Initial jobless claims rose to 211,000, beating Econoday expectations that called for a small increase to 195,000 from 190,000 the previous week. Low weekly jobless claims continue to show continued strength in the labor market, fueling market fears that the Federal Reserve may continue to raise interest rates for longer.
Investors are bracing for a crucial jobs report from the Labor Department on Friday. Economists expect a 220,000 increase in non-farm payrolls in February with unemployment at 3.4%. In January, payrolls rose by 517,000, nearly double Econoday’s high estimate. The average hourly wage is expected to increase by 0.3 per cent.
On the earnings front, Asana (ASAN), JD.com (JD) and MongoDB (MDB) was on its way.
Asana rose 13% after reporting strong Q4 results and issuing strong guidance. JD fell 5.6%, even after beating expectations for the fourth quarter. And MDB stock plunged 10% after the company issued weak revenue expectations.
Stock market today
American Express ( AXP ) climbed 2.4% after announcing a 120 million share buyback plan and raising its dividend by 15%. Etsy (ETSY) sold off more than 6% after Jefferies double-downgraded the stock from buy to underperform.
Shares in Silicon Valley banker SVB Finance Group ( SIVB ) tumbled more than 39% after the company launched a $2.25 billion set of offerings after reporting a $1.8 billion loss in its government bond and mortgage-backed portfolio investments.
EV giant Tesla ( TSLA ) reversed early losses to gain about 1.5% Thursday morning. Dow Jones technology giants Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) was higher after the market opened.
IBD Leaderboard stock Alteryx (AYX), Palo Alto Networks (PANW), New relic (NEW) and Sales force (CRM) — as well as Dow Jones shares American Express and JPMorgan Chase ( JPM ) — is among the best stocks to buy and watch amid a stock market rally trying to pull away from fears of interest rate hikes.
Alteryx is an IBD Leaderboard stock. New Relic was recently an IBD Stock Of The Day. And Salesforce was featured in this week’s column Stocks Near a Buy Zone.
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Dow Jones today: Oil prices, Treasury yields
After Thursday’s market open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.5% and the S&P 500 was up 0.55%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite rose 0.6% in morning action, with China-based JD.com and Tesla weighing on early action.
Among U.S. exchange-traded funds, Nasdaq 100 tracker Invesco QQQ Trust ( QQQ ) was up 0.6% and the SPDR S&P 500 ETF ( SPY ) was up 0.55% early Thursday.
The 10-year US Treasury yield rose after Powell’s hawkish comments, falling to 3.97%. Then on Thursday, the 10-year yield fell to 3.96% after data on jobless claims.
Oil prices flattened after two straight days of losses. West Texas Intermediate futures traded just below $77 per barrel early Thursday.
Stock market rally
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended with a modest loss of 0.2%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended slightly higher, with 0.1% and 0.4% respectively.
Wednesday’s Big Picture column commented: “A surprise rebound in the last half hour of trading on Wednesday saved the stock market from taking a real lump on its head. But the pullback, which began early afternoon trading Monday, underscored how the current path of a healthy recovery in stocks remains uneven.”
Now is an important time to read IBD’s The Big Picture column amid the stock market rally.
Five Dow Jones Stocks to Buy and Watch Now
Dow Jones stocks to buy and watch: American Express, JPMorgan
American Express is still near a 182.25 buy point in a huge cup with handles despite Wednesday’s 0.3% loss. Bullishly, the stock’s relative strength line is holding close to its highs, a particularly positive sign ahead of a potential breakout. AXP stock rose 2.4% Thursday morning, looking to snap a three-day losing streak after announcing the new buyback plan.
Banking giant JPMorgan fell further below its 138.76 buy point with a flat base amid the stock’s 0.6% drop on Wednesday, according to IBD MarketSmith chart analysis. Shares also moved further below support at their 50-day line, which is a key level to watch. JPM stock was trading 0.6% lower early Thursday.
JPM stock scores a 92 out of a perfect 99 IBD Composite Rating, according to IBD Stock Checkup. The Composite Rating is designed to help investors easily find top growth stocks.
4 best growth stocks to buy and watch Stock market rally
Top stocks to buy and watch: Palo Alto, New Relic
Palo Alto Networks continues to trade quietly after the stock’s 12.5% gain on Feb. 22 and is close to adding a handle. Shares remain within striking distance of a base buy point at 193.01. PANW stock was up 0.2% on Thursday morning.
Backstory: On Feb. 21, the cybersecurity giant announced strong results for the quarter that ended in January, with earnings hitting $1.05 per share. stock, up 81% from a year earlier, with a 26% jump in revenue to $1.7 billion.
The latest IBD stock of the day, New Relic, is working on a flat base with an 80.98 buy point in the wake of the February 8 earnings-driven rally. NEWR stock fell 0.3% on Thursday.
Backstory: New Relic provides a cloud-based suite of software products that enable organizations to collect, store and analyze massive amounts of data in real time. Customers gain increased visibility into their enterprise software to help make data-driven decisions.
Alteryx, Salesforce near recent point of purchase
IBD Leaderboard stock Alteryx continues to struggle after giving up a 66.50 trendline buy point within a handle of an early-stage cup during this week’s losses. A conventional entry of 70.73 is also in play. Alteryx fell 0.2% on Thursday.
Backstory: The Irvine, Calif., company created a self-service platform for data analytics. Demand is clearly strong as sales have risen from the lows of $100 million per quarter of 2021 to $216 million in the third quarter of 2022, up 75% from a year ago, and $301 million in the fourth quarter of 2022, up 73%. This rapid revenue growth is one of the reasons why Alteryx also posted a profit of 84 cents per share in the 4th quarter, likely the largest quarterly earnings in the company’s history.
Last week, Dow Jones leader Salesforce staged a bullish breakout gap past a 178.94 buy point on strong fourth-quarter results. But the gains are easing a bit amid the four-day losing streak, as shares lost 0.2% on Wednesday. The stock is in the 5% buy zone going up to 187.89. CRM stock lost 0.3% on Thursday.
Back story: Salesforce sells software under a subscription model. Its software helps companies organize and manage sales operations and customer relationships. The company has expanded into marketing, customer service and e-commerce. Salesforce said it has disbanded its “M&A committee,” suggesting it will not make any more big acquisitions, amid mounting pressure from activist investors.
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Stocks to Buy and Watch in Stock Market Rally
These are six top stocks to buy and watch in today’s stock market, including two Dow Jones leaders.
|company name||Symbol||Correct point of purchase||Type of point of purchase|
|New relic||(NEW)||80.98||Flat bottom|
|Alteryx||(AYX)||70.73||Cup with handle|
|American Express||(AXP)||182.25||Cup with handle|
|Palo Alto Networks||(PANW)||193.01||Consolidation|
|Sales force||(CRM)||178.94||Cup with handle|
Source: IBD data per March 8, 2023
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Tesla shares slipped another 3% on Wednesday, falling for a third straight day after the stock received a downgrade. The EV giant is also facing an investigation into possible steering problems.
Shares closed about 53% off their 52-week high on Wednesday. Aggressive investors can use the February 16 high at 217.65 as a potential entry point. However, to be safe, Tesla stock should clear the 200-day line, which is now below 220.
Tesla stock turned up 1.6% on Thursday morning, looking to bounce back from recent losses.
Dow Jones Leaders: Apple, Microsoft
Among the Dow Jones stocks, Apple shares rose 0.8% on Wednesday, recovering from Tuesday’s losses. The stock rose early Thursday by 0.8 percent.
Microsoft shares extended Tuesday’s losses, falling 0.2% on Wednesday. The stock is still about 20% off its 52-week high after recent declines. MSFT stock was up 1.4% on Thursday morning.
Be sure to follow Scott Lehtonen on Twitter at @IBD_SLehtonen for more on growth stocks and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
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