April 25, 2024

Stocks kept the rally going in midday action Thursday with major indexes all posting respectable gains. Excitement apparently spilled over on the stock market today from the Federal Reserve meeting and Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s comments on Wednesday. Now investors can keep an eye on Magnificent Seven stock Microsoft (MSFT) as the tech leader hosts its artificial intelligence event today.




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As expected, Fed Chief Powell indicated three quarter-point rate cuts in 2024, but didn’t give details on when they would start. The odds according to the CME FedWatch survey currently sits at 63.5% for a quarter-point cut at the June 12 meeting.

With the current federal funds rate at 5.25%-5.5%, three cuts would drop it to a range of 4.5% to 4.75% by the end of 2024.

The Fed remains steadfast in getting to the 2% inflation level, but says it will take time. Be watchful today as financial markets often have a second-day reaction to Fed meetings that can cause the stock market to reverse course.

Stock Market Today: Indexes Celebrate Anniversary

Stocks kept the momentum going midday on Thursday, with the Dow Jones gaining nearly 0.8%, a jump of more than 300 points in stock market trading. The tech-heavy Nasdaq advanced 0.8% higher. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 rose 0.7% and held above the 5,200 level as the small-cap Russell 2000 popped 1.2%.

Volume rose on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq on the stock market today compared with the same time on Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all closed at record highs Wednesday. Small caps were the clear winner as the Russell 2000 closed 1.9% higher.

The indexes have come a long way. This Saturday, March 23, marks the four-year anniversary of the pandemic low for the major indexes. The Dow has climbed 113% since the March 23, 2020 low, while the S&P 500 surged 134%. The Nasdaq rallied 139% over the same time frame, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

The Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) advanced 1.2%, while the Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) jumped 1.6%. The 10-year Treasury yield was flat at 4.27%. And West Texas intermediate crude oil dropped to near $80.70 a barrel.

Weekly initial jobless claims came in at 210,000 vs. the 209,000 expected for the week ended March 16, and lower than the revised 212,000 from the prior week.

Magnificent Seven Stock Gets Sued; Restaurant Stock Gets Burned

Dow Jones stock Apple (AAPL) tumbled more than 3% on news the Justice Department and 16 states sued the tech giant on Thursday. The antitrust case says Apple limits competition on phones and other products and blocks software developers from offering consumers other options.

The stock fell further below its 50-day moving average and undercut its 21-day exponential moving average on the stock market today. Its IBD Relative Strength Rating is a low 31.

Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants (DRI) sold off 6% after the company reported in-line profits for its fiscal third quarter profit but said sales were lower than estimates. In addition, quarterly same-store sales unexpectedly dropped. Darden also guided lower for its 2024 revenue and same-store-sales growth. The stock fell below its 50-day line.

Bitcoin’s price rose to just above $66,400, taking bitcoin-related stocks down with it. MicroStrategy (MSTR), which owns a large amount of bitcoin, surged nearly 7% on the stock market today. Coinbase (COIN) added more than 5% while Marathon Digital (MARA) reversed course and sank 2.5%. Riot Platforms (RIOT) also gave back gains and lost 1.4%.

Dow Jones component Microsoft climbed more than 1% to a record high ahead of its “New Era of Work” event starting at noon ET Thursday. Microsoft will discuss AI innovations, along with what’s new with Windows and Surface computers.

Also, Leaderboard stock Nvidia (NVDA) gained 2% on the stock market today. Nvidia started the last three sessions in the red but came back each time to finish higher by day’s end.

Stock Market Today: Micron Crushes Estimates

Micron (MU) soared more than 16% in heavy volume after reporting a surprise fiscal second-quarter profit and higher sales than expected late Wednesday. The memory-chip maker also gave a current-quarter adjusted earnings and sales outlook that was above views.

Shares gapped up and are extended from a flat base with a 72.31 buy point. Further, Micron stock reached a 52-week high on the move. It was the biggest gainer on the S&P 500 as it touched a record high on the stock market today.

Broadcom (AVGO) popped more than 8%. Brokerage TD Cowen upgraded the stock to outperform from market perform and raised its price target to 1,500 from 1,400.

Five Below (FIVE) gapped down more than 14% in heavy volume after the discount retailer reported its January-ended quarterly results with a miss on profit and sales expectations. It also gave current quarter earnings and revenue estimates lower than analyst estimates.

Further, the company cited in-store thefts weighing on its bottom line. Five Below stock plunged below its 50-day moving average, triggering a sell signal.

Other Market Action: Biotech Breaks Out

IBD SwingTrader stock Neurocrine Biosciences (NBIX) jumped and broke out of a flat base in heavy trading, hitting the 143.35 buy point. Shares are in the 5% buy zone up to 150.52.

Apparel retailer Guess (GES) catapulted more than 22% higher in huge volume and topped a profit zone of a flat base with a 24.60 buy point. The surge came after the company reported better-than-expected results for its fiscal fourth quarter. It declared a special dividend of $2.25 a share.

Lastly, social media platform Reddit (RDDT) was due to hold its initial public offering on the stock market today at 34 per share.

Follow Kimberley Koenig for more stock market news on X/Twitter @IBD_KKoenig.

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Source: investors.com

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