The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower even as the Nasdaq flew more than 3%. Meta Platforms (META) rocketed as Mark Zuckerberg shared a surprise. Apple (AAPL) popped ahead of earnings while Microsoft (MSFT) was a top blue chip.
New Leaderboard member US Global Jets (JETS) ETF climbed above a buy point. A trio of other noteworthy names staged breakouts amid the bullish action. Chewy (CHWY), Tapestry (TPR) and Arrow Electronics (ARW) all tested entries.
New Labor Department data showed first-time jobless claims fell to 183,000 vs. 186,000 in the previous week. Analysts expected them to rise to 193,000. The labor market continues to show strength, with first-time claims last week coming in much lower than expected for a second week in a row.
Nasdaq Jumps, Small Caps Shine
Today’s action was key as the stock market often has a day-two reaction to Fed meetings. With Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s virtuoso post-meeting press conference performance boosting markets yesterday, traders seemed to remain in risk-on mode today.
The Nasdaq was the strongest of the major indexes as it vaulted 3.3%. DocuSign (DOCU) fared well here with a gain of 7.7%.
The S&P 500 lifted 1.5% to reach its best level in five months. WW Grainger (GWW) was among the stars here as it gained 13% on the company’s quarterly results.
The S&P 500 sectors closed mixed. Consumer discretionary, communication services and technology fared best while consumer staples and energy were the worst laggards.
Small caps also impressed, with the Russell 2000 rising 2.1%. Growth stocks fought back into the close, with the Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) finishing up 1%.
Dow Jones Today: Microsoft, Apple Impress
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged the other major indexes despite some components faring well. It closed off lows but still fell 0.1%.
Microsoft stock was the top performer on the Dow Jones today as it popped 4.7%. MSFT stock is now clear of its 200-day moving average for the first time since April, MarketSmith shows.
Apple stock also fared well, rising 3.7%. AAPL stock has also mounted the 200-day line and is up more than 20% so far this year.
Apple earnings are due after the close, with Wall Street expecting EPS to tumble 8.1% to $1.93 as sales fall 2.2% to $121.21 billion, according to Zacks Investment Research.
On the downside, UnitedHealth (UNH) and Merck (MRK) both lagged in the Dow. UNH dived 5.3% while MRK fell 3.3%.
Meta Stock Rockets; Mark Zuckerberg Admits ‘Surprise’
Facebook parent Meta Platforms soared following its latest quarterly report on Wednesday. While earnings fell short, revenue, sales guidance and the number of Facebook users topped views.
Meta stock closed slightly off highs for the day Friday but still rocketed 23.3%. This allowed it to blast clear of its 200-day moving average. There is no entry point in sight at the moment.
Investors seemed particularly pleased that the firm announced a $40 billion stock buyback. The Facebook and Instagram parent slashed its forecast for expenses, including capital spending.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg seems to be finding his inner Ebenezer Scrooge, boasting during the earnings call that “reducing layers of management” had improved the flow of information, which he thinks will lead to better products and better staff retention.
“That was honestly a little surprising to me, that as we started digging into this, the company felt better to me,” he said.
Zuckerberg is already seeing a big benefit. The tech mogul, who Bloomberg estimated was worth $57.2 billion at Wednesday’s close, will see his net worth increase substantially by the end of trading today.
New Leader Soars Past Buy Point
The US Global Jets ETF flew clear of a buy point amid bullish action in the airlines space.
It managed to pull clear of a 20.79 handle entry, winning a spot on the prestigious IBD Leaderboard list in the process. The ETF climbed 3.1%, rising near the top of its buy zone.
The ETF has the majority of its holdings in both US and overseas airlines but aerospace firms and travel firms also have meaningful positions within the fund.
Wednesday’s IBD Stock of the Day, Delta Air Lines (DAL), closed above a 39.72 buy point, with the 5% buy zone stretching up to 41.70. It ended the day flat.
Among related stocks, Southwest Airlines (LUV) rose 3.4%, United Airlines (UAL) gained 4.2%, American Airlines (AAL) popped 2.2% and Alaska Air (ALK) jumped 3.3%.
Align Technology Stock Sinks Teeth Into Monster Gain
Orthodontics stock Align Technology (ALGN) was one of the best performers on the stock market today.
It soared 27.3% on its quarterly report after it beat Wall Street views on the top and bottom lines.
Investors also buoyed Align stock after the firm announced it will repurchase up to $1 billion of its stock over the next three years.
There is no entry in sight after the stock exploded, climbing more than 60% above its 50-day moving average.
ALGN stock is now up nearly 70% so far in 2023.
Outside Dow Jones: 3 Stocks Test Entries
Now is a good time to be buying quality stocks, and a trio of notable names tested buy points Thursday.
Pet goods online retailer Chewy is in a buy zone after clearing a cup-with-handle entry of 48.11. The relative strength line has just hit a six-month high, a bullish sign.
Arrow Electronics jumped past a cup base entry of 129.66 following its earnings report. It boasts a top notch EPS rating of 95.
One reason to be cautious is that forward estimates are not so impressive. EPS is seen falling 29% in 2023 before rising 1% in 2024.
Tapestry is just below its entry after earlier clearing a cup buy point of 47.15. This is a first-stage base, which means it is more likely to net rich gains.
Earnings are a key weakness, with its EPS Rating coming in at 52 out of 99. Earnings are seen rising 5% this year before climbing 15% in 2024.
Please follow Michael Larkin on Twitter at @IBD_MLarkin for more analysis of growth stocks.
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