The Nasdaq took over the early leader from the Dow on the stock market today as Netflix (NFLX) rose ahead of its Q1 report and earnings news divided the Dow Jones industrials.
The Dow Jones industrials trimmed a 0.5% gain to 0.3%. The Nasdaq rose 0.4%, while the S&P 500 defended a 0.2% gain. (For updates on this story and other market coverage, visit the Stock Market Today.)
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) leapt almost 3% to set the pace on the Dow. Western Digital (WDC) jumped to the top of the Nasdaq 100 after an analyst upgrade. Fresh IPO Jumia Technologies (JMIA) surged once again in opening trade.
On the downside, Bank Of America (BAC) traded more than 2% lower on mixed first-quarter results. Trucking and logistics leader JBHunt Transportation (JBHT) dropped 4% after a weak first-quarter report late Monday.
Stock Market Today: Benchmarks Near Highs
The market remains in a confirmed uptrend, and despite Monday’s mild losses left the S&P 500 just 1.2% off its record high from September. The Nasdaq was 2% below its peak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 2.1% from its October record.
The major market indexes are also crossing several other important technical levels as they approach last year’s record highs. For a look at why sellers often emerge as leading indexes reach new highs, read the Big Picture.
Dow Jones: Johnson & Johnson, UnitedHealth
Johnson & Johnson stitched up a 2.6% gain, after a 2% earnings advance and an almost imperceptible rise in first-quarter revenue were enough to top analyst views. Management boosted the company’s earnings growth outlook for 2019, based on strong first-quarter performance in its pharmaceuticals division. J&J shares finished Monday 2.6% below a 140.10 buy point in a cup-with-handle base.
UnitedHealth Group spiked 3%, then quickly backed into a 1.3% loss. The nation’s largest health insurer reported a 23% earnings gain and a 9% revenue increase. Both numbers topped analysts’ targets. The Dow Jones stock tumbled last week to a 52-week low, as investors reacted to Democrats pushing a “Medicare For All” platform.
Bank Of America Slides On Revenue Miss
Bank of America slumped 2.5% on the stock market today after delivering mixed first-quarter results. Earnings surged a better-than-expected 13%, revenue slipped a fraction, missing expectations for a slight gain. net interest yield eked up 9 basis points to 2.51%. The bank paid $6.3 billion for stock repurchases during the quarter, vs. $5.2 billion in Q4. Bank Of America shares have been consolidating since August, and are up 32% from a late December low.
Asset manager BlackRock (BLK) climbed 2.1% after first-quarter declines were not as harsh as expected. Earnings slipped 1%, revenue fell 7%, while assets under management rebounded 2%, to $6.515 trillion. BlackRock is up 16% since late December, climbing the right side of 15-month consolidation.
Netflix Rises; Ocasio-Cortez Dumps Facebook
Netflix rose 2.4% in early trade, looking to reverse two days of declines ahead of its first-quarter earnings, due after today’s close. The losses dragged the stock below its 50-day moving average in some heavy trade on Friday, as investors responded to the rise of competition represented by Walt Disney‘s (DIS) new Disney+ streaming service. Netflix is trading 6% below a 371.59 buy point in a cup-with-handle. The stock on Monday slipped 7.9% below the buy point, triggering the automatic sell rule for investors who have their sell rules set at the low end of the 7% to 8% threshold.
Facebook (FB) shed its premarket loss and climbed a fraction in early trade. Internal documents leaked to NBC News reportedly showed CEO Mark Zuckerberg leveraged user data against partners and rivals.
In addition, U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she had quit the social media platform and was cutting back on Twitter (TWTR) and Instagram. She said ill effects on users included, in her view, “increased isolation, depression, anxiety, addiction, escapism.” The Democrat said Facebook had been the “primary digital organizing tool” with which she had launched the campaign that led to her surprise 2018 win in New York’s 14th congressional district.
Facebook shares have gained 7.8% so far in April, are back above key technical support and working on the right side of a possible nine-month cup base.
IPO Watch: Jumia, Lyft, Tradeweb Rise
Lyft (LYFT) gained 2.4% in opening trade. Tradeweb Markets (TW) jumped 1.3%. Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) slashed its early gain to a fraction. Tencent could offer a buying opportunity if it rebounds from 10-week support in strong trade.
Germany’s Jumia Technologies rattled off an early 9% gain. The IPO’s American Depositary Receipts ended Monday 120% above Friday’s initial offering price.
Keep an eye on leading IPOs on IBD’S IPO Leaders stock screen.
China, Europe Get Banking Boosts
U.S. stock futures received a boost from markets in China, which soared after the central bank resumed monetary support measures after an 18-day pause, and ahead of first-quarter GDP data due out Wednesday. The Shanghai Composite rallied 2.4%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 1.1%.
Among China-focused ETFs, the Direxion Daily CSI 300 China A Share Bull 2X Shares (CHAU) swung 6.4% higher in premarket trading. The Direxion Daily FTSE China Bull 3X Shares (YINN) jumped 4%. The iShares MSCI Hong Kong (EWH) added 0.4%.
The stock market today in Europe gained strength in afternoon trade, as underlying strength in Monday’s quarterly reports from Goldman Sachs (GS) and Citigroup (C) bolstered optimism in Europe’s banking sector. The CAC-40 in Paris reversed early losses and rose 0.1%. Frankfurt’s DAX jumped 0.7%. The FTSE 100 in London gained 0.5%.
Follow Alan R. Elliott on Twitter @IBD_Aelliott.
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