Dow Jones futures tilted higher overnight, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures. The stock market rally rebounded Wednesday, but in lower volume than the prior session. The major indexes are down for the week and off sharply in April.
FTNT stock, Marriott International (MAR), Raymond James Financial (RJF), Merck (MRK) and Ulta Beauty (ULTA) are five non-commodity plays to watch. Fortinet (FTNT), Marriott and RJF stock are working on handles, right around aggressive entries. Merck stock could be forming a handle, while ULTA stock broke out past a buy point.
Among megacaps, Apple (AAPL) and Tesla stock are trying to rise within handles.
UnitedHealth (UNH) reports before the open, kicking off health insurer earnings. UNH stock is slightly extended from a buy zone, along with rival Anthem (ANTM). Centene (CNC) and Molina Health (MOH) are in buy zones.
Tesla (TSLA) and ANTM stock are on IBD Leaderboard. FTNT stock is on IBD Long-Term Leaders. Tesla and Fortinet stock are on the IBD 50. Raymond James Financial was Wednesday’s IBD Stock Of The Day and added to SwingTrader.
The video embedded in this article discussed Wednesday’s market rally and analyzed Lululemon Athletica (LULU), Raymond James and MAR stock.
Dow Jones Futures Today
Dow Jones futures rose 0.1% vs. fair value. S&P 500 futures advanced 0.1% and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.15%.
Stock Market Rally
The stock market rally started Wednesday little changed but steadily improved throughout the session.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1% in Wednesday’s stock market trading. The S&P 500 index climbed 1.1%. The Nasdaq composite jumped 2%. The small-cap Russell 2000 leapt 1.9%.
The producer price index showed wholesale inflation surged 11.2% in March vs. a year earlier, a new record. That follows Tuesday’s report showing consumer inflation hitting a 40-year high of 8.5%.
But the 10-year Treasury yield fell for a second straight day, down 4 basis points to 2.69%.
U.S. crude oil prices popped 3.6% to $104.25 a barrel.
Among the best ETFs, the Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) climbed 2.4%, while the Innovator IBD Breakout Opportunities ETF (BOUT) advanced 1.4%. The iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF (IGV) rose 2.2%. The VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) bounced 2.4%.
U.S. Global Jets ETF (JETS) soared 5.3%. Airlines and other travel stocks rebounded on Delta Air Lines (DAL) earnings results and guidance. DAL stock and American Airlines (AAL) moved back above their 200-day lines.
SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) climbed 1.7%. The Energy Select SPDR ETF (XLE) rose 1.5% and the Financial Select SPDR ETF (XLF) was flat. The Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV) edged up 0.5%. UNH stock and Merck are major XLV holdings.
Stocks To Watch
FTNT stock rose 3.3% to 340.86, rebounding from a 21-day moving average. The cybersecurity firm has a 353.08 handle buy point. On Wednesday, shares came right up to a short downward-sloping trend line in the handle. Moving above that would offer an early entry. Fortinet stock has had wild moves in its consolidation, but has traded tightly in the past few weeks. While growth stocks have struggled, cybersecurity is one area that’s done reasonably well. Palo Alto Networks (PANW) and Qualys (QLYS) are breaking out and private equity continues to buy up various players.
MAR stock jumped 7.5% to 175.54 in above-average volume, ramping back above its 50-day line as travel stocks rebounded on Delta earnings. Marriott stock and a few other hotel plays made bullish moves in late March, but then fell sharply. MAR stock now has a 179.40 cup-with-handle buy point. Shares have already broken the downtrend of the handle, offering an early entry.
RJF stock rose 3.2% to 111.64, rebounding from its 50-day line and breaking a downtrend in its handle, offering an early entry. Raymond James has an official cup-with-handle buy point of 114.10, according to MarketSmith analysis.
MRK stock edged up 0.6% to 86.13, following two down sessions. Monday’s downside reversal ended a steady move up from late February for the Dow Jones component. Merck stock has a cup base with a 91.50 buy point, but appears to be working on a handle.
ULTA stock rose 2.4% to 415.50, closing above a 408.83 cup-with-handle buy point after trying to break out in the prior two sessions. The relative strength line has been rising sharply this month, hitting 52-week highs in recent sessions.
Apple, Tesla Stock
Apple stock rose 1.6% to 170.40, rebounding from its 50-day and coming up to around its 21-day line. The iPhone giant has a 179.71 handle buy point. Arguably, AAPL stock is breaking a downtrend in that handle, but investors might want to see a little more strength.
Tesla stock climbed 3.6% to 1,022.37, moving above its 21-day line. Shares are working on a 1,152.97 cup-with-handle buy point. At 10.7% above its 50-day line, this is not an attractive early entry for TSLA stock. Highly valued growth stocks had a strong bounce Wednesday, but are still struggling overall. Meanwhile, Tesla Shanghai has been shut since March 28 due to Covid restrictions and could be on hold for several more weeks.
Market Rally Analysis
The stock market rally rebounded Wednesday, paring weekly losses. The Dow Jones and S&P 500 index reclaimed their 50-day lines, but are below their 200-day averages.
The Nasdaq and Russell 2000 are still below their 50-day lines, though the small-cap index is getting close.
Even with their 2% gains, the Nasdaq and Russell 2000 had inside days vs. Tuesday’s range. Meanwhile, NYSE and Nasdaq volume fell vs. Tuesday, after two straight distribution days.
Growth stocks had a strong session, but with a few exceptions such as FTNT stock, Apple and Tesla, they are generally struggling with damaged charts.
Even more than with the major indexes, growth stocks need to show sustained gains before investors get excited.
The commodity sector remains strong, along with defense stocks and medicals such as UnitedHealth and MRK stock. Travel plays are trying to regain momentum, with MAR stock flashing an early entry.
What To Do Now
When the major indexes have a solid gain, even if those moves don’t notably change the charts, investors will start speculating about possible gains. But one strong day in a bad or choppy market is neither surprising nor especially encouraging.
The market rally remains under pressure.
Investors should have modest overall exposure at most, largely or entirely focused on commodity, medical and defense stocks. Aside from those strong sectors, there is very little broad-based strength.
If you do venture beyond those areas, keep positions very small, and definitely don’t get too concentrated into these areas.
Read The Big Picture every day to stay in sync with the market direction and leading stocks and sectors.
Please follow Ed Carson on Twitter at @IBD_ECarson for stock market updates and more.
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