Stock Market Today: Dow Jones Flat, But Russell 2000 Scores New High; Palantir Stock Dives 5%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and other major indexes were narrowly mixed near midday Thursday on the final trading day of March. Big leaders like Nvidia (NVDA), Super Micro Computer (SMCI) and Arm (ARM) could see some window dressing in the stock market today as companies close their books on the first quarter.


“Window dressing” refers to when fund managers buy top-performing stocks just so they can show them as holdings in their quarterly reports.

But Nvidia, Super Micro and Arm were flat to slightly lower Thursday. After a break of the 10-day moving average Wednesday in higher volume, Nvidia could be poised for a test of its 21-day line near 877.

Walt Disney (DIS) and Intel (INTC) were top gainers in the Dow Jones, with gains of more than 1%. Disney stock has turned into a top performer after gapping up on earnings in February. But Intel stock is still on a downtrend after gapping down on earnings Jan. 26.

Merck (MRK) was flat in the Dow Jones index. Shares surged nearly 5% Wednesday after the Food and Drug Administration approved Merck’s drug to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Stock Market Today

Small caps outperformed, with the Russell 2000 index up 0.9%. The small-cap index broke out above its March 8 high of 210.41. The Nasdaq composite, S&P 500 and Dow Jones were nearly unchanged.

Advancing stocks beat decliners on the Nasdaq by more than 2-to-1. Winners beat losers on the NYSE by just over 3-to-1.

Tesla (TSLA) fell 1.7% in the stock market today after Wedbush analyst Dan Ives maintained an outperform rating but lowered Tesla’s price target to 300 from 315.

Top gainers in the S&P 500 included Capital One Financial (COF) and Discover Financial Services (DFS). Both stocks continue to act well after recent breakouts.

Bitcoin jumped 4% and moved back above the $70,000 level. But leading bitcoin stock MicroStrategy (MSTR) reversed sharply lower and was down more than 8%. IBD 50 bitcoin miner CleanSpark (CLSK) also reversed lower, but Coinbase (COIN) tacked on 3%.

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The stock market has been dealing with signs of distribution in the S&P 500 in recent weeks. Headed into Thursday, the index showed one stalling session and five higher-volume declines since Feb. 26. But all of those declines were less than 1%. Distribution has been a bit more pronounced on the Nasdaq, with eight higher-volume declines since Feb. 28. Three of those declines were 1% or more.

In economic news, jobless claims totaled 210,000 last week, down slightly from a revised 212,000 in the prior week. Economists were expecting a small increase to 213,000. Meanwhile, the final revision to Q4 GDP came in at 3.4%, above the 3.2% consensus estimate.

Inside the MarketSurge Growth 250, midcap Zurn Elkay Water Solutions (ZWS) moved closer to a 33.95 buy point. Shares rallied more than 2% in active trading.

Palantir (PLTR) took heat in the MarketSurge Growth 250. Sentiment was negative after Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co. downgraded shares to sell from neutral with a 20 price target. The stock is close to erasing gains from its 21.85 buy point.

Stocks On The Move

Software provider AvidXchange (AVDX) rallied nearly 2% in the stock market today. It’s in position for a breakout over its Feb. 29 high of 13.56.

The stock market will be closed Friday in observance of Good Friday. But the bond market will be open and a key inflation report will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Inside the Personal Income & Spending report, the personal consumption expenditures index for February is expected to show prices up 2.8%, unchanged from January. This is the number the Federal Reserve wants to see closer to 2%.

The 10-year Treasury yield ticked lower to 4.19%. After seven declines in the past eight sessions, the 10-year yield is sitting right at its 50-day line, a key support level to watch.

West Texas intermediate crude oil futures rose more than 1% to near $82.50 a barrel.

ArchRock (AROC), a provider of natural gas compression services, added more than 3% and reclaimed a 19.42 buy point.

The Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) outperformed the main stock market with a 0.3% increase.

Follow Ken Shreve on X @IBD_KShreve for more stock market analysis and insight.


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