The stock market traded lower by early afternoon as techs lagged and oil stocks gained. Consumer sentiment in March fell to its lowest point in nearly 11 years.
At around 1:30 p.m. ET, the Nasdaq fell 0.8% after some software and chip stocks eased. The S&P 500 eased 0.1%. Still, the Nasdaq and the S&P are up more than 1% this week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.1%. The small-cap Russell 2000 lost 0.4%. Volume rose on the Nasdaq and fell on the NYSE compared with the same time on Thursday.
Cannabis stocks were some of the session’s best performing.
Consumer Pessimism Drags Stock Market Lower
The consumer sentiment report by the University of Michigan showed consumers are more pessimistic now than during the pandemic, as a result of rising inflation, rising rates and the Russia-Ukraine war. The index came in at 59.4 in March, down from 84.9 in March 2021.
U.S. Stock Market Today Overview
|Last Update: 1:32 PM ET 3/25/2022|
Treasury yields continued higher, jumping 10 basis points to 2.48%.
The price of U.S. crude oil — a focal point for the stock market — gained 0.9% to 113.25 a barrel. The S&P Energy Select ETF gained 1.7%, leading all sectors.
The U.S. pledged to boost shipments of liquefied natural gas to Europe, as the European Union seeks to reduce its dependence on Russian natural gas. The U.S. aims to ship 50 billion cubic meters of LNG to Europe annually through at least 2030, officials said Friday, up from the record-high 22 billion cubic meters of LNG it purchased from the U.S. last year.
Microsoft (MSFT) edged down 1.4% and is slightly below its 200-day moving average.
Apple (AAPL) slid 0.6% and is on track to break its eight-day streak of gains. It is closing in on a double-bottom base entry of 176.75.
Likewise, Tesla (TSLA) slid 0.9% and was in danger of breaking its eight-day streak of gains. The stock has soared 30% since March 14.
Semiconductor stocks, which have been rebounding, fell Friday. IShares Expanded Tech Software (IGV) dropped 2.2%. Chip leader Alpha & Omega Semiconductor dipped 2% but is still above its 5% buy range that topped out at 62.45 in the wake of Thursday’s 8.4% jump, according to IBD MarketSmith chart analysis.
Energy Stocks Gain As Oil Soars
Oil explorers, however, led gainers in the stock market.
Range Resources (RRC), Civitas Resources (CIVI) and Antero Resources (AR) all jumped between 6-10% Friday. All three were well past their buy ranges. And CNX Resources (CNX) extended past its profit-taking range.
Major energy companies also gained. Chevron (CVX) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) were each up as much as 1.8%.
Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) pared gains to 4% after the retailer reached an agreement with activist investor Ryan Cohen, who has been pushing for the company to explore a sale and other strategic alternatives. Cohen owns a 9.8% stake in Bed Bath & Beyond.
Under the pact, the company will add three board directors designated by Cohen. The retailer’s stock soared March 7 after Cohen disclosed his stake in the company. Shares have seen several spikes as they try to recover from a decline of more than a year.
Micron Technology (MU) gapped down ahead of earnings due Tuesday after the close. The Zacks consensus estimate is for adjusted profit of $1.95 a share, up 99% from the year-ago quarter, with revenue up 20% to $7.51 billion. Annual earnings estimates look solid, with profit expected to rise 52% in fiscal 2022 (ending in August) and 36% in fiscal 2023.
MU stock gapped up on March 16, but the stock’s 200-day moving average has been a resistance level for a couple of weeks.
Cannabis Among Stock Market Winners
Cannabis stocks are trying to rebound from a yearlong slump that took some of those under 10 a share. The U.S. House of Representatives next week will consider a bill to decriminalize marijuana.
MG Prime Alternative Harvest (MJ), an ETF that tracks cannabis stocks, rose 3.2%. Tilray Brands (TLRY) jumped 12% today. Canopy Growth (CGC) added 4%.
WillScot Mobile Mini (WSC) broke out of a double-bottom base with a 39.74 buy point. Volume was heavy. Earlier this week, the provider of portable storage products said it acquired a portfolio of blast-resistant modules from Satellite Structures.
WillScot got airplay in Friday’s IBD Live show.
Follow Michael Molinski on Twitter @IMmolinski
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