The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 200 points before sharply cutting losses after worse-than-expected jobless claims midday Thursday, as the current stock market rally continues. Dow Jones stock leader Intel is above a new buy point, while Boeing soared as much as 8% on an analyst report.
Tech leaders Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) fell 0.6% apiece in today’s stock market. Dow Jones stock leader Intel (INTC) remains in buy range after Wednesday’s breakout move. FANG stock leader Facebook (FB) jumped another 2%, as it quickly adds to Tuesday’s breakout gains. Retail giant Best Buy (BBY) and video game maker Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) reported quarterly results ahead of the stock market open. Alibaba (BABA) and Baidu (BIDU) were sharply mixed after a Reuters report said Baidu was considering delisting from the Nasdaq amid rising U.S.-China tension.
Dow Jones Today: Jobless Claims
The Nasdaq composite moved down 0.7% Thursday midday in a volatile trading session. At around 1 p.m. ET, the S&P 500 fell 0.65%, while the Dow Jones industrials lost 0.35% after paring sharp losses.
Early Thursday, the Labor Department reported weekly jobless claims of 2.438 million, a bit worse than estimates. Economists expected about 2.4 million new claims.
Among exchange traded funds, Innovator IBD 50 (FFTY) traded down 1.25% Thursday morning. The ETF of top growth stocks is about 14% off its 52-week high. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq 100-linked Invesco QQQ Trust ETF (QQQ) moved down 0.8%, and the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) ETF fell 0.6%.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq is once again positive for 2020, up 4.5% through Wednesday’s close. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average are down 8% and 13.9%, respectively, through May 20.
Coronavirus News: U.S. Cases Approach 1.6 Million
The coronavirus outbreak continues to spread across the U.S. According to the Worldometer data tracker, the cumulative number of confirmed U.S. cases is approaching 1.6 million. Despite the rising total, the daily number of new cases is trending lower amid the sharp increase in testing.
Confirmed Covid-19 cases worldwide climbed above 5.1 million, with about 330,000 virus-related deaths. With the daily number of new cases falling, investors in the U.S. are turning attention to the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak and how fast the country reopens for business.
Stock Market Uptrend
According to IBD’s The Big Picture, the stock market continues to strengthen after hitting lows nearly two months ago on March 23. The major stock indexes confirmed a new uptrend on April 2.
Per Wednesday’s Big Picture, “Major stock indexes scored solid gains Wednesday and ended near session highs, helped by another bullish rally in semiconductor stocks.”
Stocks to watch include the top stocks on IBD Long-Term Leaders. The IBD Long-Term Leaders list focuses on companies with stable earnings growth and price performance.
Dow Jones News: Boeing Upgrade
Among the Dow Jones stocks, Boeing was one of the top stocks on the Dow Jones 30 after an analyst initiated coverage. RBC Capital conferred an outperform rating on the airplane maker with a 164 price target.
Boeing stock soared as much as 8% in morning trade before paring gains to 5%, and is still about 65% off its 52-week high after the coronavirus stock market crash.
Breakout Stocks To Watch: Facebook, Intel
Facebook added to Tuesday’s breakout gains, rising about 2% in morning trade. The social media giant is about 8% above a 215.38 buy point in a cup with handle.
Facebook is an IBD Leaderboard member. According to Leaderboard commentary, “A gap-up in heavy volume nearly three weeks earlier on Q1 results added a bullish tint to its new base. Notice how the RS line has hit new highs ahead of the breakout.”
Bullishly, the stock’s RS line is at new highs, confirming the stock’s leadership potential.
Meanwhile, Dow Jones chip leader Intel is in buy range above a new buy point at 62.23 in a cup with handle, according to MarketSmith chart analysis. Intel is one of the top Dow Jones stocks to watch in May. Shares lost 0.5% Thursday midday.
According to the IBD Stock Checkup, Intel stock boasts a highest-possible 99 IBD Composite Rating, placing it in the top echelon of growth stocks. The Composite Rating is a blend of key fundamental and technical metrics to help investors easily gauge a stock’s strengths.
Stock Market News: Best Buy, Take-Two
Early Thursday, consumer electronic retailer Best Buy reported better-than-expected earnings and sales results for its first quarter. Same-store sales fell 5.3% vs. an estimate for a 10% decline.
Best Buy shares fell more than 5% in midday trade, dropping below a recent 80.99 buy point in a cup with handle. The stock broke out on Monday.
Video game maker Take-Two beat the Street’s Q1 targets, but reported weak full-year guidance. Shares fell 2.6% midday, but is still well-extended from a previous buy point.
On Wednesday, the stock briefly hit the 20%-25% profit-taking level from a 124.01 buy point in a cup with handle. Investors could have taken the opportunity to take at least some profits off the table heading into the volatile earnings announcement.
China Stocks In Focus: Alibaba, Baidu
China stocks were in focus early Thursday after a Reuters report said that Baidu is considering pulling its Nasdaq listing and “moving to an exchange closer to home to boost its valuation amid rising tension between the United States and China … .” The company has denied the report. Baidu stock moved up 0.4% in volatile action.
Meanwhile, Alibaba tumbled over 3% to give up its recent 216.20 buy point in a cup with handle. The Chinese e-commerce giant will report earnings Friday before the stock market open.
China stocks reversed from sharp gains Wednesday after the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would force Chinese companies to follow U.S. securities law to be listed on American stock exchanges.
Dow Jones Leaders: Apple, Microsoft
Dow Jones leader Apple stock fell 0.6% Thursday morning, adding to Wednesday’s 1.9% advance.
Shares are extended past the 5% buy zone of a cup-with-handle’s 288.35 buy point, according to MarketSmith chart analysis. The 5% buy range goes up to 302.77. Shares are just 3% off their all-time highs, nearly completing a remarkable recovery from the coronavirus stock market crash.
Meanwhile, tech giant Microsoft moved down 0.6% Thursday and is still in the 5% buy zone above a cup-with-handle’s 180.10 buy point amid a slow-going breakout move. The buy zone runs up to 189.11. Microsoft is also an IBD Leaderboard stock idea and an IBD Long-Term Leader.
Be sure to follow Scott Lehtonen on Twitter at @IBD_SLehtonen for more on growth stocks and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
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