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Dow, S&P 500 Close in the Red; Nasdaq Remains Unsinkable

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Another record close for the Nasdaq index this Thursday in regular trading was offset by down days on the Dow, S&P 500 and Russell 2000. Tech names are picking up steam as a ramp down on the “Great Reopening” in the U.S. sends Americans back into their homes, where they return to using Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) services on Nvidia (NVDA - Free Report) semiconductor chips. Amazon rose 3.3% Thursday, while Nvidia was up 2.9%.

Sticking with Nvidia a moment, with all the talk about Tesla’s (TSLA - Free Report) incredible upswing over the past year, some of us may have lost sight on the chip-maker: it is up nearly 10% in the past week, +60% in the past 3 months, and +78% year to date. Its Data Center products are utilized in work-from-home scenarios, and its Gaming division supports video game entertainment also seeing a resurgence as coronavirus cases hit a new all-time high in the U.S. Even more impressive, Nvidia grew almost 80% in calendar 2019 as well.

The Dow finished down 361 points, but bounced back from its lows of the session of 543 points. This downward trajectory was spearheaded by a down day for Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), which dropped 8% on the day on an announcement from its UK affiliate Boots Pharmacy will be cutting 4000 jobs, 7% of its workforce, after foot traffic (“footfall”) in the month of April dropped 85% year over year. The company expects to take a $2 billion charge on COVID-related issues in Q3.

Also today, Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY - Free Report) said it plans to close 200 stores over the next 2 years, and its stock fell off a cliff, finishing -24.5% on the day. The stock now trades at a minuscule $7.89 per share, down 90% from its 2014 highs. A COVID-related slide of 49% in quarterly sales is behind the move to close locations.

These issues for Walgreens and Bed Bath & Beyond bring to mind something discussed in this column before today’s opening bell: that job layoffs, which began at small shops serving local communities, have now worked their way up the chain to publicly traded national entities. This may be something investors are forced to reckon with as Q2 earnings season turns up the volume next week; the real damage from the pandemic shutdown will be laid plain in earnings statements over the course of the next month-plus.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

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