Dow Jones Plunges 620 Points As Apple, J&J Weigh; GameStop, AMC Stocks Surge


The Dow Jones industrials and Nasdaq tumbled 2%, while the S&P 500 sank 1.9% in the stock market today. Small caps tracked by the Russell 2000 shed 1.6%. Early data show lower volume on both major exchanges vs. Thursday.

For the week, the Nasdaq, S&P 500 and Dow lost more than 3% each. The Dow breached its 10-week moving average, the S&P 500 is testing support and the Nasdaq is still holding above the line.

Tech stocks had boosted the Nasdaq to a 43.6% gain in 2020 for its fifth best year ever. The S&P 500 rose 16.3% and the Dow added 7.2% last year. Read The Big Picture for detailed daily market analysis.

On Nov. 4, after Election Day, IBD’s market outlook returned to “confirmed uptrend” as the major indexes staged big rallies. That gave the green light to buy leading stocks that are breaking out of solid bases.

Covid-19 Update

Meantime, Covid-19 cases continue to rise globally. Worldwide cumulative coronavirus cases have topped 102 million, with more than 2.2 million deaths, according to Worldometer. In the U.S., confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic are approaching 26.4 million, with a death toll over 444,000.

U.S. Stock Market Today Overview

Index Symbol Price Gain/Loss % Change
Dow Jones (0DJIA) 29980.84 -622.52 -2.03
S&P 500 (0S&P5) 3714.04 -73.34 -1.94
Nasdaq (0NDQC ) 13070.70 -266.46 -2.00
Russell 2000 (IWM) 205.47 -3.25 -1.56
IBD 50 (FFTY) 43.12 -0.96 -2.18
Last Update: 4:10 PM ET 1/29/2021

As the rush for more approved Covid-19 vaccines continues, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) gapped down and fell nearly 4% in heavy trade. The drugmaker said its single-dose vaccine was 66% effective at blocking moderate to severe Covid-19, lower than experts hoped.

J&J stock dropped back into potential buy zone from a 155.57 entry of a flat base, according to MarketSmith chart analysis.

Moderna (MRNA), whose two-dose vaccine is 94% effective and is being administered, rallied 9%. Shares extended their win streak to five and briefly cleared a 178.60 buy point of a cup base. Moderna stock is up 66% this year.

Novavax (NVAX) soared more than 60% in fast trade as it gapped up past a 150.60 buy point of an eight-week base. Shares are at their highest level since September 2015. The Maryland-based biotech said late Thursday its two-shot coronavirus vaccine was 89.3% effective in a Phase 3 test.

Dow Losers And Winners

In addition to J&J, Chevron (CVX), Dow (DOW) and 3M (MMM) were big losers, down more than 4% each.

Apple (AAPL) gave up 3.7% in its third straight decline. On Thursday, a 3.5% drop sent shares below a 138.89 buy point of a cup with handle. Late Wednesday, the iPhone maker reported fiscal Q1 results that easily beat views.

Microsoft (MSFT) gave up 2.9% to snap an eight-session win streak. Shares remain in potential buy range from a 228.22 entry. The buy zone tops out at 239.63. After the close Tuesday, the software giant announced quarterly results that smashed Wall Street targets.

Only one of the 30 blue chip stocks avoided the sell-off: McDonald’s (MCD) climbed 0.6%.

Automakers, airlines and solar stocks led the downside among IBD’s 197 industry groups. But consumer electronic retailers, software and gold miner stocks advanced.

GME, AMC And Bitcoin News

GameStop (GME) surged nearly 114% early Friday, boosting the consumer electronic retail group as the stock short squeeze continues. GME stock closed with a 69% gain. On Thursday, it plunged 44%.

AMC Entertainment (AMC), also a target of the recent short-squeeze craze, soared 85% Friday, before settling for a 55% gain.

In other news, the price of Bitcoin spiked more than 15% Friday to a high of $38,020, after Tesla CEO Elon Musk added #bitcoin to his Twitter bio. It recently traded near $34,547, according to Coindesk. The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust ETF (GBTC) rose 3% as it continues to rebound off its 50-day line.

Over in the IBD 50, Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) and Virtu Financial (VIRT) gained a respective 2% and 3%. TMO stock is forming a cup with handle base with earnings due Monday before the open.

The Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) slumped 2.2% as growth stocks took a beating. Digital Turbine (APPS), T. Rowe Price (TROW), Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND) and Applied Materials (AMAT) were among the biggest losers.

Follow Nancy Gondo on Twitter at @IBD_NGondo


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