Fed Approval Drives Financials Higher; But Tech Stocks Pounded – Investor's Business Daily

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The major market averages were drastically mixed early Thursday as tech stocks continued their volatile ways. The tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 0.8%, while the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average were mildly lower, down 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively.

Among the Dow industrials, financial components Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan (JPM) led the pack, advancing about 2% each after they got the OK from the Federal Reserve to boost dividends and buybacks. JP Morgan broke out above a choppy 89.23 double-bottom entry Wednesday.

On the downside, Microsoft (MSFT) declined 1.2% after Wednesday’s bullish reversal off the 50-day line. Shares whipsawed back under the key support level.

Among leading tech stocks, video game makers fared poorly with Electronic Arts (EA) and Activision (ATVI) falling about 2% apiece. Both are trading just above their 50-day moving average lines.

Among companies reporting earnings, Constellation Brands (STZ) jumped about 7% after reporting strong Q1 earnings, but weak quarterly sales. After a brief pullback to the 50-day line a few weeks ago, the stock is about 18% above a 165.98 cup-with-handle entry. Acuity Brands (AYI) surged about 12% after its Q3 earnings and sales figures beat the Street’s forecasts.

After the bell, apparel maker Nike (NKE) will report its fiscal-Q4 earnings. Analysts expect the Dow component to earn 50 cents per share on revenues amounting to $8.63 billion. The stock has been in a long-term downtrend as it sits under its 50- and 200-day lines.

Meanwhile, Walgreens Boot Alliance (WBAput an end to its merger agreement with Rite Aid (RAD). Instead, Walgreens will purchase half of Rite Aid’s stores for almost $5.2 billion in cash. Shares of Walgreens advanced almost 3%, while Rite Aid plummeted 25%. Both stocks have been underperformers for years.

Within the IBD 50, leading brokerage Charles Schwab (SCHW) traded about 1.5% higher and is adding to its recent gains from a 42.71 cup-with-handle breakout.

On the downside, chip stocks were among the day’s laggards. Graphics chip maker Nvidia (NVDA) dropped 2% as it consolidates after a strong downside reversal over two weeks ago.

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