The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 350 points on Thursday amid the Labor Department’s unemployment claims figures and other key economic data. On deck, the Department of Labor’s key jobs report is due Friday morning.
First-time jobless claims were flat at 217,000, below estimates that called for a rise to 222,000. Meanwhile, the U.S. Services Purchasing Managers Index, or PMI, measured 47.8, above estimates for a reading of 46.6. Finally, the ISM services index which measures activity in non-manufacturing services fell to 54.4, below estimates of 55.4.
Friday’s jobs report from the Labor Department is expected to show the US economy added 210,000 jobs in October, up from 263,000 in September.
The main drivers of earnings on Thursday were Albemarle (ALB), WHAT (APA), shares of the IBD ranking Energy Cheniere (LNG), CF Industries (CF) and Conoco Phillips (COP). Other moving included Etsy (ETSY), Fortinet (FTNT), Qualcomm (QCOM), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (RAIN), Year (ROKU) and World wrestling entertainment (WWE).
Albemarle shares were down 5% in early morning trading, while APA shares slid about 2%. Cheniere fell 4%, while CF Industries fell 3%. Conoco rose 3%, while Etsy stock jumped 6% and Fortinet fell 19%. Qualcomm plunged 7% and REGN stock fell 3% in early trading. ROKU stock plunged nearly 16% as WWE stock fell slightly.
Electric vehicle giant You’re here (TSLA) traded down 1% on Thursday morning, while technology leaders the Dow Jones Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) were also significantly lower after today’s stock market open.
Some of the best stocks to buy and watch include Dycom (DY), IBD SwingTrader Stocks General dollar (DG) and Pure storage (PSTG) — as well as Dow Jones stocks Chevron (CLC) and UnitedHealth (A H). Keep in mind that the currently difficult stock market rally is a reason for investors to play more defense.
Dollar General is an IBD SwingTrader stock. Pure Storage was featured in this week’s Stocks Near A Buy Zone column, along with three other stock ideas. Pure Storage was also an IBD stock of the day on Friday.
Dow Jones Today: Treasury Yields, Oil Prices
After Thursday’s opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.1%, while S&P 500 futures fell 1.3%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite sold 1.4% in morning action.
Among exchange-traded funds, the Nasdaq 100 tracker Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) traded down 1.2% and the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) lost 1%.
The 10-year Treasury yield jumped to 4.19% on Thursday morning. Meanwhile, US oil prices fell more than 1%, poised to break a two-day winning streak. West Texas Intermediate futures are supported by their 50-day moving average, trading above $88 a barrel.
Stock market rally struggles
On Thursday, the stock market plunged following hawkish comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.55%, while the S&P 500 fell 2.5%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite plunged 3.4%.
Wednesday’s The Big Picture warned: “As seen in the accompanying Market Pulse, the actual number of distribution days, or pronounced selling episodes, remains low. But at 10,524, the Nasdaq effectively dumped all of its slight gains since a tracking day took place on Oct. 21.
Now is an important time to read IBD’s The Big Picture column. Following recent selling, investors should focus more on defending than buying breakouts.
Five Dow Jones Stocks to Buy and Watch Now
Dow Jones stocks to buy and watch: Merck, UnitedHealth
Dow Jones and IBD 50 member Merck is out of the buy range past the 93.12 buy point of a double bottom base, according to IBD MarketSmith pattern recognition. Merck shares fell slightly on Thursday.
Healthcare giant UnitedHealth is trying to surpass the 553.23 buy point of a cup with handle, according to IBD MarketSmith. The shares fell 0.7% on Wednesday, falling further below their last entry. UNH stock traded a fraction lower on Thursday morning.
4 growth stocks to watch in the currentrStock market rally
Top stocks to watch: Dollar General, Dycom, Pure Storage
Dollar General fell further below a buy point of 259.75 in a cup basis, as DG shares lost 1.75% on Wednesday to fall for a third straight day. If the stock retakes this critical level, the 5% pursuit zone will rise to 272.74. Shares of DG were down 0.8% early Thursday.
Dycom tries to break 120.55 buy point by a cup base. Shares slid 3.3% on Wednesday, once again falling below the buy point. If the stock is able to regain entry, the 5% buy zone rises to 126.58. Dycom shares fell 1.2% on Thursday,
Friday’s IBD stock Pure Storage rose above the 31.62 buy point on Tuesday, but gave up that entry on Wednesday’s 2.4% decline. The stock was down 1.5% on Thursday.
Join IBD experts as they analyze the top stocks of the current stock market rally on IBD Live
Tesla stock slipped 5.6% on Wednesday, giving up most of its recent gains and heading back to recent lows. Stocks are around 48% off their 52-week high and significantly below their 50- and 200-day moving averages.
Shares of the electric vehicle giant were down 1% on Thursday morning.
Dow Jones Leaders: Apple, Microsoft
Among Dow Jones stocks, Apple shares sold 3.7% on Wednesday, down sharply for a third straight day. Now, stocks are back below their 50-day line. Apple stock traded up 1.7% on Thursday.
Microsoft fell 3.5% on Wednesday, closing just off its 52-week low. The software giant is around 37% off its 52-week high. Microsoft shares lost 0.3% on Thursday morning.
Be sure to follow Scott Lehtonen on Twitter at @IBD_SLehtonen to learn more about growth stocks and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
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