The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied back into the green after initially being forced lower amid weak jobless claims data. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq led even after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned Covid-19 mutations could set back economic recovery. Also in the stock market today, Apple (AAPL) managed to force its way above a key benchmark, while Microsoft (MSFT) was another top-performing blue chip.
IBD 50 stock Etsy (ETSY) turned in the best performance on the S&P 500. Meme stock GameStop fell, despite announcing it plans to make Chewy (CHWY) co-founder Ryan Cohen the chairman of its board. Software stock PTC (PTC) passed a proper buy point.
Powell Issues Covid Warning; Jobless Claims Rise
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said it is vital that Covid-19 vaccinations are issued on a global scale during an International Monetary Fund virtual debate on the global economy. He said global vaccination rates are being watched “very carefully,” as it could put the U.S. economy’s recovery at risk.
“Until the world really is vaccinated, we’re all going to be at risk of new mutations and we won’t be able to really resume activity with confidence all around the world,” he said.
Fed chairman Powell said it is important people get vaccinated and continue to socially distance, for even if it does not cause as many deaths, it could still slow down the recovery.
He also reiterated the U.S. central bank’s stance on its asset purchase program. He said they will be looking at inflation and “the indicators of maximal employment.”
“What we’ve said about our asset purchases is that they would continue at the current pace until we see substantial further progress toward our goals. That will really mean actual progress. We’re not looking at forecasts for this purpose, we’re looking at actual progress toward our goals.
The minutes from the Fed’s March 17 meeting indicated it would be “some time” before they begin removing aggressive monetary measures to support the economy, and will communicate well in advance any eventual move.
Meanwhile, the number of first-time applications for unemployment assistance rose to 744,000 in the week ended April 3, the Labor Department reported. That was above the prior week’s 728,000 final tally. This disappointed expectations for a second straight decline to 680,000 claims.
Nasdaq, S&P 500 Rally
The tech-heavy Nasdaq was the best-performing index, posting a gain of almost 1%. Okta (OKTA) was the best performer, rising by almost 7%.
U.S. Stock Market Today Overview
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The S&P 500 was also positive, though its gain was more marginal. It was up around 0.3%. Align Technology (ALGN) was one of the top stocks, rising more than 4%.
The S&P sectors were mixed, with more winners than losers. Technology was leading, while energy and communication services were the biggest laggards.
Small caps managed to fight their way back into positive territory. The Russell 2000 was up around 0.6%
Growth stocks also managed to beat back the bears. The Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) was up more than 1% in a seesaw session.
Dow Jones Slips As Apple Stock Retakes Key Benchmark
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was lagging the other major indexes. While it rallied out of the red, it was still barely positive. It was up less than 0.1%.
Apple stock managed to make a bullish move, despite the weak performance of the broader index. It was the top Dow Jones performer after rising around 1.6%.
The stock retook the key 10-week moving average, according to MarketSmith analysis. Managing to hold above this benchmark will be a good sign after recent declines.
Apple made its bullish move despite the fact the company is delaying some MacBook and iPad production due to the global chip shortage, according to Japan’s Nikkei news service.
Old rival Microsoft was another of the top-performing Dow Jones stocks. The software giant was up more than 1%. Microsoft stock moved higher in its buy zone. It previously broke out of a flat base. The ideal buy point was 246.23.
Salesforce.com (CRM) also turned a solid gain, rising around 1.4%.
Nasdaq Nears Highs As Growth Roars; 14 Stocks To Watch
Etsy Stock Retakes Key Benchmark
IBD 50 stock Etsy impressed, making the best gain on the S&P 500. It was up almost 5%. The e-commerce stock appears to be forming a base, but a clear entry has yet to emerge.
The stock managed to force its way back above its 50-day moving average. If it can hold above this key technical benchmark it will be a bullish sign.
Etsy stock remains on an uptrend since a breakout in April 2020. Etsy stock has a strong IBD Composite Rating of 92.
GameStop Stock Slips Despite Move
GameStop stock reversed. The company announced Thursday it plans to elect activist investor Ryan Cohen chairman of the board of directors at the next annual shareholder meeting on June 9.
The Chewy co-founder, who manages RC Ventures, has been pushing the firm to transform its struggling brick-and-mortar business into an e-commerce enterprise.
GME stock dipped more than 2%, according to MarketSmith chart analysis. It is now down nearly 65% from its peak of 483 in late January
GameStop stock jumped after a Reddit-fueled short squeeze. Hedge funds holding short positions were forced to take massive losses, shooting GME stock to fame in the process.
IBD Stock Of The Day Passes Buy
Software stock PTC passed a consolidation pattern buy point of 147.77. However it gave up early gains, thought it was still up around 2%, and fell back below this entry.
The computer-aided design software specialist has an IBD Composite Rating of 93. It boasts a solid mix of earnings and stock market performance.
As well as CAD modeling solutions, it also provides product life-cycle management and service life-cycle management products. The firm has now shifted to a software-as-a-service business model. That cloud computing model offers a more stable and predictable revenue stream than licensed software sales.
PTC was named the IBD Stock Of The Day amid solid demand for its design and engineering tools. It currently holds first place ahead of 10 other stocks in IBD’s Computer Software-Design industry group
Read more about PTC stock in Thursday’s column here.
Please follow Michael Larkin on Twitter at @IBD_MLarkin for more on growth stocks and analysis.
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