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Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch for Dec. 19

Investing.com - Here are three things that could rock the markets tomorrow.

1. Trump Impeached

The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump Wednesday, as expected. Trump is the third president to be impeached in U.S. history.

While the markets haven’t been swayed much at all by the impeachment saga – especially given Trump is almost guaranteed to survive a trial in the GOP-led Senate – trading was particularly quiet today as the impeachment debate went on.

Often when big political events occur investors have one eye on the TV and one on the trading screen, so muted volume could be the order of the day at the open tomorrow as well as the talking heads talk about the next steps.

As far as the numbers, S&P 500 futures were little changed just after the vote came in.

Also on the political landscape, healthcare stocks will be active after a federal appeals court ruled unconstitutional the individual mandate that citizens must have health insurance, which is part of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare).

The Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that the mandate was in the taxing power of Congress, but a Texas court ruled that was no longer applicable given that the penalty for not having insurance was later lowered to zero dollars.

The appeals court the Texas court would have to rule if the law could stand without the mandate.

2. Housing and Manufacturing Numbers Arrive Again

There are a host of economic indicators for the market to digest tomorrow. Housing and manufacturing drove stocks higher earlier this week and get a change to again.

At 10:00 AM ET (15:00 GMT), the National Association of Realtors will report on existing home sales for November.

Sales of existing homes are expected to have dropped 0.2% last month to an annual rate of 5.44 million, according to forecasts compiled by Investing.com.

At 8:30 AM ET, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve will release its manufacturing index for December.

Economists expect the Philly Fed Index to come in at 8 for the month from 10.4 in November. The index tracks manufacturing in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Initial jobless claims arrive at the same time. Economists are looking for a drop in claims for first-time unemployment benefits to 225,000.

3. Nike Ready to Release Results

Athleticwear giant Nike (NYSE:NKE) will report earnings after the close of trading tomorrow.

Nike (NYSE:NKE) is expected to report a quarterly profit of 58 cents per share on sales of almost $10.1 billion, according to forecasts compiled by Investing.com.

Needham boosted its price target on the stock this week to $105 per share from $98 per share.

“We think NKE is benefitting from ongoing structural changes in the sales mix towards Direct as well as product innovation, especially for price points (below) $100,” Needham said, according to Briefing.com. “We expect its performance in China and EMEA will get a boost from its app launches.

Nike (NYSE:NKE) shares were up 0.9% on Wednesday and are up 35.6% this year, seventh-best among the 30 Dow stocks.

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