Stocks were mixed midday Tuesday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 traded lower but the Nasdaq and small caps outperformed.
The Nasdaq rose 0.4%, the S&P 500 edged 0.1% lower and the Dow Jones industrials eased 0.2% in the stock market today. Small caps tracked by the Russell 2000 gained 0.3%. Volume was higher on both major exchanges vs. the same time Monday.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq led major indexes Tuesday, as tech stocks continue to search for direction. But it remains below its 50-day moving average. On May 10, the Nasdaq tumbled 2.6% to close below the support line for the first time since March.
Last year, tech stocks boosted the Nasdaq 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 U.S. economy is recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, which triggered nationwide lockdowns over a year ago. But many states are relaxing restrictions, and cases are plateauing or declining in some states as vaccinations roll out.
U.S. Stock Market Today Overview
Last Update: 12:10 PM ET 5/18/2021
Cumulative Covid-19 cases worldwide have topped 164 million, with more than 3 million deaths, according to Worldometer. In the U.S., cases hare approaching 34 million with over 600,000 deaths, although the number of new cases and deaths in the U.S. has slowed dramatically in many states.
Dow Jones Winners And Losers
Walmart (WMT), up 2.1% in heavy volume, was the biggest blue chip gainer. Early Tuesday, the discount giant reported strong Q1 results that beat Wall Street targets. Walmart stock gapped up above its 200-day moving average after spending last week below the line.
Home Depot (HD) edged 0.3% lower, on pace for a third straight decline. Early Tuesday, the home improvement chain delivered Q1 results that easily beat estimates. Earnings jumped 86% to $3.86 a share as sales rose 33% to $37.5 billion.
Home Depot stock is testing its 10-week moving average. A solid rebound off the line could set up a chance to buy or add shares, though the market uptrend is under pressure, making all purchases risky.
Outside The Dow
Automakers, drugstore, biotech and software stocks led the upside among IBD’s 197 industry groups. Alcoholic beverage, steel, and building-related stocks lagged.
In the automaker group, Tesla (TSLA) reversed an early loss to gain 2%, recovering most of Monday’s loss. The stock is trying to find support at its long-term 200-day moving average. On Jan. 25, Tesla stock hit a record high at 900.40, after climbing as much as 93% from a 466 buy point in a cup with handle.
Raven Industries (RAVN) surged 11% to its highest level since October 2018. The stock broke out past a 42.61 buy point of a nine-week cup with handle in heavy trade, on track to extend its win streak to four. Shares are now out of buy range, which topped out at 44.74.
Late Monday, the electronic systems and plastic sheeting maker reported Q1 earnings and sales that rose a respective 136% and 30%. That snapped a nine-quarter string of declining profit and revenue.
Pilgrims Pride (PPC) rose nearly 2% early Tuesday, climbing past a 25.83 buy point of a flat base before paring gains to slip below the entry. The poultry producer leads the 12-stock meat products group. But its 71 Composite Rating falls short of the desired 90 minimum of leading growth stocks.
Follow Nancy Gondo on Twitter at @IBD_NGondo
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