The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose over 200 points in today’s stock market to add to Tuesday’s gains. The major indexes rose in unison while growth stocks led the upside.
Stock Market Today
At the close, the Dow Jones industrials were up 0.7%. The Nasdaq composite rose 1.2%, while the S&P 500 gained 1%. Meanwhile, the Russell 2000 held gains of around 1% as well. Early data showed volume was running lower on the Nasdaq and the NYSE vs. the close on Tuesday.
The major indexes extended Tuesday’s gains as consumer discretionary and health care stocks took the lead. All S&P 500 sectors traded positively. Utility stocks and industrials made the smallest gains. Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) rose 1.2% and was added to IBD’s Leaderboard.
U.S. Stock Market Today Overview
Last Update: 4:18 PM ET 12/22/2021
The indexes remain divergent in terms of market trend. The S&P 500 is the only index with a rally still in play. In contrast, the Nasdaq’s rally attempt was effectively terminated after the index undercut the recent Dec. 3 lows amid Monday’s sell-off. The Dow Jones is the only major index that hasn’t had a follow-through day yet. These three very different situations adds to the overall uncertainty of the current market environment.
The stock market remains under pressure, which means investors should remain conservative with new buys. As The Big Picture has cautioned, the indexes need to show continued strength before the outlook improves.
Some positive economic data helped boost stocks on Wednesday. The Bureau of Economic Analysis revised its estimates for third-quarter U.S. gross domestic product to a 2.3% annualized increase. This was up from the previously reported 2.1% estimated rise.
Dow Jones Today
Dow Jones stocks leading the index higher on Wednesday included tech leaders Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL), up 1.8% and 1.5%, respectively. Both stocks are currently extended from proper entries. Microsoft reclaimed its key 21-day line, whereas Apple continued to extend higher from this key area of support.
Caterpillar initially rose as much as 2% in heavy volume as shares gapped above their 50-day line. The stock rallied on an analyst upgrade from Bernstein, which boosted its rating on the heavy equipment maker to outperform from market perform with a $240 price target.
Nike (NKE) led on the downside after erasing gains of over 1%. Shares closed down 0.7% after Tuesday’s 6% jump. After the close Monday, the athletic shoe and apparel giant reported better-than-expected Q2 results. Shares are now forming a new flat base with a 179.20 buy point and it remains 8% away from the entry.
Stocks Making Notable Moves
The Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) showed continued strength with a 1.9% rise in afternoon trading. The ETF still remains below the 50-day moving average, the 21-day exponential line and the long-term 200-day moving average but has been improving in recent sessions.
On Wednesday, top performing industry groups included auto manufacturers and lodging stocks. Lodging stocks extended Tuesday’s strong gains and rose around 2.7%. Among leading group members, Hilton Worldwide (HLT) broke out above a 148.85 buy point of a cup with handle. The stock’s RS line has ticked up in recent sessions and is near a new high.
Elsewhere, Nutrien (NTR) moved above a flat-base buy point of 73.60 after shares gained support at the 50-day line on Monday. The fertilizer play has been bolstered by overall group strength in agricultural chemical firms. The stock was added to IBD’s Leaderboard list of leading growth stocks.
American Homes 4 Rent (AMH) also scored a breakout, above a 42.71 consolidation entry. The single-family rental-home REIT is part of the finance property REIT, a strong industry group in recent weeks.
Follow Rachel Fox on Twitter at @rachelgfox for more Dow Jones and stock market commentary.
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