The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 250 points on Thursday morning, reflecting positive global trade, as investors digested an early set of jobs data. The highly anticipated US payrolls report is due out Friday morning.
biotechnologies seagen (SGEN) was an early leader on the Nasdaq, up more than 3% on reports that Merck (MRK) could be close to a takeover agreement. Freeport McMoRan (FCX), caterpillar (CAT) and Cummins (CMI) led miners and related stocks to the top of the S&P 500 as copper prices rebounded following a proposed $220 billion stimulus in China.
Chip stocks received an early boost after South Korea-based Samsung reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings guidance. Advanced micro-systems (AMD) and Nvidia (NVDA) increased by 4.5% and 3.3%, respectively.
You’re here (TSLA) was trading down around 3% early Thursday. Elsewhere, technology leaders from Dow Jones Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) were downright higher in the current stock market.
In a volatile stock market environment, the leaders of the Dow Jones Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Merck and UnitedHealth (UNH) — as well as Auto area (AZO), BYD (BYDDF), Evolutionary Health (EVH) and Quantum Services (PWR) – are among the stocks to watch. Keep in mind that continued stock market volatility is a reason to stay defensive.
Evolent Health and UnitedHealth are IBD stocks. Evolent was IBD’s title of the day on Wednesday. And BYD was in the Stocks Near A Buy Zone column this week.
Dow Jones Today: Treasury Yields, Oil Prices, Jobs 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 trading.
Among exchange-traded funds, the Nasdaq 100 tracker Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) rose 1.1%. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) rose 0.9% in early trading.
The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.93% on Thursday after Wednesday’s rise to 2.91%. In mid-June, it reached its highest level since April 2011, at 3.48%. Meanwhile, US oil prices have sought to recoup some of this week’s steep losses, with West Texas Intermediate trading around $102 a barrel. In early March, WTI briefly rose above $130.
The Labor Department said first-time jobless claims rose to 235,000, above estimates and ahead of the previous week’s 231,000.
Earlier Thursday, U.S.-based employers announced 32,517 job cuts in June, a 58.8% increase from the 20,476 layoffs announced in the same month last year. That’s 57% higher than the 20,712 cuts announced in May, according to Challenger.
These reports preface Friday’s U.S. payrolls report. Econoday estimates expect U.S. employers to add 270,000 jobs in June, down sharply from the 390,000 jobs added in May.
Stock market volatility
On Wednesday, the stock market recovered from early losses to end with modest gains. The S&P 500 led the way, gaining 0.4%.
Wednesday’s The Big Picture column commented: “The Nasdaq composite showed remarkable price action with movement above its 21-day exponential average. But a late 1% gain faded to 0.3 % at the close.Yet the index closed above its 21-day exponential average line, which has been a resistance level since May.The longer the Nasdaq can hold above the 21-day line , the more likely it is to head towards its 50-day line.
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Investors can also create watchlists, find companies close to a buy point, or develop custom screens at IBD MarketSmith.
Four Dow Jones stocks to watch now
Dow Jones stocks to watch: Johnson & Johnson, Merck, UnitedHealth
Dow Jones leader Johnson & Johnson is about 2% below the 181.84 buy point of a double bottom after Wednesday’s 0.1% rise, according to chart analysis. ‘IBD MarketSmith. JNJ shares rose slightly on Thursday morning.
Pharmaceutical giant Merck was up 0.5% on Wednesday and is about 2% below the 95.02 buy point of its flat base. Early Thursday, the stock was slightly higher after the Wall Street Journal reported that Merck was in talks to acquire Seagen in a deal that could be worth around $40 billion or more. Medical stocks in general, and biotechs in particular, have shown increasing strength in recent stock actions.
Healthcare giant and IBD Leaderboard UnitedHealth stock regained the 507.36 buy point of its double bottom during Wednesday’s 2% advance. Stocks are back in the buy range. The stock gained 0.1% on Thursday morning. The UNH releases its second quarter results on July 15.
The UNH stock is posting a solid 97 out of a perfect IBD composite rating of 99, according to the IBD Stocks Balance Sheet. Investors can use the IBD Composite Rating to easily assess the quality of a stock’s fundamental and technical metrics.
4 growth stocks to watch in the currentrStock market rally
Top stocks to watch: AutoZone, BYD, Evolent Health, Quanta
AutoZone shares are still trading in a buy range past the 2,130.60 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), closed further above the 39.81 cup-with-handle buy point on Wednesday. Shares rose nearly 3% early Thursday morning.
IBD Leaderboard Evolent Health stock is in the buy range past a 32.55 buy point in a handle cup after Wednesday’s 4.5% breakout move. The 5% pursuit zone extends to 34.18. Evolent shares gained 2% on Thursday.
Quanta Services draws a messy cup with a handle that has a buy point of 138.56, according to chart analysis from IBD MarketSmith. Last week, stocks found strong support around their 50-day line, which is a key level to watch. Quanta stock was up 1.5% on Thursday morning.
Join IBD experts as they analyze the top stocks of the current stock market rally on IBD Live
Tesla stock slid 0.6% on Wednesday, ending a two-day winning streak. Stocks appeared to rebound from those losses on Thursday morning, rising about 3%.
The stock is well below its 50 and 200 day moving averages. Tesla stock traded as high as 1,243.49 on November 4. The shares are about 44% off that record.
Dow Jones Leaders: Apple, Microsoft
Among Dow Jones stocks, Apple shares rebounded 1% on Wednesday, climbing for a third consecutive session. But the stock remains well below its long-term 200-day line. A 50-day line test could be imminent. The stock is about 22% off its 52-week high. Apple shares rose 1.7% on Thursday morning.
Software leader Microsoft climbed 1.3% on Wednesday, closing above its 50-day line for the first time since April 7. The stock closed around 24% off its 52-week high. Microsoft shares gained 0.6% early Thursday.
Be sure to follow Scott Lehtonen on Twitter at @IBD_SLehtonen to learn more about growth stocks and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
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