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Dow Jumps 300 Points But Nasdaq Trips Ahead Of Powell, Yellen; GameStop Crashes

Stocks were mixed Wednesday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 300 points but the Nasdaq down ahead of a second day of testimony from Fed Chief Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.




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The Dow Jones industrials rallied 0.9%, the S&P 500 rose 0.5% and the Nasdaq fell 0.4% in the stock market today. Small caps tracked by the Russell 2000 climbed 0.7%. Volume swelled on both major exchanges vs. the same time Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Powell and Yellen told the House Financial Services Committee the U.S. economy is on track for a strong recovery, but will take more work to limit damage from the Covid-19 pandemic. While the Fed expects inflation will rise this year, Powell said, “Our best view is that the effect on inflation will be neither particularly large or persistent.”

Powell and Yellen will testify before the Senate Banking Committee today.

Tech stocks boosted the Nasdaq to a 43.6% gain in 2020 for its fifth best year ever. The S&P 500 rose 16.3% and the Dow added 7.2% last year. After a strong start this year, the market is now rebounding from a short correction. Read The Big Picture for detailed daily market analysis.

U.S. Stock Market Today Overview

Index Symbol Price Gain/Loss % Change
Dow Jones (0DJIA) 32681.76 +258.61 +0.80
S&P 500 (0S&P5) 3927.68 +17.16 +0.44
Nasdaq (0NDQC ) 13163.91 -63.79 -0.48
Russell 2000 (IWM) 218.64 +1.58 +0.73
IBD 50 (FFTY) 43.91 -0.91 -2.03
Last Update: 12:02 PM ET 3/24/2021

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to roil the U.S. economy, as nationwide lockdowns approach the one-year mark. But many states are relaxing restrictions, and there are signs of hope as vaccinations roll out and cases start to plateau in some states.

Cumulative Covid-19 cases worldwide are approaching 125 million, with more than 2.7 million deaths, according to Worldometer. In the U.S., cases have topped 30.6 million with nearly 557,000 deaths, although the number of new cases in the U.S. has slowed dramatically.

Dow Jones Winners And Losers

Caterpillar (CAT), Dow Inc. (DOW) and Chevron (CVX), up about 3% each, were the biggest blue chip gainers.

Caterpillar stock jumped 3.5% and in heavy trade. It’s advanced 24% this year and is about 50% extended from a 150.65 buy point cleared in October.

Among other Dow winners, Boeing (BA) lifted nearly 2% in fast turnover, on track to halt a four-day slide. Shares remain just above a 244.18 buy point of a 12-week cup base, according to MarketSmith chart analysis. Boeing stock is in potential buy range, which tops out at 256.39.

Intel (INTC), up more than 2% early Tuesday, reversed to a small loss. The chip giant said late Tuesday it will spend $20 billion to build two manufacturing plants in Arizona. On a weekly chart, Intel stock is near a 63.64 buy point of a cup with handle. On a daily chart, it’s about 2% away from a 65.22 entry point of a long double-bottom base.

Other Dow Jones losers included Disney (DIS) and Salesforce.com (CRM), off more than 1% each. Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT) and Nike (NKE) edged less than 1% lower.

Apple has been stuck below its 50-day moving average for five weeks now. It’s been trading tightly after finding support above its 200-day line. On Feb. 18, Apple triggered the 7%-8% loss-cutting sell rule when it fell more than 7% below a 138.89 buy point of a cup with handle.

Microsoft remains above its 50-day line. Shares are back above their 232.96 buy point and are approaching a 246.23 buy point in a new flat base.

Outside The Dow

Oil and gas, steel, and chip stocks led the upside among IBD’s 197 industry groups. But consumer electronics retailers, software and automaker stocks lagged.

Intel’s news boosted chip equipment stocks. ASML (ASML) led the IBD 50 as it soared 5% in heavy volume. ASML shares gapped up Wednesday, after testing its 50-day line on Tuesday. Shares are in week six of a potential base. The minimum length of a cup base is six weeks, so a new buy point could emerge at the end of the week.

Among other chip gear makers, Applied Materials (AMAT) surged 7%, while KLA (KLAC) and Lam Research (LRCX) rose a respective 4% and 3%.

The Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) fell 1% as China stocks Tencent Music Entertainment (TME), Vipshop (VIPS) and 360 DigiTech (QFIN) weighed.

In the consumer electronics retail group, GameStop (GME) plunged 20% after management abruptly ended a post-earnings conference call late Tuesday. The video game retailer missed Q4 estimates but reported strong comp sales in early Q1.

On Jan. 28, GME stock surged as high as 483 before plunging in February. Shares rebounded as high as 348.50 in March, but they closed Tuesday at 181.75.

Follow Nancy Gondo on Twitter at @IBD_NGondo

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