Dow Jones Futures Fall On Surprise Jobless Claims; Amazon, Apple To Report

Dow Jones futures fell, while those of other major indexes shook off Federal Reserve-fueled losses Thursday as investors digested a surprise jump in unemployment figures. That came as investors prepared for Magnificent Seven stocks Amazon (AMZN) and Apple (AAPL) to report earnings after the market close.


Before the opening bell, tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures rebounded 0.5% in premarket action. Dow Jones futures were down less than 0.1%, while the S&P 500 rose 0.3%.

Among U.S. exchange traded funds, the Nasdaq 100 tracker Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) was up 0.6%, while the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) gained 0.4%.

The 10-year Treasury yield continued to tumble, down to 3.9%. Further, oil prices looked to bounce back from Wednesday’s losses, as West Texas Intermediate futures rose 1%. WTI futures traded near $76.50 a barrel.

Initial jobless claims from the Labor Department came in higher than expected Thursday morning, rising to 224,000 vs. 214,000 in the previous week. Claims were expected to hold steady at 214,000, per Econoday estimates.

Other economic reports are due Thursday, including S&P Global’s final manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for January. The index is expected to rise to 50.3, unchanged from the mid-month reading. The PMI is due at 9:45 a.m.

Also, the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index is expected to remain unchanged in January, at 47.4. That reading is expected at 10 a.m.

Earnings Reports: Amazon, Apple To Report

Key earnings movers Thursday include Align Technology (ALGN), Merck (MRK), Nextracker (NXT), Qualcomm (QCOM), Royal Caribbean (RCL) and Tractor Supply (TSCO).

Align shares soared 15%, while Nextracker catapulted 17% higher in early action. Dow Jones giant Merck rallied 1.6% in early trading, as Qualcomm shares declined 2%. Finally, Royal Caribbean jumped more than 3%, while Tractor Supply shares lost 1%.

Looking ahead, Magnificent Seven stocks Amazon and Apple will report after the close. Amazon shares are just off their recent highs, while Apple stock gave up its key 50-day line in recent sessions.

Dow Jones Slides

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average moved down 0.8% and the S&P 500 declined 1.6%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite sold off 2.2%.

Wednesday’s Big Picture column commented, “The sharpest moment of the day’s sell-off? It came after Fed Chair Jerome Powell commented during a news conference that the U.S. central bank is unlikely to begin lowering the cost of money in March. Yet in reality, the bond market wasn’t really convinced, either, that the fed funds rate would get lowered from its current range of 5.25%-5.5% at the Fed’s next meeting two months from now.”

Now is an important time to read IBD’s The Big Picture column amid the continuing stock market rally. Be sure to read how to adjust to changing market conditions, with IBD’s new exposure levels.

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Best Stocks To Buy And Watch

DraftKings (DKNG), KKR (KKR), Novo Nordisk (NVO) and Snowflake (SNOW) — plus Dow Jones components Amgen (AMGN), Merck and Walmart (WMT) — are among the best stocks to buy and watch in the current market rally.

KKR and Walmart were featured in this Stocks Near A Buy Zone column. DraftKings is an IBD Leaderboard Watchlist stock, while KKR is on IBD SwingTrader.

Get Real-time Buy And Sell Alerts On Stock Market Leaders With IBD Leaderboard

Dow Jones: Merck Rallies On Earnings

Biotech leader Amgen inched lower Wednesday, holding out of the 5% buy range past a 288.46 official buy point in a flat base. The 5% buy area went up to 302.88. Amgen shares lost a fraction Thursday.

With its gains Thursday, drugmaker Merck is breaking out past a cup base’s 119.65 buy point, according to IBD MarketSmith pattern recognition. Shares finished barely above their entry amid a 0.8% drop Wednesday.

Discount retail giant Walmart is in buy range past a 163.57 entry in a cup with handle, despite a slight fall Wednesday. The stock was up 0.9% early Thursday.

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DraftKings Holds Buy Point

IBD Leaderboard Watchlist stock DraftKings declined 3.1% Wednesday, closing just above a double-bottom base’s official buy point at 38.97. DraftKings stock bounced 1.4% higher Thursday morning.

IBD SwingTrader stock KKR remains above an 85.66 flat-base entry despite a 1.3% drop Wednesday. Shares climbed 1.6% Thursday morning.

Novo Nordisk, the maker of weight-loss drugs, jumped 5.2% Wednesday and moved through its buy range past a 105.69 flat-base buy point. Novo shares gave up 1.3% early Thursday.

Software leader Snowflake gave up a 202.83 buy point in a flat base with a 5.1% dive Wednesday, according to IBD MarketSmith. Snowflake shares rebounded 0.6% Thursday.

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Best Bets In Today’s Action

These are four best stocks to watch in today’s stock market, including a Dow Jones leader.

Company NameSymbolCorrect Buy PointType Of Buy Point
Novo Nordisk (NVO)105.69Flat base
Merck (MRK)119.65Cup base
DraftKings (DKNG)39.35Cup base
Spotify (SPOT)202.88Flat base
Source: IBD Data As Of Jan. 31, 2024

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Magnificent Seven Stocks: Nvidia, Tesla

Magnificent Seven stocks Nvidia (NVDA) and Tesla (TSLA) each rallied 1% in premarket action Thursday.

Nvidia added 0.5% Wednesday, more than 20% past a a 505.48 buy point in a flat base after a Jan. 8 breakout move. Shares set more record highs.

Tesla skidded 2.2% Wednesday, snapping a three-day win streak and moving back near its recent lows.

Dow Jones Leaders: Apple

Among Dow Jones stocks in the Magnificent Seven, Apple and Microsoft (MSFT) traded higher ahead of Thursday’s stock market open.

Apple stock fell 1.9% Wednesday, extending a losing streak to six sessions and closing further below its 50-day line. Shares are about 6% away from their cup-with-handle’s 196.38 buy point. Shares rose 0.5% early Thursday ahead of the company’s earnings results.

Microsoft shares tumbled 2.7% Wednesday, falling back into buy range past a 384.30 buy point in a flat base. The software giant added 0.9% Thursday morning.

Be sure to follow Scott Lehtonen on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @IBD_SLehtonen for more on growth stocks and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.


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