Stock futures mulled in narrowly mixed trade Friday, as markets waited on the Labor Department’s July payrolls report. Earnings news was the early main attraction, with Textainer Group and IBD 50 stock Carvana rising near buy points. China stocks rebounded after a week of erratic trade. And Walmart topped the Dow Jones today, aiming to add to Thursday’s breakout gain.
Dow Jones futures and S&P 500 futures traded a fraction above fair value. Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 0.1%, as Moderna (MRNA) and Analog Devices (ADI) fell hardest among Nasdaq 100 stocks. IBD 50 Stock To Watch Moderna crushed analyst targets in its Q2 report on Thursday.
China-based stocks bounced to the top of the Nasdaq 100, with Pinduoduo (PDD), Trip.com (TCOM) and Baidu (BIDU) trading high on the list. Also on the Nasdaq, Monster (MNST) gained 0.7%, after turning in a solid second-quarter sales and earnings win. Shares fell in eight of nine sessions ahead of earnings, leaving the stock 8% below a 99.34 buy point.
News Corp. (NWS) led the S&P 500, surging more than 7% after trimming losses and reporting a 30% revenue jump in its second quarter.
Container freight lessor Textainer Group Holdings (TGH) scrambled almost 5% higher on earnings news. The stock closed Thursday 11% below a cup base buy point at 36.29.
Century Casinos (CNTY) and DraftKings (DKNG) were up sharply after early Friday earnings reports. Data center operator Switch (SWCH) soared 16% on raised guidance after a mixed Q2 report late Thursday. Groupon (GRPN) also spiked more than 16% following a strong second-quarter report.
Floor & Decor (FND), Cloudflare (NET) and Paylocity (PCTY) reported earnings after Thursday close. Under ArmourUA and Cross Country Healthcare (CCRN) and Harmonic (HLIT) posted three of the S&P 500’s largest gains for the week through Thursday. Capri Holdings (CPRI) and Power Integrations (POWI) were rising below buy points.
Dow Jones Today: Walmart Up, Apple Down
Walmart (WMT) led the early action on the Dow Jones today, with a premarket gain of 0.8% following a 1.7% rally on Thursday. Thursday’s move also scored a breakout past a 144.68 buy point in a nine-week flat base. Walmart stock ended Thursday in a buy range that runs to 151.91. Walmart’s relative strength rating is a weak 38, and its Composite Rating from IBD lags at 63. But the stock’s seven-week advance indicates rising strength in consumer staples stocks.
Apple (AAPL) slipped 0.2% to the bottom of the Dow Jones today. CNBC reported that Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi topped Apple and Samsung in June sales, according to a report from researcher Counterpoint. Xiaomi reportedly accounted for 17.1% of handsets sold during the month, vs. 15.7% for Samsung and Apple’s 14.3%.
Apple stock is extended after clearing a buy point in early July. It could also be seen as in a buy range, holding steady support at its 21-day moving average, above a 145.19 entry in what IBD MarketSmith analysis charts as a 23-week consolidation.
The Labor Department reports July payrolls data at 8:30 a.m. ET. Employment reports sent some mixed messages in the run up to Friday’s release. ADP’s National Employment report delivered Wednesday showed much weaker hiring in July than expected by economists. Weekly unemployment data released Thursday showed a welcome decline back below 400,000 claims.
Economists expect this morning’s report to show nonfarm payrolls up by 900,000 jobs, with the unemployment rate falling to 5.7%.
The Commerce Department also releases June wholesale inventories numbers at 8:30 a.m. ET. The energy industry rig count from Baker Hughes is due for a 1 p.m. ET release. And the Federal Reserve delivers its June reading on consumer credit at 3 p.m. ET.
IBD 50, Leaderboard: Carvana, Enphase Energy Climb
On the IBD 50 list, online auto retailer Carvana (CVNA) jetted 10% higher in early action. The Tempe, Ariz.-based outfit reported a surprise second-quarter profit a big sales jump late Thursday. The premarket move suggests the stock would open in extended territory, above a 323.49 buy point.
Vital Signs: Oil, Bond Yields, Bitcoin
Crude oil prices rose mildly, with West Texas Intermediate futures up 0.4% to between $69 and $70 a barrel.
The 10-year bond yield climbed to 1.25%, up from Thursday’s settle just above 1.21%, and angling toward a third straight advance. Friday’s early action put yields on positive ground for the week, after falling in 10 of 11 recent weeks.
Bitcoin bumped higher, trading in a range between $37,380 and $41,377 over the past 24 hours. The cryptocurrency hit a two-month high above $42,300 on July 31.
China Volatility Continues
China’s markets ended the week on a quiet note, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index down 0.1% and the Shanghai Composite posting a 0.2% decline. For the week, the Hang Seng added 0.8%, regaining composure after the prior week’s 5% dive. The Shanghai benchmark regained 1.8%, up from a 4.3% loss in the previous week.
Among China gauges in the U.S. early Wednesday, the iShares MSCI China ETF (MCHI) dropped 0.2%, and the Xtrackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF (ASHR) faded 0.4%. Technology tracker KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF (KWEB) rose 1.3% in early trade.
In Japan, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 added 0.3% on Friday. That gave it a 2% gain for the week, but the index remains in a six-month downtrend.
In Europe on Thursday, stocks were mixed in afternoon trade. The CAC-40 in Paris showed a 0.4% advance. Frankfurt’s DAX firmed to a 0.2% gain. London’s FTSE 100 dipped 0.1% after the Bank of England left its rate and stimulus strategies unchanged. The SPDR Portfolio Europe ETF (SPEU) was inactive, after posting a 0.6% gain Thursday. The ETF is less than 1% below a 44.06 entry in an eight-week flat base.
Nasdaq, S&P 500, Dow Jones Today: Early August Winners
Heading toward Friday’s starting bell in the first week of August, the Dow Jones today has a 0.4% gain for the week through Thursday. The S&P 500 has climbed 0.8%. The Nasdaq Composite is up 1.5%. Year to date, the Dow is up 14.6%. The Nasdaq has climbed 15.6%. The S&P 500 still holds the lead so far in 2021, up 17.9%.
For more detailed analysis of the current stock market and its status, study the Big Picture.
The week’s largest gains among S&P 500 stocks included a 24.9% breakout rally from Cross Country Healthcare. The surge followed a firm second-quarter beat, reported late Wednesday. It left shares extended just beyond a buy range in a breakout above a cup base buy point at 19. Cross Country ranks a healthy 98 Composite Rating from IBD, and Benchmark upgraded the stock to a buy, with a 22 price target, on Thursday.
Under Armour spiked more than 21% after a stronger-than-expected report early Wednesday. That moved the stock to within 3% of a 21.92 buy point in a 13-week cup base. Under Armour’s Composite Rating is a 91.
Broadcast infrastructure gear maker Harmonic bolted almost 15% higher. The stock holds an 87 Composite Rating from IBD.
U.K.-based apparel manufacturer Capri Holdings gained more than 4% in a third straight weekly advance. The stock ended Thursday less than 2% below a 59.70 entry in what IBD MarketSmith analysis identifies as a 12-week consolidation. Capri’s Composite Rating is a 94.
Power Integrations turned in a 2% advance, adding a third week to its rally. Shares finished Thursday low in a buy range, above a 99.15 buy point in a 29-week base. POWI stock rates a solid 97 Composite Rating from IBD.
Find Alan R. Elliott on Twitter @IBD_Aelliott
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