Wall Street opened weak and struggled throughout the session as traders awaited updates on a possible stimulus plan — and more in Thursday’s stock market update.
Tech and the small caps showed strength, closing higher, while the broader market settled slightly lower.
The Russell 2000 gained 1.1% with the intraday high reaching 1,924.
The Nasdaq rose 0.5% following the morning run to 12,431.
The S&P 500 slipped 0.1% after tapping an opening low of 3,645.
The Dow dipped 0.2% while testing a low of 29,876 shortly after the opening bell.
Energy showed the most sector strength after jumping 3.1% while Financials added 0.2%. Industrials were the weakest sector after giving back 1%.
Shares of Airbnb Inc. (Nasdaq: ABNB) skyrocketed 113% after making its initial public offering. The company had priced 51.3 million shares at $68 and above the prior $56-$60 range.
Selling holders reduced the deal size by 250,000 shares with Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) acting as joint book-running managers for the offering. Shares opened at $146 in the afternoon before settling at $144.71 in its first day of trading.
Volatility remains a slight concern moving forward despite the stock market’s run to record highs again so far this month. Historically, volatility trades around the 20 level and moves into the mid-to-low teens on record highs.
The recent action has shown the 20 level, holding in eight of the past 10 sessions, with the late-November low tagging 19.51 and the lowest close at 20.57.
The aforementioned charts for the major indexes are showing a consolidation pattern this month following the breakout to record peaks. However, lower lows could be in store if the bottom of these trading ranges are breached.
For the Dow, a move below 29,500 would be troublesome and signal a near-term top, while a close below 3,550 on the S&P 500 would suggest the same. For the Nasdaq, a move below the 12,000 area would indicate further weakness and for the Russell 2000 a drop below 1,850 could also signal a further pullback.
European markets were mixed following a meeting between Britain and EU leaders on a trade deal that failed to yield a breakthrough.
The Belgium20 and the Stoxx 600 lost 0.4% while Germany’s DAX 30 declined 0.3%. UK’s FTSE 100 gained 0.5% and France’s CAC 40 edged up 0.1%.
Asian markets closed mostly lower despite better-than-expected bank lending data out of China.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.7% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.4%. South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.3% and Japan’s Nikkei slipped 0.2%. China’s Shanghai was up a point, or 0.04%.
Initial jobless claims jumped 137,000 to 853,000. The number fell -71,000 to 716,000 in the last week of November. This brought the four-week moving average to 776,000. Continuing claims rose 230,000 to 5,757,000 in the week of Nov. 28 after plunging -562,000 to 5,527,000 previously.
The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (Nasdaq: TLT) rebounded to close higher for the third time in four sessions with the afternoon peak reaching $158.29. Current and lower resistance at $158-$158.50 was recovered. A close above the latter would suggest additional strength towards $159-$159.50 and the 50-day moving average.
Support is at $157-$156.50 followed by $155.50-$155.
The iPath S&P Vix Short-Term Futures (NYSEArca: VIX) was up for the second straight session after trading to a first-half high of 23.46. Prior and lower resistance at 23-23.50 was breached but held. A close above the latter would signal additional upside towards 24-24.50.
Current and slightly rising support is at 21.50-21 followed by 20.50-20.
The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSE: DIA) fell for the second straight session following the intraday fade to $299.20. Current and upper support at $299.50-$299 was breached but held. A close above the latter would signal additional weakness towards $298-$297.50.
Current resistance is at $301-$301.50 followed by $302.50-$303.
RSI is back in a downtrend with key support at 60 holding. A close below this level would suggest additional weakness towards 55-50 and levels from early November. Resistance is at 65-70.
The Industrials Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSE: XLI) had its two-session winning streak snapped and remains in a 13-session trading range following the pullback to $88.17. Near-term and upper support at $88.50-$88 was breached but held. A close below the $87.50 level would be a slightly bearish signal, indicating additional weakness towards $86.50-$86.
Resistance is at $89.50-$90 with the late-November all-time peak at $90.16.
RSI is in a slight downtrend with support at 60 holding. This level has held since mid-November with a move below 60 signaling ongoing weakness towards 55-50. Resistance is at 65-70.
Check back after the closing bell for the most important news and numbers in the WealthPress stock market update.