Dow Jones Tests Key Level, Falls After Surprise Unemployment Claims; Microsoft’s new Bing reaches 100 million daily users

The Dow Jones Industrial Average solidified its losses, dropping more than 1% at 3pm ET on Thursday. The blue chip index encountered resistance at the 50-day moving average on Monday and is poised to test its 200-day moving average.


Apple (AAPL) trimmed early gains. The techitan received another analyst upgrade on Thursday. Intel (INTC) was the lone winner in the Dow. JPMorgan Pursuit (JPM) and Walgreens (WBA) dragged the index the most. JPM is on track for the biggest drop since January 14, 2022.

The S&P 500 was down 1.5% and the Nasdaq was down 1.7%. Both traded at session lows and tested their 200-day moving averages.

Some stocks gained in the S&P 500. General Electric (No PayPal (PYPL) were big movers. General Electric issued bullish guidance for 2023, propelling stocks to near five-year highs. GE spun off its healthcare business in January to focus on aerospace, energy and renewables.

Tech leaders, however, were largely lower (AMZN) and Advanced micro devices (AMD) did relatively better. The Nasdaq fell 1.5%, partly due to Chinese internet stocks JD. com (JD), whose earnings disappointed, and PDD (PDD), formerly known as Pinduoduo, who received sympathy.

Volume on the NYSE was higher and lower on the Nasdaq compared to the same time on Wednesday.

The small-cap Russell 2000 index also had a bad day, falling more than 1.5% in the afternoon.

The Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) fell 2.5%.

Crude oil fell 1.2% to $75.72 a barrel.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury benchmark fell 5 basis points to 3.93%.

Jobless claims rose more than expected, reaching 211,000 in the week ending March 4, up from 190,000 in the previous week. Comerica chief economist Bill Adams said the warmer winter this year has boosted hiring. That may now be starting to fade, showing that “the labor market is past maximum tightness”. Friday’s jobs report is likely to show the unemployment rate unchanged at 3.4% – “the lowest in more than half a century”.

Dow Jones leaders

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives was the latest to join a growing group of analysts becoming optimistic about technology leader Apple. Ives raised his price target from 180 to 190 for the Cupertino, California-based electronics giant. Earlier, Goldman Sachs’ Michael Ng showed confidence for a 199 goal and started with a Buy rating, while Morgan Stanley analyst Erik Woodring saw the stock reach 180 on a spike in iPhone subscriptions.

Shares of Microsoft previously rose 1% but remained flat in late trading. The new AI-powered Bing search engine reached 100 million daily active users. The new Bing offers search, chat, and replies, as well as content creation features, all in one place.

Banking sector stirred

Salespeople swarmed the banking sector. The KBW Bank index of 24 leading banks fell 6.4%, at the pace of its worst day since June 26, 2020, according to Dow Jones Market Data. SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE) fell 6.5%.

Silicon Valley Bank mother SVB Financial Group (SIVB) had its value halved following news that it is offering $1.25 billion in stock to help it through its rapid cash burn.

Brokerage Karl Schwab (SCHW) fell nearly 10% and was on track for the biggest drop since April 2022.

A new wave of sales sent a crypto company Silvergate (SI) falters further on Thursday after news it will close. Bitcoin fell almost 3%.

Outside the financial sector, equities of Asana (ASAN) rose more than 20% in strong volume after earnings. The workflow management platform firm also gave a strong outlook.

BJ’s wholesale (BJ) also rose on strong earnings. Shares are in a buy zone above a buy point of 76.04.

Please follow Ramakrishnan for more news about the stock market today.


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