The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower even as the Nasdaq jumped more than 3%. Meta platforms (META) Mark Zuckerberg spun as he shared his surprise. apple ( AAPL ) led earnings Microsoft (MSFT) was the top blue chip.
New Leaderboard member US Global Jets (JETS) ETF rose above a buy point. A trio of other notable names bounced back amid bullish action. chewable (CHWY), Tapestry (TPR) and Arrow Electronics (ARW) all tested inputs.
New data from the Labor Department showed first-time jobless claims fell to 183,000 from 186,000 in the previous week. Analysts had expected them to rise to 193,000. The labor market continues to show strength, with first-time claims last week coming in well below expectations for the second week in a row.
Nasdaq Jumps, Small Caps Shine
Today’s action was key, as the stock market often reacts to Fed meetings on the second day. Traders remain in risk-on mode today, with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s virtuoso post-meeting press conference performance boosting markets.
The Nasdaq was the strongest of the major indexes as it gained 3.3%. DocuSign ( DOCU ) performed well here with a gain of 7.7%.
The S&P 500 rose 1.5% to hit a five-month high. WW Grainger ( GWW ) was among the stars here as it gained 13% following the company’s quarterly results.
S&P 500 sectors closed mixed. Consumer discretionary, communications services and technology were the best performers, while consumer staples and energy were the worst laggards.
Small caps also impressed, with the Russell 2000 up 2.1%. Growth stocks struggled to the close, with the Innovator IBD 50 ETF ( FFTY ) up 1%.
Dow Jones today: Microsoft, Apple Impress
The Dow Jones Industrial Average underperformed other major indexes, although some components performed well. It closed off lows but was still down 0.1%.
Microsoft shares rose 4.7% today to become the top performer on the Dow Jones. MarketSmith shows that MSFT shares are clear of their 200-day moving average for the first time since April.
Apple shares also performed well, rising 3.7%. AAPL shares also rose to the 200-day line and are up more than 20% so far this year.
Apple’s earnings will be paid after the close, Wall Street expects EPS to fall 8.1% to $1.93, with sales down 2.2% to $121.21 billion, according to Zacks Investment Research.
On the downside, UnitedHealth (UNH) and Merck ( MRK ) both lagged the Dow. UNH decreased by 5.3% and MRK by 3.3%.
Meta Stock Rockets; Mark Zuckerberg admitted his “surprise”.
Facebook parent company Meta Platforms rose after its latest quarterly report on Wednesday. While earnings were down, revenue, sales guidance and Facebook user numbers were all flat in views.
Meta shares closed slightly lower on Friday’s highs, but still gained 23.3%. This allowed it to escape the 200-day moving average. No access points are currently visible.
Investors seemed particularly pleased with the firm’s announcement of a $40 billion share buyback. The parent of Facebook and Instagram cut its forecast for expenses, including capital expenditures.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg seems to be finding his inner Ebenezer Scrooge, suggesting during the earnings call that “reducing layers of management” will improve information flow, which will lead to better products and better employee retention.
“It was a little surprising to me to be honest, the company felt better to me when we started looking into this,” he said.
Zuckerberg is already reaping the benefits. The tech mogul, who Bloomberg estimated was worth $57.2 billion at Wednesday’s close, will see his net worth increase significantly by the end of trading today.
New Leader Passed Buy Point
The US Global Jets ETF pulled away from a buy point amid bullish moves in the airlines space.
In the process, he managed to break free from the 20.79 handle entry, earning a spot on the prestigious IBD Leaderboard list. The ETF rose 3.1%, nearing the top of a buy zone.
The ETF holds most of its holdings in both U.S. and foreign airlines, but aerospace firms and travel firms also have meaningful positions in the fund.
Wednesday’s IBD Stock of the Day, Delta Airlines (DAL), closed above the 39.72 buy point, with a 5% buy zone extended to 41.70. He finished the day right.
Among related stocks, Southwest Airlines (LUV) rose 3.4%, United Airlines (UAL) rose 4.2%, American Airlines (AAL) rose 2.2% and Alaska Weather (ALK) increased by 3.3%.
Align Technology The stock is sinking its teeth into monster gains
Orthodontic stock Align Technology (ALGN) was one of the best performers on the stock market today.
It rose 27.3% after beating Wall Street views on the top and bottom lines in its quarterly report.
Investors also boosted shares of Align after the firm announced it would buy back up to $1 billion in stock over the next three years.
No entry is seen after the stock has broken out and moved 60% above its 50-day moving average.
ALGN shares are now up nearly 70% through 2023.
Outside the Dow Jones: 3 Stock Test Entries
It’s a good time to buy quality stocks, and several popular names are tested buy points on Thursday.
Online pet retailer Chewy is in a buying zone after clearing its handle cup entry on 48.11.11. The relative strength line just hit a six-month high, a bullish sign.
Arrow Electronics crossed the 129.66 cup base entry after the earnings report. It has the highest EPS rating of 95.
One reason to be cautious is that future estimates are not very impressive. EPS will grow 29% in 2023 and 1% in 2024.
The tapestry is just below the entrance after clearing the 47.15 cup buy point earlier. This is the first stage basis, which means that net rich gains are more likely.
Earnings are the main weakness, with the EPS Rating falling to 52 from 99. Earnings are seen rising 5% this year before rising to 15% in 2024.
Follow Michael Larkin on Twitter @IBD_MLarkin for further analysis of growth stocks.
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