Dow Jones Leads Stock Market But Nasdaq Lags; Biden Speech, Earnings In Focus

Stocks were mixed after a strong start Thursday, following President Joe Biden’s Wednesday address to Congress. The Dow Jones Industrial Average led, but the Nasdaq lagged.


The Dow Jones industrials rose more than 0.3%, the S&P 500 gained nearly 0.3% and the Nasdaq gave up 0.1% in the stock market today. Small caps tracked by the Russell 2000 fell 0.8%. Volume was higher on both major exchanges vs. the same time Wednesday.

Wednesday evening, President Biden laid out his $1.8 trillion proposal for new spending on education, child care and education as well as extending tax breaks created or expanded as part of the $1.9 trillion stimulus package passed earlier this year.

Early Thursday, the Labor Department reported first-time unemployment claims of 553,000 for the week ended April 24. That was more than the 547,000 claims filed in the prior week, but lower than forecasts for an increase to 566,000 new applicants.

Covid-19 Update

In 2020, tech stocks boosted the index to a 43.6% gain — its fifth best year ever. The S&P 500 rose 16.3% in 2020 and the Dow added 7.2%. After a strong start this year and a short correction, the market has rebounded near record highs. Read The Big Picture for more detailed daily market analysis.

The Covid-19 pandemic has roiled the U.S. economy, as nationwide lockdowns have passed the one-year mark. But many states are relaxing restrictions and cases are starting to plateau or decline in some states as vaccinations roll out.

U.S. Stock Market Today Overview

Index Symbol Price Gain/Loss % Change
Dow Jones (0DJIA) 33924.10 +103.72 +0.31
S&P 500 (0S&P5) 4194.50 +11.32 +0.27
Nasdaq (0NDQC ) 14021.85 -29.18 -0.21
Russell 2000 (IWM) 226.68 -2.16 -0.94
IBD 50 (FFTY) 46.86 -0.66 -1.39
Last Update: 1:30 PM ET 4/29/2021

Cumulative Covid-19 cases worldwide have topped 150 million, with more than 3 million deaths, according to Worldometer. In the U.S., cases are approaching 33 million with over 588,000 deaths, although the number of new cases in the U.S. has slowed dramatically in many states.

Dow Jones Winners And Losers

Nike (NKE) rose more than 2%, while 3M (MMM), Home Depot (HD), JPMorgan (JPM) and Verizon (VZ) added about 1.5% each.

McDonald’s (MCD) advanced 1% after reporting Q1 earnings and sales that beat views. Shares remain in potential buy range from a 232.01 buy point of a saucer base, according to MarketSmith chart analysis.

But Merck (MRK) sank 5% in triple normal volume after gapping down below its 50-day moving average. Shares are now 17% off their 52-week high. The pharma giant reported Q1 results that missed views on both the top and bottom lines, even though its 2021 outlook remains strong.

Caterpillar (CAT) reversed to drop more than 3% in heavy trade, testing its 50-day line. CAT stock has been building an ascending base with a 237.88 buy point. The weekly chart shows  a flat base with the same entry.

The heavy equipment maker crushed Wall Street targets with Q1 earnings of $2.87 a share on revenue of $11.9 billion. Analysts expected $1.93 on sales of $11.05 billion. But Caterpillar warned the global chip shortage could affect its supply chain.

Among other Dow losers, Amgen (AMGN) and Microsoft (MSFT) fell about 1.5% each.

Apple (AAPL) reversed from an early gain to give up 0.6%. The stock broke out past a 135.63 buy point of a cup with handle before falling back below the entry. After the close Wednesday, Apple’s fiscal Q2 results trounced views, led by strong iPhone sales.

Apple also increased its existing share repurchase program by $90 billion and raised its  its cash dividend by 7% to 22 cents a share.

Outside The Dow

Transport, banks and internet content stocks led the upside among IBD’s 197 industry groups. But software, automaker and solar stocks lagged.

In the internet content group, Facebook (FB) gapped up and soared 6% to a new high. Shares are extended from a 299.81 buy point of a cup with handle. Late Wednesday, Facebook delivered Q1 results that beat analyst estimates on the top and bottom lines.

In the automaker group, Tesla (TSLA) skidded 3% to fall below its 50-day line. The electric vehicle giant’s stock continues to work on a cup with handle with a 780.89 buy point. But the base is late stage.

China EV stock Nio (NIO), down 5%, reports Q1 results after the close. Nio is expected to report a per-share loss of 10 cents on revenue of $1.05 billion, according to IBD data. Shares are about 40% off their 52-week high amid sharp weakness over the last several months.

Follow Nancy Gondo on Twitter at @IBD_NGondo


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