Stock futures waded into mixed trade Wednesday, after a day of modest advances nudged the Nasdaq and S&P 500 to new record highs. Vaccine-maker Moderna jumped on a nod from regulators in India. Oil stocks rallied, with Chevron leading the Dow Jones today, ahead of an inventories report.
Nasdaq 100 futures crept a fraction higher, holding tight to the index’s powerful 5.7% rebound since the start of June. Dow Jones futures and S&P 500 futures sagged to narrow declines on the stock market today, after the S&P 500 briefly topped the 4,300 mark for the first time on Tuesday.
At the top of the Nasdaq 100, biotech Moderna (MRNA) advanced 1.4% after its Covid-19 vaccine was approved for use in India. The vaccine was found to be effective against all strains of the virus in the country, including the highly contagious delta variant.
Also on the Nasdaq, memory chip maker Micron Technology gained 1.2%, ahead of its fiscal third-quarter report, due after the market’s close.
Cabinets and building supplies manufacturer Masco (MAS) jumped 3%, to the head of the S&P 500. Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to buy with a price target at 73, almost 26% above Tuesday’s closing price.
IBD Stock of the Day Gildan Activewear (GIL) climbed 1.6%, after ending Tuesday just below a 35.24 buy point in an eight-week flat base. IBD 50 Stock to Watch CareDx (CDNA) traded flat, below a 99.93 buy point of a 24-week consolidation.
Vertex Energy (VTNR) spiked 47% after agreeing to sell its oil recycling unit to pollution specialist Clean Harbors (CLH) for $140 million. Automotive e-commerce software developer LMP Automotive (LMPX) rocketed 18% higher after reporting first-quarter results late Tuesday.
Dow Jones Today: Chevron Leads
Chevron (CVX) was the early leader on the Dow Jones today, up 0.9% as oil prices climbed in early action. Data from the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday pointed to another sharp drop in weekly U.S. oil supplies, ahead of official data due out later this morning. Oil markets are also feeling some pressure ahead of the OPEC+ gathering of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and partners, scheduled to take place on Thursday.
West Texas Intermediate rose 1.4% early to trade just below $74 a barrel. Oil stocks held seven of the top 15 early gains on the S&P 500.
Also on the Dow, Apple (AAPL) dipped 0.2% in early trade. Apple stock clocked a 2.4% advance Monday and Tuesday, leaving it less than 1% below a 137.17 buy point in a nine-week flat base. Apple shares have gained less than 3% so far this year.
Delta Variant Concerns Pressure EU Stocks
Markets in Europe traded lower Wednesday, reflecting rising concerns over a more contagious variant of Covid-19. Frankfurt’s DAX fell 1%, the CAC-40 in Paris traded 0.8% lower, and London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.5% near midday.
Rising numbers of cases of the coronavirus delta variant, which is thought to have originated in India, have spread across Europe and the world. The U.K. has reported a surge in infections due to the strain which is as much as 60% more transmissible than the alpha variant first found in England, according to CNBC.
Germany and France have placed travel restrictions on travelers from the U.K. France reports that 20% of its Covid cases are now Delta variant infections, up from 10% a week ago. Some 36% of cases in Germany owe to the Delta strain.
Places as far flung as Israel and Los Angeles County have re-imposed indoor masking requirements due to delta infections. Malaysia extended its stay-at-home order indefinitely.
Bitcoin Drops Below $35,000
Bitcoin pulled back more than 2%, to trade below $34,800, according to CoinDesk. The cryptocurrency cut below $29,000 a week ago on June 22 for the first time since last year.
Bitcoin touched a record high above $64,800 on April 14. It is down 5% for June, and has a year-to-date gain of just over 19%.
10-Year Bond Yield Declines
Bond yields remain in focus this week, after a rebound of nearly 6% last week interrupted a five-week slide. The 10-year Treasury yield dropped on Wednesday to 1.45%, after settling on Tuesday just below 1.48% and starting the week Monday just below 1.54%.
This week’s pullback put the yield’s decline in June at 6.5% — continuing a three-month slide. The 10-year yield had hit a 13-month high above 1.76% on March 30.
Dow Jones Today: Blue Chip Retail
Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) reports its fiscal third-quarter results early Thursday. Analysts expect the pharmacy operator to report a 42% jump in EPS to $1.15 but sales are seen dipping 3% to $33.5 billion.
The stock has a year-to-date gain of more than 30%, and the stock is trading low in a 13-week flat base. Walgreens’ weak Composite Rating of 47 knocks it out of the running for most growth stock investors. But given Nike‘s (NKE) powerful 15% post-earnings breakout surge last week, it could be worth considering a Walgreens earnings options play.
Home Depot (HD) is the strongest of the lot, with an almost leadership-grade 79 Composite Rating. Home Depot shares have climbed almost 7% over the past two weeks, ending Tuesday chinned-up to its 50-day moving average.
A break above that level of resistance would point to a move up the right side of Home Depot’s eight-week flat base. Shares ended less than 9% below the 345.79 entry on Tuesday.
Find Alan R. Elliott on Twitter @IBD_Aelliott
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: