Stock futures wobbled in and out of mixed trade Wednesday, as markets waited on the Federal Reserve’s policy announcement and digested an onslaught of earnings reports. Google parent Alphabet rallied on earnings, as did Shopify and Advanced Micro Devices. On the Dow Jones today, Visa led, Microsoft and Amgen lagged, after reporting earnings late Tuesday
Dow Jones futures hung 0.2% below fair value, while S&P 500 futures defended a fractional gain. Nasdaq 100 futures added less than 0.1% on the stock market today. Small caps also downshifted, with Russell 2000 futures ebbing about 0.2%.
Google parent Alphabet was the prime mover in early trade, climbing 5.2% to the top of the Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500. Chipmakers Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Xilinx (XLNX) were also high in the mix, each up almost 5%. Chip stocks in general remained weak, however, with the iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (SOXX) down 0.5% early as Texas Instruments (TXN) slumped following its first-quarter report.
Among other names rising on earnings, Sharps Compliance (SMED) popped 8%. The stock ended Tuesday in a buy range, above a 15.57 buy point in a nine-week cup base.
Broadband services provider Calix (CALX) jumped 5.5%, reaching for a possible breakout past a 48.88 buy point.
Haverty Furniture (HVT) knocked out an early 5% gain. The move pointed the stock, which is up more than 51% since the start of the year, toward yet another new high.
March retail/wholesale inventories and international trade data, due out at 8:30 a.m. ET, could have some influence on morning trade. The Federal Reserve’s policy announcement is set for 2 p.m. ET, followed by a press conference at 2:30 pm ET. On Wednesday evening, President Joe Biden will unveil his tax-and-spending plans in his prime-time address before Congress.
Dow Jones Today: Visa Leads, Waiting On Boeing, Apple
Visa (V) rose 1.3%, leading the Dow Jones today, while Amgen (AMGN) dropped 3.8% and Microsoft (MSFT) dug a 2.5% ditch — all after reporting earnings late Tuesday. Shares of Boeing (BA) were narrowly higher just ahead of its first-quarter report. Apple (AAPL) gained 0.2%, as investors looked toward its fiscal second-quarter report, due out after the close.
Microsoft’s fiscal third-quarter earnings and revenue easily cleared analyst expectations, up 39% and 19%, respecively. Commercial cloud sales increased 33% to $17.7 billion, and a press release noted that digital adoption curves continued to accelerate.
Microsoft’s premarket move suggested a dip back into buy range above a 246.23 buy point in a seven-week flat base. The buy zone runs to 258.54, and shares have traded above that range for the past two sessions.
Boeing is wrestling with support at its 10-week moving average, toggling over and below a cup-base buy point at 244.18. The stock’s 21-day exponential moving average has settled back to converge with its still-rising 10-week line — a situation that prefaced slips below support in January and July.
Google Earnings, Alphabet’s Buy Point
Alphabet earnings crushed views while revenue growth accelerated to 34%, the best since Q4 2018. The FANG giant announced $50 billion for stock buybacks. Alphabet stock is extended above a flat base buy point at 2,145.24. But it is signaling a possible breakout past a 2,306.22 entry in a three-weeks tight pattern.
Vital Signs: Oil, Copper, Bond Yields, Bitcoin
West Texas Intermediate oil crept 0.1% higher, to above $63 a barrel — its highest price since April 20. Prices struck 67.98 on March 8, their highest level since Oct. 2018.
Copper prices backed off 0.8%, holding above $4.45 a pound. Up more than 11% since March 31, prices have now pushed past their February high at $4.30 and are just off their record high at $4.54, set in February 2011.
Bitcoin prices dipped less than 1%, to below $55,000, according to CoinDesk. The cryptocurrency had dropped to $47,079 on Sunday, after running up to a new high above $64,800 a week ago, ahead of the Coinbase Global (COIN) IPO. Bitcoin is now down about 8% so far in April, but for the year remains up more than 87%, after starting the year just above $29,000.
Bond yields edged higher after a big bounce on Tuesday. The 10-year yield moved above 1.64%, after settling at 1.62% on Tuesday, according to CBOE data. Tuesday’s move showed yields rebounding from a test of their 50-day moving average ahead of the Fed meeting. Yields skirted pre-pandemic levels late in March, climbing to almost 1.76% — the highest level since January 2020.
Dow Jones Today: Nasdaq, Chip ETFs Near Buy Points
As the stock market’s confirmed uptrend remains in strong standing, the Nasdaq Composite continues to play catch up to the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones today, but offers the most interesting chart in the group.
The Dow is up 11% from the beginning of the year, and trading 0.8% below its record high from April 16. The S&P 500 has an 11.4% gain this year, and is just a fraction below its latest record high, set on Monday.
The Nasdaq has a year-to-date gain of 8.6%. It is back above the 14,000 mark, and less than 1% off its Feb. 16 high. The composite chart shows the index above what would be a handle buy point. As a result, a number of Nasdaq tracking funds are trading near buy points. The Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) is holding above its 21-day exponential moving average, and in a buy range above a 338.29 buy point in an eight-week cup base. The buy range runs to 355.20.
The leveraged ProShares Ultra QQQ (QLD) was added to IBD’s SwingTrader service on Thursday, after a rebound from its 21-day line opened a buy range from 131.75 to 134.38. The chart also shows a standard cup-base buy point at 133.06.
Chip industry stocks, a major influence on the Nasdaq, are also turning up some buyable chart patterns Among exchange traded funds.
The VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) ended Tuesday about 2% below a 257.64 buy point in a 10-week cup-with-handle base. The leveraged Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bull 3X Shares (SOXL) is below a 45.40 buy point in a cup-with-handle base.
Find Alan R. Elliott on Twitter @IBD_Aelliott
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: