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Dow Jones Today Chases Nasdaq Amid Jobs, PMI Data; PVH, Conn’s Rally On Earnings; Salesforce Edges Toward Buy Point

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The Nasdaq led a mixed open on Wednesday, after August hiring data came in below expectations and key manufacturing data weakened. Biotech Moderna climbed on positive vaccine news. Earnings reports powered big early moves from Ambarella, PVH, Anaplan and Conn’s. Apple and Salesforce.com jumped to the head of the Dow Jones today, each trading close to buy points.


The Nasdaq Composite opened 0.5% higher, while the S&P 500 fought to a 0.1% gain. The Dow Jones today got off to a weak start, down about 0.1%, as Walgreens (WBA) and Caterpillar (CAT) dragged at the bottom of the index.

Apparel maker PVH (PVH), the former Phillips-Van Heusen brand, topped the S&P 500 in early trade. The stock sprung 9.5% higher as JPMorgan raised its price target to 125, after the New York-based company clobbered analysts’ second-quarter estimates.

Casino owners Wynn Resorts (WYNN) and Las Vegas Sands (LVS) traded high on the S&P 500, after China’s Macau gaming district reported casino revenues in the city rose 234% in August. Vaccine maker Moderna (MRNA) rose 1.8%, after data released late Tuesday showed patients dosed with its Covid vaccine produced higher levels of antibodies than those vaccinated with Pfizer‘s (PFE) product. Moderna is an IBD 50 stock.

ASML Holdings (ASML) ran strong among IBD 50 stocks, moving up 1.3%. Also an IBD Leaderboard stock, ASML is extended and in a profit-taking zone.

Early earnings news also included efficiency and planning software specialist Anaplan (PLAN). It rocketed 15% higher as three analysts raised price targets on the stock after its late Tuesday earnings report. The Woodlands, Texas-based retailer Conn’s (CONN) jetted more than 10% higher on a second-quarter earnings win.

Among small caps, fabless chip outfit Ambarella (AMBA) led the Russell 2000, up more than 12%, with Stifel and Deutsche Bank raising price targets following second-quarter results that beat forecasts. St. Louis-based footwear retailer Caleres (CAL) also ran high on the Russell, bolting ahead 8% on strong second-quarter results.

Companies expected to report earnings after Wednesday’s close include Veeva Systems (VEEV), Okta (OKTA), Five Below (FIVE) and Chewy (CHWY).

Dow Jones Today: Apple’s Smartwatch Gets Healthy

Apple (AAPL) ran ahead on the Dow Jones today, following an analyst upgrade and new Apple Watch information.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple planned new health-related features for its wearable smartwatch device. The functions were expected to include a blood pressure monitor, as well as a thermometer function to help with fertility planning.

In addition, Wolfe Research upgraded the stock to peer perform from underperform, and raised its price target to 155, from 135. Apple is climbing above the high that followed a breakout in June. It is in a technical buy range through 155.40, after passing a trend line entry. Apple stock gained 4.1% in August, and has a year-to-date gain of 14.4%

Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan (JPM) reversed premarket gains and slipped about 0.5% each. Goldman was the Dow’s top advancer in August, rallying 10.3% for the month as the 10-year bond yield reversed a four-month slide and rebounded 5.3% for the month. The 10-year yield held steady around 1.30% early Wednesday. Goldman stock is extended from an early August breakout. It has a year-to-date gain of 57%.

JPMorgan stock easily outpaced the overall stock market with a 5.4% advance in August. It briefly topped a 162.47 buy point in a two-month cup-with-handle base. Shares had eased to not quite 2% below that entry on Tuesday.

Econ News: August Hiring Misses Target, Manufacturing PMI Weakens

An initial look at hiring in August came in well below forecasts, as ADP’s August National Employment Report showed U.S. nonfarm private employers adding 374,000 workers for the month. That was an increase over July’s 326,000-employee gain, but will below estimates for 500,000 new hires.

Service sector employers did almost 88% of the month’s hiring, while goods-producing employers accounted for 12%. The ADP report is often viewed as a precursor to the Labor Department’s monthly payrolls report, due on Friday. But results can vary widely between the two reports.

3 Earnings Movers After Market Pause; Two Leaderboard Stocks In Buy Zones

Researcher Markit reported its manufacturing purchasing managers index dipped to 61.1 in August, down from a reading of 63.4 for July and below the low end of the range of economist estimates. Despite the soft number, the report noted “steep upturns in production and new orders.” But output growth
remained “hampered by capacity constraints and material shortages.”

The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing PMI is due out at 10 a.m. ET. The Commerce Department’s July construction spending data is on tap at 10 a.m. ET. And the Energy Information Administration plans to release weekly oil inventory stats at 10:30 a.m. ET.

China Rebound Continues; Europe Climbs

China’s markets plotted another positive session, extending a rebound begun on Aug. 23. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.65% on Wednesday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rallied 0.6%. That left the Shanghai benchmark ending August with a 4.3% gain, and up 2.7% since Dec. 31. The Hang Seng dipped 0.3% in August and is down 4.4% so far this year.

Among China-based ETFs, the iShares MSCI China ETF (MCHI) and the Xtrackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF (ASHR) were inactive in premarket trade. The KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF (KWEB) rallied 1.3%.

Europe’s markets were showing nice strength near midday, after extending their seven-month rally through August. Frankfurt’s DAX added 0.2%, while London’s FTSE 100 jumped 0.6%. The CAC-40 in Paris swung 1% higher. The SPDR Portfolio Europe ETF (SPEU) was unchanged in early action, after bouncing 1.6% last week following a test of support at its 10-week moving average. The fund is trading less than 2% below a 44.06 entry in what IBD MarketSmith analysis marks as an 11-week flat base.

Stocks To Watch: International Money, Chipotle, Facebook, Matson

International Money Express (IMXI) is riding a five-day rally as it works on a seventh-straight weekly advance. That climb lifted the stock briefly above an 18.79 buy point in a 53-week saucer base. Shares ended just a fraction below the entry on Tuesday.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) is sitting on a powerful six-week advance, closing Tuesday just below a 1,912.85 buy point. The buy point is in a four-weeks-tight pattern, a more bullish variation of a three-weeks-tight setup. The buy range extends to 2,008.49.

Facebook (FB) sits low in a buy range. It cleared a 377.65 buy point on Monday, and remains in a buy zone through 396.53.

Matson (MATX) reversed an early gain and ended narrowly lower Tuesday, after a solid second-quarter sales and earnings beat reported late Monday. The stock held just pennies above a 79.15 entry in what IBD MarketSmith analysis charts as a 27-week cup base. The buy zone extends to 83.11.

Dow Jones Today: August Leaders

After above-average gains for the market’s major benchmarks in August, half of the 30 Dow industrials stocks are currently in valid bases or are pulled back and testing support at their 10-week moving averages.

On the Dow Jones today, Apple and Microsoft (MSFT) are the two stocks currently listed in IBD’s Leaderboard lineup. Microsoft is extended following a breakout in June, with a 6% gain in August and up more than 35% since Dec. 31.

For more detailed analysis of the current stock market and its status, study the Big Picture.

Goldman Sachs posted the largest gain in August among Dow Jones stocks, rising 10.3% and ending the month narrowly extended above a 393.36 buy point. Salesforce.com (CRM) was next in line with a 9.7% advance. That lifted Salesforce stock briefly above a 271.02 buy point in a 10-month saucer base.

Shares were 2% below that entry at the closing bell on Tuesday, with a year-to-date gain of 19.4%. Salesforce has a 94 Composite Rating from IBD. The stock’s Relative Strength Rating is a weak 58, and its relative strength line lags well below its year-ago highs. This is not unusual as top stocks exit long basing periods.

Find Alan R. Elliott on Twitter @IBD_Aelliott


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