Dow Jones futures early Friday rebounded strongly, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures, after a wild roller-coaster Thursday that ended with more deep losses for the major stock market averages.
Dow Jones futures rose 1.5% vs. fair value, or 375 points. S&P 500 futures climbed 1.55%. Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 2.2% vs. fair value. Remember that overnight action doesn’t necessarily translate into actual trading in the next regular session.
Adobe Systems actually closed slightly higher Thursday, holding support for now at its 200-day line. Microsoft stock edged lower in the regular session and is below its 50-day line.
Apple, Boeing and Microsoft are all Dow Jones components.
Before Friday’s open, banking giants JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C), Wells Fargo (WFC) and PNC Financial (PNC) reported earnings. Dow component JPMorgan topped earnings views. Citi had mixed results while Wells profit missed.
That’s not too surprising, with the stock market in a correction as of Wednesday’s close. Just as Apple, AMD and the S&P 500 index broke through support powerfully on Wednesday, the dwindling number of top stocks will continue to shrink as the stock market loses ground.
The volatility index, or VIX, soared to an eight-month high Thursday. That makes a short-term bounce more likely. But the stock market’s unofficial fear gauge is still well off its February highs. Another psychological indicator, the put/call ratio, also is high but off extreme levels.
Psychological indicators are considered secondary gauges. They can provide some insight, but investors should focus on the action of the major indexes and leading stocks. The Dow Jones and S&P 500 index joined the Nasdaq composite below their 200-day lines Thursday. Leading stocks have been crushed, with the once-hearty software sector hardest hit.
With the market in correction, none of these damaged stocks is actionable right now.
Friday’s futures signal a strong rebound Friday, but that doesn’t mean stocks will open or close that way. In case, it’s just one day. If you look at the greatest single-day gains in market history, you’ll see that most of them came during bear markets.
Wait until the stock market provides a convincing follow-through day and leading stocks break out from sound bases. That process technically could happen in a few days but could take several weeks.
Investors should largely be on the sidelines, paying attention to the market and any top stocks that are showing signs of strength. Work on a watch list so you’ll be ready when a true market uptrend returns.
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