Stock Futures Rise, Boeing Slides; Dow Jones Industrial Index Targets 81-Year Record

Stock futures strengthened briefly, then returned to mixed trade Thursday as early economic data bolstered the argument for a Federal Reserve rate cut.  Retailers took some hard early hits, chip stocks rose for a second day and earnings news drove at least one potential early breakout.




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Futures for the Dow Jones industrial index sloughed off early losses and rose narrowly above fair value. S&P 500 futures gained 0.2%. Nasdaq 100 futures firmed up to a 0.4% gain. Early data showed week jobless claims above expectations, while updated Q1 estimates put prices up and consumer spending below expectations.

(For updates on this story and other market coverage, visit the Stock Market Today.)

On the Dow, Walgreens (WBA) led, up 3.5% after its fiscal Q3 earnings report. Boeing (BA) slid 3% lower on news that regulators had pinpointed a new computer glitch in the grounded 737MAX aircraft.

Ross Stores (ROST) led the early declines among Nasdaq 100 stocks. Nvidia (NVDA) rose 1.2%, and Walgreen posted the index’s best gain. Conagra (CAG) fell hardest on the S&P 500, down 6.7%. Walgreen led the S&P 500. Cable operator CenturyLink (CTL) was also near the top of the list, up 2.8% following an analyst upgrade.

Herman Miller (MLHR) spiked on earnings results, implying an opening bell breakout. Glass wall maker Apogee (APOG) was also on the breakout path, up nearly 5% higher on a strong earnings report.  KB Home (KBH) rallied after a solid fiscal Q2 report late Wednesday.

IBD Leaderboard name Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) traded up 1.2%. Planet Fitness (PLNT) was an early leader among IBD 50 stocks, rising as an analyst launched coverage with strong price target.

Oil prices were off Wednesday’s highs, but up 2.5% for the week and still on the radar after driving some of the S&P 500’s top gains on Wednesday.

Q1 Consumer Spending Slows, Prices Rise

First-time unemployment claims rose 5%, to 227,000 in the week ended June 22, the Labor Department reported. Economist had projected a mild rise, to 217,00 claims.

A Commerce Department update to Q1 GDP estimates put overall growth at 3.1%, unchanged from prior revisions and in line with economist targets. Consumer spending was revised lower, to a 0.9% increase, from the earlier 1.3% estimate. Inflation edged up, with the GDP Price Index rising 0.9%, up from 0.8% previously and above consensus views for a 0.8% increase.

The core GDP Price Index, which excludes food and energy, jumped 1.3%. That was up from prior estimates of a 1.2% advance and the opposite of expectations for a downtick to a 1.1% gain.

Dow Jones Industrial Index Looks At Best June Since 1938

U.S. -China trade war buzz is the backdrop as the major indexes swing into the final two days of trading in June, and for the second quarter. Markets looked toward Friday’s payrolls report and braced for the presidential U.S.-China trade summit scheduled for the weekend.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average leads for the month, up 6.9% at the end of trade Wednesday. The puts the index on track for its best June since 1938, when the Dow logged a blowout 24.3% rally.

The S&P 500 is up 5.9% for the month, topping its 5.5% June advance in 1999, but trailing its strongest June on record — an 8.2% surge in 1955. The Nasdaq 6.1% gain so far this month puts it in position for its best June since 2000, when it rebounded 16.6% in volatile trade as the market swerved through the dot-com crash.

The strong monthly performance is an anomaly, occurring in what is typically a weak month for the market. The current stock market uptrend remains in good standing, and this weekend’s trade negotiations in Japan are likely to determine which direction things head from here. For the next two days, investors will be adjusting holdings, preparing for Monday’s reaction to the Trump-Xi meeting.

For more detailed analysis of the current stock market and its status, study the Big Picture.

Dow Jones: Boeing Dives On New 737 MAX Snarl

Boeing shares slumped more than 2%, after the Federal Aviation Administration turned up a new computer issue related to Boeing’s grounded global fleet of 737 MAX aircraft. An FAA statement pointed to “a potential risk that Boeing must mitigate,” a problem with a flight control chip. The problem led to process delays in pilot flight simulation tests. The glitch pushes back the aircraft’s re-certification test flight until at least July 8. The FAA will take two to three weeks after that to review the results.

Boeing stock has been consolidating since March. IT has been back above key levels of technical support for the past two weeks, but remains 15.9% below its March high.

Breakout Watch: Herman Miller

Office furniture maker Herman Miller jetted 11.8% higher in premarket trade. The Zeeland, Mich.-based manufacturer reported a power fiscal forth-quarter revenue and earnings beat, and raised first-quarter guidance to well above consensus targets. The premarket move pointed shares to an opening bell breakout above what to IBD MarketSmith chart analysis marks as a 39.80 buy point in a  seven-week flat base. Remember, not all premarket moves carry over into regular trade.

Got to IBD’s Stock Checkup for a quick round up of the stock’s technical and fundamental traits.

Asia Rises, Europe Slips; A Strong Day For China

Markets across Asia were largely positive, as Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 1.4% and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 sailed 1.2% higher. Both indexes are down for the week after meeting resistance at their 50-day moving averages.

Europe’s markets on Thursday turned mixed ahead of the G-20 confab in Japan and after a European Commission gauge of industry executive confidence fell more than expected, in its largest decrease in eight years.

China-based stocks trading in the U.S. will be closely watched today, after turning in a strong session on Wednesday. On Wednesday, JD.com (JD) spiked 5.8%, Huazhu Group (HTHT) climbed more than 4%, Baidu (BIDU), YY (YY) and Tencent Holdings (TCEHY)gained more than 2% each. Alibaba Holdings (BABA) rose nearly 2%.

Find Alan R. Elliott on Twitter@IBD_Aelliott

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