The stock market was well off session lows Monday. Wall Street was spooked early by news of a new coronavirus strain in the U.K, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average pared a 400-point intraday loss and turned positive in afternoon trading. The Dow Jones was buoyed by strength in JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Nike (NKE). Tesla (TSLA), eBay (EBAY) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) lagged in the Nasdaq 100.
JPMorgan gapped above the 120 level and a 123.60 buy point. Sentiment was positive in the financial sector after the Federal Reserve’s latest stress tests gave top banks a conditional green light to buy back shares again in Q1. Goldman Sachs also gapped up and crossed the 250 level. But it’s too late to buy Goldman after the stock gapped out of a 17-week consolidation in November.
Tesla was down 5% after soaring 6% Friday to another record high. Volume was very heavy Friday as options expired and index funds bought up shares ahead of Tesla stock joining the S&P 500 index before today’s open.
U.S. Stock Market Today Overview
Last Update: 2:54 PM ET 12/21/2020
With about one hour left to go in the session, the Dow Jones was up 0.3%, while the Nasdaq composite, S&P 500 and Russell 2000 small-cap index showed losses of around 0.1% to 0.2%. Volume on the NYSE was lower compared to the same time Friday. Nasdaq volume was slightly higher.
Among the best ETFs, the Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) pared a 1.9% intraday loss to mostly flat. The Innovator IBD Breakout Opportunities ETF (BOUT) climbed 0.7%. The iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF (IGV) edged up 0.1%, and the VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) dipped 1.4%.
Dow Jones Winners
Nike outperformed in the Dow Jones today, helped by a strong earnings report late Friday. Adjusted profit unexpectedly rose 11% to 78 cents in its fiscal Q2. Sales advanced 9% to $11.24 billion after two down quarters. Digital sales surged 84%, up from 82% in Q1 and 75% in Q4.
Microsoft (MSFT) also did well in the Dow Jones after climbing above its 50-day moving average last week. But its relative strength line has been lagging, along with those of other large-cap technology stocks like Amazon.com (AMZN) and Netflix (NFLX).
On Saturday, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson put London and Southeast England on full lockdown, with all nonessential businesses closed through Dec. 30. Johnson cited a new, more-infectious Covid-19 strain. European nations and several other countries suspended travel to and from the U.K. over the new coronavirus mutation.
The FDA late Friday gave emergency use approval to the Moderna (MRNA) coronavirus vaccine.
Growth Stocks On The Move
Exact Sciences (EXAS) topped a 139.36 buy point. Shares were up nearly 4% to 142.35. The molecular diagnostics firm is known for it noninvasive screening test called Cologuard for the early detection of colorectal cancer.
Inside the IBD 50, Chegg (CHGG) looked poised for its eighth straight gain, up 3% to 90. It’s trying to clear a cup base with a 90.09 buy point, but it’s rallied a lot without much consolidation. New buyers might want to wait for a low-volume pullback.
In the MarketSmith Growth 250, Rent-A-Center (RCII) popped 10% to 38.86. Shares were strong after the company announced plans to buy Acima Holdings, a leading provider of virtual lease-to-own solutions.
Follow Ken Shreve on Twittter @IBD_KShreve for more stock market analysis and insight.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: