Dow Falls As Fed Minutes Loom; Cathie Wood Makes 3 New Year Picks

Major indexes pared some losses but continued to show weakness in early afternoon trades on the second trading day of the year.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4% Wednesday just ahead of the Fed minutes. The index had just hit a record high on Tuesday.


The S&P 500 fell 0.5% in the stock market today. The Nasdaq is risking a break of support at the 21-day exponential moving average; it lagged by 0.8%.

Volume was higher on the NYSE and lower on the Nasdaq vs. the same time on Tuesday. Decliners beat advancers by nearly 3-to-1 on both main exchanges.

The small-cap Russell 2000 dived over 2%, while the Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) showed weak action as well with a 2.1% fall.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was unchanged at 3.93%.

In economic data, the Institute of Supply Management’s monthly survey found that manufacturing rose to 47.4 vs. a consensus estimate of 47.2 for December. In November, the index came in at 46.7. A reading below 50 shows slowing activity.

Elsewhere, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, for November came in at 8.79 million. Wall Street expected it to rise to 8.75 million from October’s 8.73 million, according to Econoday.

The major stock indexes were already lower before the economic data came out at 10 a.m. ET, and went down some more when the reports were released.

The minutes from the Fed meeting in December are due at 2 p.m. ET. A majority of traders expect rates to remain unchanged in January and put a 67.2% chance of a rate cut in March.

Dow Jones Stocks

In the Dow, Caterpillar (CAT) remained 2% lower in afternoon trades and below a buy point of 293.88. Intel (INTC) fell below the 20% level that marks a profit-taking opportunity from the last breakout at 40.07. The chip bellwether is planning to spin off its artificial-intelligence software segment.

Shares of Apple (AAPL) are falling below the 50-day moving average after a sharp fall on Tuesday. But Microsoft (MSFT) is holding above its 50-day line of support. Health care leaders in the Dow also did well. UnitedHealth (UNH) and Merck (MRK) rose as they continued to form bases.

Health care stocks did well in the S&P 500 too. Eli Lilly (LLY) and Cardinal Health (CAH) continued to rebound from the 50-day moving average after clearing the level on Tuesday. McKesson (MCK) reached an all-time high. Vertex Pharmaceuticals[ticker symb=VRTX] rose above a buy zone from 387.42.

Cathie Wood’s New Year Picks

Fund manager Cathie Wood picked three stocks in the new year for the ARK Invest portfolios: streaming devices stock Roku (ROKU), aerospace and defense stock Rocket Lab (RKLB) and biotech Recursion Pharmaceuticals (RXRX). All three are trading more than 75% below their all-time highs.

Key Support Level On Watch For Magnificent Seven

Some of the Magnificent Seven stocks are testing support at the 50-day line. Nvidia (NVDA) fell 1.4% in early trades but trimmed its loss to 1.2% and remains just above its 50-day line.

Tesla (TSLA) continued to weigh on the Nasdaq with a fall of over 3%. Shares are just above the 50-day line. The electric-vehicle maker delivered 94,139 cars in China in December. Annual China sales increased 68.7%, according to Reuters. Tesla rival BYD (BYDDF) delivered 341,043 vehicles in December.

For the fourth quarter, Tesla said Tuesday it delivered 484,507 vehicles. For the full year, it exceeded its goal of 1.8 million, delivering 1.81 million vehicles.

Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) rose and is just below a buy point of 139.42 after rebounding from the 50-day line in a handle, while Meta Platforms (META) appears to be bracing for a third test of the 50-day line after a failed October breakout. (AMZN) has pulled back into a buy zone that goes to 153.15 and remains above its key support level.

Also outside the Dow Jones, potato products company Lamb Weston (LW) is near a buy point of 108.56 in a cup base, although shares fell 1.7% Wednesday. Earnings are due Thursday before the open.

Please follow VRamakrishnan on X/Twitter for more news on the stock market today.


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