Stock futures lulled in tightly mixed trade ahead of a raft of early economic news Thursday. Earnings news lifted chip developer Nvidia, and drove strong early moves by Williams-Sonoma, Best Buy and Burlington. Leaderboard stock Ford gained more ground after Wednesday’s breakout. Boeing charged to the head of the Dow Jones today, bucking for a sixth straight advance.
Dow Jones futures traded a fraction above fair value, with chemicals maker Dow (DOW) dragging at the bottom of the list. Meanwhile, S&P 500 futures slipped 0.2%, with Best Buy (BBY), Ford Motor (F) and Boeing (BA) leading the index.
Futures received an added boost from news reports that the White House is set to pitch, on Friday, a $6 trillion budget — aimed at bolstering middle class and infrastructure targets — and which would hoist U.S. spending to the “highest sustained levels of federal spending since World War II,” according to the New York Times.
At the top of the Nasdaq, Nvidia (NVDA) moved up 0.9% as a handful of analysts raised price targets following a healthy first-quarter report late Thursday. The IBD Leaderboard stock has gained for six straight sessions, and is in the sixth week of a possible cup base.
A big data for data reports starts with weekly jobless claims from the Labor Department. Those numbers, along with April durable goods orders and Q1 GDP revisions from the Commerce Department, are due out at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Dow Jones Today: Boeing, Salesforce
Boeing was again the early leader on the Dow Jones today, ahead 2.3% as it pushes for a sixth straight advance. Boeing’s chart is beginning to look base-ish as it tacks toward a second weekly advance and attempts to regain support at its 50-day moving average.
Saleforce.com (CRM) is also centered on the Dow-watcher’s radar, up in four of five recent sessions as it heads for its first-quarter report after today’s close. Shares are not in a valid base pattern of any sort, although aggressive investors could potentially use 238.43 as an alternate buy point.
But Salesforce stock is on track for a third straight weekly advance, and ended Wednesday just 1% below its 200-day moving average. A move back above that line could signal a turning point for the stock.
Ford Stock Breaks Out
Ford shares scaled up 2.7% after announcing on Wednesday plans to spend more than $25 billion on electric vehicles by 2025. The Dearborn, Mich.-based company now expects at least 40% of its vehicles to be fully electric by 2030. Ford also just unveiled its F-150 Lightning, an EV version of America’s bestselling vehicle.
Earnings News: WSM, Best Buy, Burlington
Best Buy also blew past analyst estimates, popping 2.8% to lead the S&P 500. The premarket gain moved the stock to just below a prior buy point, in a cup-with-handle base, at 121.48.
Burlington Stores (BURL) rallied 2.7% after reversing to a $2.51 EPS gain in the first quarter, vs. a $5.09 loss a year ago. Revenue easily outpaced forecasts, but management warned of rising expense headwinds. Burlington stock is in a buy range on a rebound from support at its 10-week moving average.
Agricultural equipment retailer Titan Machinery (TITN) bolted 7.5% after scoring big sales and earnings beats in its first quarter. The stock is basing, with shares ending Wednesday almost 18% below the potential buy point at 30.10.
Nasdaq, S&P 500, Dow Jones Today
The Dow Jones today is starting to look like the week’s laggard among big benchmarks, up just a fraction through Wednesday. The Nasdaq Composite heads for the Thursday’s open toting a 2% gain for the week. The S&P 500 is up 1%.
For the S&P and Dow, it would be the first gain in three weeks. Still, both remain above their 21-day moving averages, and are sitting on larger margins above their 50-day lines. The Nasdaq has clawed back above its 21-day and 50-day lines, which are currently converged.
For more detailed analysis of the current stock market and its status, study the Big Picture.
That leaves its about 2% below the 14,000 level, which has been the index’s consistent stumbling block since February. It’s also worth noting that the Russell 2000 small cap gauge climbed back above both its 21-day and 50-day lines with a 2% advance on Wednesday. This could be temporary, but is worth watching to see whether this portion of the market may be set to have an influence on summer trade.
Market Mode: Uptrend Still Under Pressure
This week’s improved performances by the Nasdaq and Russell, and the hold-steady moods of the S&P 500 and the Dow, suggest the market is gaining back a little mojo. That could be setting the stage for a move higher in June.
Or it could be temporary. Bets are off on the Nasdaq until its puts 14,000 in the rearview mirror. And while the Russell 2000 has managed to peek above its 50-day, it has been unable to decisively trade above that line since March.
The market maintains its uptrend, but the status remains “Uptrend Under Pressure.” That suggests four clear courses of action for investors: Be very careful about making any new buys. Make a defensive game plan for each stock you own. Stay disciplined and flexible. Build a watchlist to act on once the market reverts to “confirmed uptrend” status.
Find Alan R. Elliott on Twitter @IBD_Aelliott
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