The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied as jobless claims plunged and retail spending ramped up. Hot new issue Coinbase Global (COIN) rose after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell likened Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to gold. UnitedHealth (UNH) and Apple (AAPL) were among the top blue chips.
The market rally comes after the Labor Department reported first-time applications for unemployment claims fell to the lowest number in more than a year. They dipped to 576,000 in the week ended April 10, a hefty 22% drop from the prior week’s 744,000 claims. This was far below the 695,000 new filings projected by economists.
Meanwhile retail sales soared 9.8% in March, according to the Commerce Department. This was up from February’s 3% decline and well above economist targets for a 5.6% gain. Minus vehicles and gas, sales rose 8.2% vs. February’s 3.3% drop, and against expectations for a 4.4% gain. Stimulus checks were seen as a key reason for the boost in spending.
Manufacturing surveys from the Philadelphia and New York Federal Reserve banks also came in much stronger than expected.
Nasdaq, S&P 500 Rally
The Nasdaq was the best performing major index amid a tech stock rally. It was up around 1%. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) was the top performer, posting a gain of around 6%.
U.S. Stock Market Today Overview
Last Update: 1:18 PM ET 4/15/2021
The S&P 500 was close behind, posting a gain of around 0.9%. Xilinx (XLNX) was among the biggest gainers, rising almost 6%.
The S&P sectors were broadly positive, with more winners than losers. Health and technology were leading.
Small caps were struggling, with the Russell 2000 slipping around 0.3%.
Growth stocks were also lagging, with the Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) up around 0.2%.
Apple Stock Helps Dow Jones
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was lagging the other major indexes, turning in a gain of around 0.8%
Apple stock was among the best performers, rising around 2%. It is now closing in on a new cup base buy point of 145.19, according to MarketSmith analysis.
But UnitedHealth was making the biggest strides after crushing Wall Street estimates. EPS jumped 42.7% to $5.31 as revenue climbed 9% to $70.2 billion.
UNH stock was up almost 4%. It has rallied out of buy zone after previously passing a 368.05 flat base buy point.
Coinbase Stock Rallies; Powell Likens Bitcoin To Gold
Coinbase stock was up more almost 2% in its second day of trading. It is well up on its reference price of 250 per share for its direct listing on the Nasdaq.
CAN SLIM rules advise against jumping into initial public offerings too early, amid all the initial offering speculation and excitement. This is especially the case with direct listings, which do not undergo the same levels of scrutiny as a traditional IPO.
Coinbase was rallying after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell likened Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to gold, though not in the most complimentary of ways.
“For thousands of years, human beings have given gold a special value that it doesn’t have,” he told the Economic Club of New York.
Indeed he criticized cryptocurrencies overall, saying they are “really vehicles for speculation.” He highlighted the fact they are being used as a store of value, rather than as a payments mechanism.
His predecessor Janet Yellen, who is now Treasury Secretary, is also not a fan of cryptocurrencies. She has said they are an “extremely inefficient way of conducting transactions,” and described the amount of energy consumed processing transactions as “staggering.”
Bitcoin was down more than 1%, and was sitting just above the $63,500 mark, according to CoinDesk.
Nvidia Stock Rises In Buy Zone
Nvidia stock posted a strong gain of around 5%. It moved higher in its buy zone after previously passing a cup-without-handle base buy point of 615.
It comes after Raymond James upgraded the chip stock to a strong buy from outperform. It believes the firm is well positioned for both the short and the long term.
Advanced Micro Devices stock also got a boost after the firm initiated coverage with an outperform rating. The stock gained almost 6%, and was the top performer on both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500.
Chip stocks were rallying broadly, with the VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) up almost 1%. However, Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) fell despite posting better than expected Q1 earnings after guiding slightly lower for current-quarter revenue. It was down around 3%.
APAM Stock Breaks Out
Artisan Partners Asset Management broke out of a consolidation pattern, though volume was not ideal. It is sitting in buy zone after passing a 55.35 buy point.
It is well clear of its 50-day moving average, and its RS line is bending upward.
The investment stock holds a near perfect Composite Rating of 98. Earning are its strongest suit, with its EPS Rating sitting at 84.
Please follow Michael Larkin on Twitter at @IBD_MLarkin for more on growth stocks and analysis.
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