. 

Attorney General William Barr "appears to be involved as well," the complaint said.

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testified Thursday about the complaint before the House Intelligence Committee.

"I believe the whistleblower followed the law every step of the way," Maguire said during his testimony, adding that the whistleblower "acted in good faith" and called the case "unique and unprecedented."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Tuesday that the impeachment proceedings against Trump would begin. On Thursday, she cited the whistleblower's statement that White House officials worked to "lock down" all records of a call between Trump and Zelensky.

"This is a cover-up," she said. "Every day the sadness grows."

Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance, said that "to the extent that President Trump is impeached, but not removed from office ... we believe the market will completely look past all of these political headlines."

"Based on the information we have seen to date, we do not believe the President will be removed from office and any short-term volatility should be disregarded," Zaccarelli said.

"It's no secret that Trump tweets have moved the market in the past, but history tells us that the impeachment process is exceedingly long, and doesn't tend to move the needle on its own when it comes to the market," said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E*Trade.

"If there is one thing for investors to remember, it's don't let the short-term noise be a distraction - stay focused on the fundamentals of the economy and company earnings, which we know have a bigger impact on the market than the near-term news cycle."

"As political headlines continue to take center stage, it is important to remember that political games, predictions and proceedings are all temporary events as it pertains to the U.S. markets," said Dom Catrambone, CEO of Volshares ETF. " What these impeachment proceedings will mean for the market in the long term is very hard to diagnose, but it is certain that the proceedings will lead to a higher degree of volatility."

Catrambone added that The "whistleblower complaint" is "the latest headline triggering impeachment proceedings against President Trump, a political move that will cause market volatility in the short term."

Stocks had been up in premarket trading after Trump said an agreement to end a nearly 15-month trade war with China could happen sooner than people think.

"We've picked up trillions of dollars and they've lost trillions of dollars and they want to make a deal very badly," Trump said Wednesday. "It could happen. It could happen sooner than you think."

Peloton Interactive (PTON) - Get Report debuted on the Nasdaq Thursday after the fitness and tech company raised $1.2 billion in its initial public offering. The company opened for trading Thursday at $27 a share, $2 below its initial public offering price of $29, and finished down 11.2% to $25.76. Peloton Interactive is Real Money's Stock of the Day.

Shares of Beyond Meat (BYND) - Get Report soared 11.6% to $154.34 on news that McDonald's (MCD) - Get Report was preparing to test-launch a Beyond Meat burger offering in Canada.

Rite Aid (RAD) - Get Report  closed up 1.8% to $7.83 after earlier surging as high as $9.96. The drugstore chain posted adjusted third-quarter earnings and sales that beat analysts' forecasts, and updated its fiscal 2020 outlook. The stock fell 3% in after-hours trading to $7.65, below where its Wednesday close of $7.69.

Conagra Brands (CAG) - Get Report climbed 3.7% to $31 after the packaged food maker beat Wall Street's first-quarter earnings expectations but missed on sales.

Facebook (FB) - Get Report shares were down 1.5% to $180.11 following reports that the U.S. Department of Justice will launch another antitrust probe into the world's largest social media network.

Brent crude contracts were up 32 cents to $61.75 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate contracts, which are more tightly linked to U.S. gas prices, were up 4 cents to $56.53 a barrel.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its final reading of real gross domestic product data from the second quarter, with U.S. economic growth up 2% vs. 3.1% in the first quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected no change in the revised number.

In economic news, initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 213,000 for the week ended Sept. 21, the Labor Department said. Data for the prior week was revised to show 2,000 more applications received than previously reported. 

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