Dow Jones futures rallied Friday after stronger-than-expected U.S. retail sales data came out before the market open. Earnings season continues, with reports out Friday morning from BlackRock (BLK), Dow Jones stock UnitedHealth (UNH) and Wells Fargo (WFC).
BlackRock shares dropped around 1% after its second-quarter results. Citigroup (C) rallied 4% after its Q2 earnings results. UnitedHealth jumped 2% on strong earnings results. Wells Fargo shares declined 1.5% in early trade on missed Q2 targets.
Tesla (TSLA) inched lower early Friday. Elsewhere, Dow Jones tech leaders Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) were both up a fraction before today’s stock market open.
In a volatile stock market environment, Dow Jones leaders Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Merck (MRK) and UnitedHealth — as well as BJ’s Wholesale Club (BJ), Dollar Tree (DLTR), Northrop Grumman (NOC) and Quanta Services (PWR) — are among the stocks to watch. Keep in mind that ongoing stock market volatility is a reason to stay defensive.
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Northrop is an IBD Leaderboard stock. BJ’s is an IBD 50 stock. Dollar Tree is a new IBD SwingTrader stock. Quanta was an IBD Stock Of The Day last week. Northrop was featured in this week’s Stocks Near A Buy Zone column.
Dow Jones Today: Treasury Yields, Oil Prices, Retail Sales
Before Friday’s open, Dow Jones futures moved up 1.1%, S&P 500 futures gained 0.9% and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.8% vs. fair value. Remember that overnight action in Dow futures and elsewhere doesn’t necessarily translate into actual trading in the next regular stock market session.
Among exchange-traded funds, the Nasdaq 100 tracker Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) moved up 0.8%. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) rose 0.9%.
Solar and some other renewable energy-related stocks took some hard early hits after Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., said he won’t support climate or tax provisions in a big Democratic spending package. Enphase Energy (ENPH) dived 5%. SunPower (SPWR) dropped 6.2%.
Micron Technology (MU) swung nearly 3% higher premarket, as a number of chip stocks advanced. News reports on Thursday noted attempts by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to fast-track a $52 billion bill aimed at boosting U.S. domestic chip production. A vote could occur as early as Tuesday, according to unnamed sources.
The 10-year Treasury yield ticked lower to 2.94% Friday morning, giving back a large part of Thursday’s rise to 2.96%. Meanwhile, U.S. oil prices added to Thursday’s rebound, rising more than 1.5% in early action. West Texas Intermediate traded above $97 per barrel after briefly falling to its lowest level since April 11 on Thursday.
U.S. retail sales came out at 8:30 a.m. ET. Retail sales rose 1% in June, topping estimates that called for a rise of 0.9% vs. a 0.3% decline in May.
Stock Market Rally
On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.5%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.3%. The Nasdaq inched higher, and the small-cap Russell 2000 sold off 1.1%.
Thursday’s The Big Picture column commented, “The struggling stock market uptrend ran into more problems Thursday, as the stock market briefly sold off sharply and indexes slid about 2%. But for a second straight day, the market ended well off early morning lows.”
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Dow Jones Earnings: UnitedHealth
Health insurance giant UnitedHealth closed below its double bottom’s 507.36 buy point amid Thursday’s 0.2% gain. Early Friday, the company reported stronger-than-expected quarterly results, sending shares up 1.5% Friday morning.
UNH stock shows a strong 96 out of a perfect 99 IBD Composite Rating, per the IBD Stock Checkup. Investors can use the IBD Composite Rating to easily gauge the quality of a stock’s fundamental and technical metrics.
Four Dow Jones Stocks To Watch Now
Dow Jones Stocks To Watch: Johnson & Johnson, Merck
Dow Jones leader Johnson & Johnson remains about 3% below a double-bottom base’s 181.84 buy point, according to IBD MarketSmith chart analysis. The company reports earnings on Tuesday. JNJ shares were unchanged Friday morning. The company reports second-quarter results on Tuesday.
Drug giant Merck rose 0.1% Thursday, and is just below its flat base’s 95.02 buy point. Merck shares traded flat early Friday.
3 Top Growth Stocks To Watch In The Current Stock Market Rally
Top Stocks To Watch: BJs, Dollar Tree, Northrop, Quanta
IBD 50 stock BJ’s Wholesale is at the top of the 5% buy range above a 67 buy point from a cup-with-handle base after Thursday’s 2.9% rise. The stock’s relative strength line is at new highs, which is a sign of big stock market outperformance. Shares were unchanged early Friday.
IBD SwingTrader stock Dollar Tree reclaimed its cup-with-handle’s 166.45 buy point Thursday, rallying 1.7%. Another positive note is the discount retailer’s RS line, which hit a new high Thursday. Dollar Tree stock shows a strong 97 out of a best-possible 99 IBD Composite Rating, per the IBD Stock Checkup. Dollar Tree shares inched higher Friday morning.
IBD Leaderboard stock Northrop Grumman is building a new flat base that has a 492.40 buy point. NOC shares gave up support around their key 50-day line Thursday. The stock was flat Friday.
Quanta Services is putting the finishing touches on a cup-with-handle base that has a 138.56 buy point, according to IBD MarketSmith chart analysis. Shares are about 5% away from the latest entry after Thursday’s 0.1% rise. Shares traded unchanged in morning trade.
Join IBD experts as they analyze leading stocks in the current stock market rally on IBD Live
Tesla stock rallied 0.5% Thursday, rising for a second straight day. Shares looked to add to those gains, but fell a fraction in morning trade Friday.
Shares are beneath their 50-day line and even further below their 200-day line ahead of the company’s July 20 earnings report date. Tesla stock traded as high as 1,243.49 on Nov. 4. Shares are about 43% off that record high. Tesla reports its second-quarter results on Wednesday.
Dow Jones Leaders: Apple, Microsoft
Among Dow Jones stocks, Apple shares rallied 2.05% Thursday, moving further above the 50-day line after last week’s bullish gains. Shares remain far below their long-term 200-day line and are about 19% off their 52-week high. Apple earnings are due out July 28. Apple shares traded flat early Friday.
Microsoft rose 0.5% Thursday, but is still below the 50-day line. The stock closed about 27% off its 52-week high. The software giant will report quarterly results on July 26. Microsoft shares dipped 0.3% early Friday even after BMO Capital lowered its price target from 345 to 305.
Be sure to follow Scott Lehtonen on Twitter at @IBD_SLehtonen for more on growth stocks and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
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