April 25, 2024

Stock market indexes squeezed out more gains in midday trading Thursday in the wake of a Federal Reserve-fueled rally, coupled with positive economic data.




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The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.5% and hurdled another record high, while the Nasdaq composite also climbed 0.5%. The S&P 500 moved up 0.6% on the stock market today. All three major indexes remain solidly above their 50-day moving averages.

Meanwhile, the Russell 2000 index gapped up after Wednesday’s strong gains and added 2.8%. The Russell continues to rise above its 200-day moving average.

Volume rose on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq vs. the same time on Wednesday.

The 10-year Treasury yield shed 13 basis points to fall below the 4% level at 3.9%. Several classes of Treasury bonds saw their yields tumble sharply after the Fed’s decision Wednesday.

The Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ), which tracks the Nasdaq 100, bumped up 0.1%. The Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) gained 0.2%.

Keeping Momentum After The Fed

Enthusiasm from Wednesday’s Fed’s actions spilled over into Thursday’s session. Fed governors kept rates unchanged in a range of 5.25%-5.5% and indicated three 25-basis-point rate cuts are possible in 2024.

“Inflation keeps coming down. The labor market keeps coming into balance. So far so good,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell said after the rate decision.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said Thursday that weekly initial unemployment claims for the week ended Dec. 9 fell to 202,000 vs. estimates for 223,000, according to Econoday. That was lower than the prior week’s revised 221,000. The dip in claims indicates an improving jobs market.

Also, the Commerce Department said November that retail sales rose 0.3% vs. the 0.1% drop expected, which marked an improvement from the revised 0.2% decline in October. The number excluding vehicles and gas rose a hefty 0.6% vs. the 0.1% rise expected.

Stock Market Movers: Dental Device Stock Pops

In the markets, dental device maker Align Technologies (ALGN) gapped up following news that Health Canada issued an updated medical device license for its Invisalign Palatal Expander System.

Recent initial public offering Arm Holdings (ARM) popped in heavy trading and was extended above its buy zone of a 64.92 cup-with-handle buy point. Shares of the chip designer’s stock hit a new high. The company was the IBD New America feature on Thursday.

Dow component Caterpillar (CAT) jumped more than 4% and headed toward an eight-day winning streak. That’s its longest streak since June 24, 2019, as recorded by Dow Jones Market Data.

Cardinal Health (CAH) gapped down in heavy volume, on news that Wells Fargo initiated coverage on the stock with an underweight rating and a 96 price target. The health care services stock fell from its 52-week high reached Wednesday, but stopped short of crashing below its 50-day line.

Moderna Gaps Up On Skin Cancer Drug News

Moderna (MRNA) gapped up in heavy volume on news its skin cancer drug that it developed with Merck (MRK) reduced the risk of relapse or death by 49% in melanoma patients.

MRNA reclaimed its 50-day moving average on the stock market. MRNA is on track for its largest one-day percentage increase since Dec. 13, 2022, when it soared by 19.63%, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Merck shares were down.

Adobe (ADBE) gapped down in huge volume. The company reported higher-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and sales. But investors focused on its first-quarter and full-year sales and earnings outlook that came in below estimates. ADBE still managed to stop short of breaching its 50-day line.

Brazilian brokerage and IBD 50 member XP (XP) gapped up in heavy volume as financial stocks rallied on the interest rate news. Shares are in a consolidating base with a 27.71 buy point, but investors could have used an early handle entry at 24.56.

Stock Market Movers: Airline Shares Lift

Alaska Air Group (ALK) was flat on the stock market after the airline company raised its fourth-quarter capacity and revenue growth projection due to higher holiday travel demand. The airline stock is not in a base and is below its 200-day line.

Live Nation Entertainment (LYV) jumped after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to overweight from equal weight and raised its price target to 110 from 100. Shares are in a consolidation with a 101.74 buy point.

Jabil (JBL) gapped up in heavy trading following the company’s mixed fiscal first-quarter earnings report. The stock retook its 50-day line in a consolidation with a 141.38 buy point.

Jabil’s adjusted earnings grew over last year and exceeded expectations, while revenue topped views but fell vs. last year’s quarter. The contract electronics manufacturing stock is expected to be added to the S&P 500 index on Monday.

Palantir Technologies (PLTR) rallied 2.3% and reclaimed its 50-day line. Shares are trying to return to a buy zone with an entry at 20.24.

Costco Wholesale (COST) pulled back on the stock market after hitting an all-time high on Wednesday ahead of its earnings report after the market close. Finally, Lennar (LEN) surged to an all-time high ahead of its quarterly results, due late Thursday.

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

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Source: investors.com

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