Stocks rallied Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 200 points and the S&P 500 aiming for a new closing high.
The Dow Jones industrials gained 0.6%, the S&P 500 advanced 0.7% and the Nasdaq was up 0.9% in the stock market today. Small caps tracked by the Russell 2000 climbed 0.9%. Volume was lower on both major exchanges vs. the same time Wednesday. The stock market will be closed Friday for Christmas.
Among exchange traded funds on Thursday, Innovator IBD 50 (FFTY) rose 0.8%, on track for a third straight advance. The iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF) and Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) each added about 0.8%.
Early Thursday, the Labor Department reported weekly jobless claims of 205,000 for the week ended Dec. 18. That was slightly lower than the prior week’s 206,000 and in line with Econoday’s forecast. Personal spending edged up 0.6% in November. While the number met forecasts, it was a slowdown from October’s revised 1.4% increase.
The U.S. economy has been struggling to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, which triggered nationwide lockdowns more than a year and a half ago. A resurgence in cases fueled by the more contagious delta variant had been slowing as vaccinations rise.
U.S. Stock Market Today Overview
Last Update: 1:14 PM ET 12/23/2021
But a new coronavirus variant with a large number of mutations is raising concerns. Though much is still unknown about the omicron variant, currently available vaccinations and boosters may offer some protection against the highly transmissible virus.
Globally, Covid-19 cases are approaching 278 million, with over 5 million deaths, according to Worldometer. In the U.S., cases have topped 52.5 million with more than 833,000 deaths.
Growth Stocks To Watch
Tesla (TSLA) reversed from an early slide to cruise 5.5% higher in fast turnover. It regained its 50-day moving average for the first time in almost two weeks. Shares surged 7.5% Wednesday, after CEO Elon Musk said in a podcast interview he had sold “enough stock” to reach his goal to sell 10% of his shares.
Over in the IBD 50, Endava (DAVA) rose nearly 4%, on pace to extend its win streak to five days. The stock is extended from a 143.60 consolidation entry but could soon complete a short cup base with a potential 172.51 buy point. U.K.-based Endava is an IT services provider.
Tradeweb Markets (TW) gained 3% as it rebounds off the 10-week moving average. That marks its first successful test of the support line following an early November breakout from a cup base. Tradeweb stock is in potential buy range from an entry near the 94 level.
Arista Networks (ANET) advanced 2.5% to a new high. It’s now extended from a 134.24 buy point of a flat base, according to MarketSmith chart analysis. The buy zone topped out at 140.95. Arista’s 97 Composite Rating leads the 17-stock networking group.
West Pharmaceutical Services (WST), up 1.5%, climbed past a 458.09 buy point of a cup-with-handle base. Volume was below average, however. The strongest breakouts tend to occur in volume at least 40% higher than normal.
Dow Jones Movers
Caterpillar (CAT) rose 2% to pad gains above the 50-day line, which it reclaimed Wednesday. The stock gapped up nearly 2% Wednesday, after Bernstein boosted its rating on the heavy equipment maker to outperform from market perform with a $240 price target. CAT shares, about 16% off their high, remain stuck below the 200-day line, far from any proper entry.
Among other Dow Jones winners, Dow Inc. (DOW) and Honeywell International (HON) were up nearly 2% each. Another half-dozen Dow Jones stocks including Disney (DIS), Boeing (BA) and Intel (INTC) added more than 1% each.
Microsoft (MSFT) climbed 0.4% Thursday, extending the prior session’s 1.8% gain. The stock is rebounding off its 10-week moving average, which sets up a buy opportunity around 328.89.
Follow Nancy Gondo on Twitter at @IBD_NGondo
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