The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied amid strong retail data and an earnings beat for Goldman Sachs (GS). Moderna (MRNA) fell amid reports that approval of its Covid vaccine for adolescents is being delayed due to heart condition fears. Virgin Galactic (SPCE) plunged on a delay, while American Express (AXP) was another top blue chip.
Stocks got a boost after retail sales for September came in much better than expected.
The Commerce Department reported sales rose 0.7% in September, while analysts expected a 0.1% decline. Commerce also revised its August sales figures upward to 0.9%.
However, the September sales figure of 0.7% minus vehicles and gas was in line with expectations.
Nasdaq Makes Shallow Gain, J.B. Hunt Stock Surges
The Nasdaq was lagging the other major indexes, rising about 0.4%. Hotel stock Marriot International (MAR) was faring best, rising more than 3%.
The S&P 500 was faring better than the Nasdaq, rising 0.6%. J.B. Hunt Transport Services (JBHT) was the top dog here, rising almost 10%. It broke out past a 184.48 buy point of a flat base, according to MarketSmith chart analysis.
U.S. Stock Market Today Overview
Last Update: 1:30 PM ET 10/15/2021
The S&P 500 sectors were mainly green, with consumer discretionary and financials leading. Consumer staples was the worst laggard.
Small caps were only up slightly, despite the strength in financials. The Russell 2000 gained almost 0.3%.
Growth stocks were faring only a bit better. The Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) rose 0.3%.
Dow Jones Today: Goldman Sachs Earnings, AXP Gains
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was faring best out of the major indexes, rising about 0.9%. It managed to peek back above its 50-day moving average. Closing the day above it would be a positive move.
Goldman Sachs was in the running to be the top Dow Jones stock of the day, rising nearly 3%. It rose in heavy volume and bullishly recaptured its 50-day moving average. Shares continue to work on a flat base with a 420.86 buy point.
Early Friday, Goldman reported Q3 results that easily beat views. Goldman earned $14.93 a share on revenue of $13.62 billion, well above Wall Street targets for $9.99 EPS on sales of $11.7 billion. Investment banking revenue soared 88% to $3.7 billion.
It was jousting for the top spot with American Express stock. The payments play was up by around the same amount, and the top position has been switching between the two.
AXP stock is near a cup-with-handle buy point of 178.90, according to MarketSmith.
Moderna Stock Dives Amid Covid Vaccine Delay
Moderna stock ceded gains and reversed lower on a Wall Street Journal report the FDA is delaying approving the use of its Covid vaccine in adolescents.
The agency is said to be holding off on making a decision on expanding use of the treatment to 12-to-17-year-olds while it investigates the risk of a rare heart condition.
It comes after four countries in Scandinavia took stances against giving the vaccine to young people last week.
Moderna had earlier benefited after an FDA panel recommended a booster dose of its Covid-19 vaccine for people 65 and over, as well as those at high risk.
Moderna stock fell more than 3% and remains rooted below its 50-day moving average. Its short-term moving averages are also declining.
But Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) was up nearly 1%. FDA advisers have endorsed a booster shot for its Covid-19 vaccine. They unanimously recommended that all adults who received a first dose of the vaccine get the second dose at least two months later.
Virgin Galactic Stock Craters On This
Virgin Galactic stock plunged after the firm announced a new delay. While it inched off lows for the day, SPCE stock remained down more than 15%.
The company, which was founded by billionaire Sir Richard Branson, said it will hold off on the launch of its commercial space service until Q4 of 2022.
It had previously been scheduled to blast off in the third quarter of that year.
Virgin Galactic is to use the time working on further improving its space vehicles. It has been a wild 2021 so far for SPCE stock, but it is now down almost 20% for the year.
The move comes after rival Blue Origin, which is backed by Amazon (AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos, made waves by jetting Star Trek actor William Shatner into space.
5 Stocks Pass Buy Points
Boot Barn is in a buy zone after breaking out of a rare ascending base pattern, according to MarketSmith analysis. The entry point here is 99.74.
The retail stock, which sells Western and work-related apparel, benefited from the strong retail figures. It’s seeing strong earnings and price performance.
Saia is actionable after passing a flat-base buy point of 259.23. The trucking company is seeing its relative strength line pick up amid haulage demand.
However earnings are due in 13 days, which makes purchasing now a riskier move.
An approach highlighted by Investor’s Business Daily is to use options as a strategy to reduce risk around earnings. It’s a way to capitalize on the upside potential of a stock’s move around earnings, while reducing the downside risk.
East West Bancorp (EWBC) moved above a consolidation pattern buy point of 82.63. Earnings are also imminent here, making it a potential options play. Overall performance is solid, however.
Nordson (NDSN) managed to clear a flat-base buy point of 246.01. However, volume was light. The adhesives and sealants play is a solid performer, but it is only in the top 26% of stocks in terms of market performance over the past 12 months.
Textainer Group (TGH) is in a buy zone after breaking out of a cup base. The buy point here is 36.90, and volume was solid on this move. Textainer, which has top notch earnings and market performance, focuses on purchasing, leasing, and resale of marine cargo containers.
Please follow Michael Larkin on Twitter at @IBD_MLarkin for more on growth stocks and analysis.
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