The Dow Jones Industrial Average was continuing to lag after the Federal Reserve said it will its key interest rate near zero. Microsoft (MSFT) dipped on earnings even as Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) surged. Chevron (CVX) and Visa (V) were among the leading blue chips.
A slew of top firms are getting set to release their latest results, including Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB) and chipmaker Qualcomm (QCOM). Leaderboard stocks ServiceNow (NOW) and Century Communities (CCS) were having mixed fortunes ahead of earnings.
Fed Holds Steady
The Federal Reserve said it is going to maintain its current easy money policies in its statement following the latest meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee.
Its key interest rate will remain near zero, though the Fed did acknowledged recent growth and an improvement in employment rates.
“Amid progress on vaccinations and strong policy support, indicators of economic activity and employment have strengthened,” the Fed said in its statement. “The sectors most adversely affected by the pandemic remain weak but have shown improvement. Inflation has risen, largely reflecting transitory factors.”
The Street had been looking for the central bank to keep interest rates and bond purchases unchanged.
While Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell had already indicated the meeting will be a nonevent, his news conference will be closely watched for signals of his future intentions.
After March’s jobs report showed a surprisingly strong 916,000 gain, Powell said he wanted to see a “string of months” with equally strong reports before policymakers begin to even ponder a very gradual pullback of monetary accommodation.
Nasdaq Dips, S&P 500 Rises
The Nasdaq was in negative territory, but its loss of 0.1% was lean. Alphabet stock was faring best, ahead of Mondelez International (MDLZ). Amgen (AMGN) was the biggest laggard, giving up more than 7%.
U.S. Stock Market Today Overview
Last Update: 1:20 PM ET 4/28/2021
The S&P 500 managed to rally out of the red, posting a slight gain of less than 0.1%. Oil stock NOV (NOV) was leading with a gain of almost 11%. Devon Energy (DVN) also fared well with a gain of around 8%. Devon topped the 23.65 buy point of a double-bottom base.
The S&P sectors were mixed. Energy and communication services were leading, while technology was once again the biggest laggard.
Small caps struggled to reach positive ground. The Russell 2000 managed to gain 0.1% on the stock market today.
Growth stocks were struggling, with the Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) falling 0.3%.
Dow Jones Lags As Microsoft, Apple Fall
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was lagging the other major indexes, posting a loss of around 0.3%.
Microsoft was a notable laggard, gapping down in heavy volume despite an earnings beat. Analysts have flagged concerns about the growth of Microsoft’s cloud business, Azure. Microsoft posted fiscal Q3 results that beat Wall Street targets thanks to strong cloud computing services revenue.
Shares have fallen back into buy range above a 246.23 flat base buy point. The buy zone tops out at 258.54.
Apple stock was also down, giving up 0.5% ahead of its quarterly report after the close.
The stock is shy of a cup-with-handle buy point of 135.63, according to MarketSmith analysis. Analysts expect the iPhone maker to report earnings of 99 cents per share on revenue of $77.08 billion.
Oil stock Chevron was the leading Dow component, moving above its 50-day line after posting a gain of 2.5%.
Payments stock Visa followed closely behind, with a gain of just over 2%. It is in buy range after passing a flat-base buy point of 228.33 last week.
Google Parent Alphabet Pops, Facebook Rallies
Alphabet stock was up almost 4%, topping a three-weeks-tight buy point of 2,306.22. This is an opportunity to add shares, or can be used as an aggressive entry.
GOOGL stock is also extended from a flat-base entry. It gapped up to new highs and is above its moving averages.
It comes after Alphabet posted Q1 earnings of $26.29 a share, vs. views of $15.76, after the close Tuesday. Sales of $55.3 billion topped a consensus estimate of $51.7 billion.
Meanwhile Facebook moved higher in a buy zone after posting a gain of just over 1%. Facebook is getting set to report earnings after the close.
Chipmaker Qualcomm slipped around 1%, and is now close to its 50-day line. The firm also posts results after the close.
Viper Energy Leads Stocks Passing Buy
Viper Energy Partners passed a cup-base buy point of 18.59 but sank below that level. Positives include the fact its relative strength line has just hit a new high, while this is a first-stage base. However, the move itself came in low volume.
Vizio stock passed an IPO-base buy point of 26. Its buy range tops out at 27.30. The stock is up 24% since the smart TV maker went public March 25 with shares priced at 21. Analysts expect Vizio to lose 10 cents a share on $485.4 million in sales when it reports May 11.
Tenet Healthcare is also in a buy zone after breaking out of a second stage cup base. The buy point here is 57.98. The stock has a solid Composite Rating of 85, with both earnings and stock market performance impressive.
Please follow Michael Larkin on Twitter at @IBD_MLarkin for more on growth stocks and analysis.