The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 250 points on Thursday morning, reflecting positive global trade as investors digested an early batch of jobs data. The much-anticipated US payroll report is due Friday morning.
biotech blessings (SGEN) was an early performer on the Nasdaq, up more than 3%, according to reports note (MRK) could be close to an acquisition agreement. Freeport McMoRan (FCX), Caterpillar (CAT) and Cummins (CMI) led mining companies and related stocks to the top of the S&P 500 as copper prices rebounded after a $220 billion stimulus package in China.
Chip stocks received an early boost after South Korea-based Samsung released better-than-expected second-quarter earnings guidance. modern micro devices (AMD) and NVIDIA (NVDA) rose 4.5% and 3.3%, respectively.
Tesla (TSLA) was trading about 3% higher early Thursday. Elsewhere, the technology leaders from Dow Jones Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) were significantly higher in today’s stock market.
In a volatile stock market environment, Dow Jones is the leader Johnson&Johnson (JNJ), Merck et al UnitedHealth (UNH) – as well AutoZone (AZO), BYD (BYDDF), Evolved Health (EVH) and Quanta Services (PWR) – are among the stocks to keep an eye on. Keep in mind that continued volatility in stock markets is one reason to remain defensive.
Evolent Health and UnitedHealth are IBD Leaderboard stocks. Evolent was IBD’s Stock of the Day on Wednesday. And BYD was featured in this week’s “Stocks Near a Buy Zone” column.
Dow Jones Today: Treasury Yields, Oil Prices, Employment Data
After Thursday’s open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.8% and the S&P 500 was up 1%. The Nasdaq gained 1.4% in morning trade.
Among exchange-traded funds, Nasdaq 100 tracker Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) rose 1.1%. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) was up 0.9% in early trade.
The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.93% on Thursday after rising to 2.91% on Wednesday. In mid-June it hit 3.48%, its highest level since April 2011. Meanwhile, US oil prices appeared to erase some of this week’s sharp losses, with West Texas Intermediate trading around $102 a barrel. In early March, WTI briefly peaked above $130.
The Labor Department said the number of initial jobless claims rose to 235,000, up from estimates and up from 231,000 the previous week.
Earlier Thursday, US-based employers announced 32,517 job cuts in June, a 58.8% increase from the 20,476 job cuts announced in the same month last year. That’s 57% higher than the 20,712 cuts announced in May, according to Challenger.
These reports precede Friday’s US payroll report. Econoday estimates that US employers added 270,000 jobs in June, a significant drop from the 390,000 jobs added in May.
stock market volatility
On Wednesday, the stock market rebounded from early losses to modest gains. The S&P 500 led the way, up 0.4%.
Wednesday’s The Big Picture column commented, “The Nasdaq Composite has shown notable price action with a move above its 21-day exponential moving average. But a late 1% gain dwindled to 0.3% by the close. Still, the index closed above its 21-day moving average line, which has been a resistance level since May. The longer the Nasdaq stays above the 21-day moving average, the greater the chance that it will run toward its 50-day moving average.”
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Four Dow Jones stocks you should be watching right now
Eyes on Dow Jones stocks: Johnson & Johnson, Merck, UnitedHealth
Dow Jones leader Johnson & Johnson is about 2% below the buy point of a double bottom basis of 181.84 after Wednesday’s 0.1% rise, according to IBD MarketSmith chart analysis. JNJ shares inched up Thursday morning.
Drugs giant Merck was up 0.5% on Wednesday and is about 2% below the buy point of its 95.02 flat base. The stock rose slightly early Thursday after the Wall Street Journal reported that Merck is in talks to acquire Seagen in a deal that could be valued at about $40 billion or more. Medical stocks in general, and biotechs in particular, have shown increasing strength in recent stock market moves.
Healthcare giant and IBD leaderboard stock UnitedHealth hit a double bottom at 507.36 during Wednesday’s 2% gain. Stocks are back in buy territory. The stock was up 0.1% Thursday morning. UNH will release second quarter results on July 15.
UNH stock shows a strong 97 out of 99 perfect IBD Composite Ratings according to the IBD Stock Checkup. Investors can use the IBD Composite Rating to easily gauge the quality of a stock’s fundamental and technical metrics.
4 Top Growth Stocks to Watchrightde Stock market rally
Top stocks to watch: AutoZone, BYD, Evolent Health, Quanta
AutoZone shares are still trading in the buy range beyond the 2130.60 buy point of their cup with handle on Wednesday amid a 1.3% gain. Shares rose 0.1% on Thursday.
Chinese electric vehicle giant BYD, backed by Warren Buffett Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA), continued to close above the cup handle buy point of 39.81 on Wednesday. Shares were up nearly 3% early Thursday morning.
IBD leaderboard stock Evolent Health is range bound behind a 32.55 buy point in a cup with a handle after Wednesday’s 4.5% breakout move. The 5% Pursuit Zone runs until 34.18. Evolent shares gained 2% on Thursday.
Quanta Services is tracking a messy mug with a handle, which has a buy point of 138.56, according to IBD MarketSmith chart analysis. Last week, stocks found strong support around their 50-day moving average, which is an important level to watch. Quanta shares rose 1.5% Thursday morning.
Join IBD experts as they analyze leading stocks from the current stock market rally on IBD Live
Tesla shares slipped 0.6% on Wednesday, on a two-day winning streak. Shares appeared to be recovering from those losses Thursday morning, up about 3%.
The stock is well below its 50-day and 200-day moving averages. Tesla shares traded as low as 1,243.49 on Nov. 4. Shares are about 44% below that record high.
Dow Jones Leaders: Apple, Microsoft
Among the Dow Jones stocks, Apple shares rose 1% on Wednesday, rising for the third straight session. But the stock remains well below its 200-day long-term moving average. A test of the 50-day moving average may be imminent. The stock is down about 22% from its 52-week high. Apple shares rose 1.7% Thursday morning.
Software leader Microsoft climbed 1.3% on Wednesday to close above its 50-day moving average for the first time since April 7. The stock closed about 24% below its 52-week high. Microsoft shares were up 0.6% early Thursday.
Follow Scott Lehtonen on Twitter at @IBD_SLehtonen for more on growth stocks and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
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