Dow Jones Today, Stocks Open Lower With Salesforce, Generac, PayPal Near Buy Points: Tesla China Sales Surge

By ALAN R. ELLIOTT

Stocks opened lower, then turned mixed Wednesday as the Nasdaq moved to snap a four-day advance and the S&P 500 fought to avert a third straight decline. Tesla jumped on solid August sales in China. Perrigo, Global Payments and PayPal Holdings all moved on acquisition news. Upstart, an initial public offering, rallied on a price target hike. Bitcoin held its ground after suffering heavy losses on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Walt Disney pushed past Chevron to lead the Dow Jones today.

The Dow industrials opened lower, then quickly reversed to a 0.2% gain on the stock market today. The S&P 500 tightened to a fractional loss. The Nasdaq Composite pulled back 0.3%, after taking a handful of new highs in a modest four-day advance. The S&P 500 has slipped for two straight days, but finished Wednesday only a half percent off its Thursday peak.

IBD Leaderboard stocks Tesla trimmed its opening advance to 0.2% after the China Passenger Car Association reported company sales of China-made vehicles jumped 34% in August. PayPal Holdings, also a Leaderboard listing, reversed its opening gain and dipped 0.1%. The e-commerce leader announced it would pay $2.7 billion to acquire payments platform Paidy.

Virtualization software innovator Citrix Systems soared nearly 6% to lead the S&P 500. Activist hedge fund Elliott Management holds a stake of more than 10% in the company, valued at more than $1.3 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. The fund is reportedly agitating for management to boost the stock's value.

Also on the S&P 500, Perrigo rallied 5.4% after sealing a $2.1 deal to buy consumer products maker HRA Pharma. Global Payments sailed 4.3% higher, after agreeing to pay $500 million for automated accounts payable brand MineralTree.

AI-driven lending platform Upstart Holdings led the IBD 50 list in early trade. Shares jumped around 3.3% as Piper Sandler held the stock's overweight rating and raised its price target from 191 to 300 — about 15% above where shares ended on Tuesday. Upstart stock is five weeks into an eight-week hold rule.

Dow Jones Today: Apple Target Hike, Chevron Chases Oil

Walt Disney stepped up 1.5% to take the early lead on the Dow Jones today. Disney stock is tracking toward a third straight weekly gain, moving up the right side of a 26-week consolidation.

Chevron gained 1.1% as oil prices jumped. West Texas Intermediate futures rose 1.6%, attempting to snap a two-day slide, trading above $69 a barrel. Prices retreated this week from a test of resistance around the $70 level.

Multiple sources cited various reasons for Wednesday's price gain. Reuters assigned the increase to a slow recovery of U.S. offshore production after Hurricane Ida, and protesters blocking exports from two Libyan ports.  Bloomberg reported on Sunday that Saudi Arabia had rolled back its prices to Asian markets by more than twice the expected amount in a bid to expand its market share in the region. WTI is up more than 12% from a late-August low.

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Apple backed out of its premarket gains and shed 0.5%. Baird hiked the stock's target to 170 from 160 while maintaining an outperform rating. A Baird survey pointed to rising interest in the Apple ecosystem, including the eventual addition of the Apple car.

Econ Data, Late Earnings Reports

The Labor Department delivers its monthly Job Opening And Labor Turnover Survey at 10 a.m. ET. The Federal Reserve is due to release its September Beige Book Report at 2 p.m. ET, and July consumer credit data at 3 p.m. ET.

Companies scheduled to report after today's close include Lululemon Athletica, RH, HP, meme stock GameStop and auto salvage leader Copart.

Leaderboard: Tesla, PayPal Near Buy Points

Tesla climbed higher in a buy range above a 730 aggressive entry. The 5% buy zone extends to 766.50. The stock is also trading less than 4% below a traditional entry, at 780.89 in a five-month cup base.

PayPal Holdings has formed a flat base, after a failed breakout attempt in July. The stock is back above its 10-week moving average, ending Tuesday less than 6% below the new buy point at 310.26. PayPal was Tuesday's Stock Of The Day.

Vital Signs: Bond Yields Ease, Bitcoin Steady After Dive

The rise in bond yields paused following a big two-day bounce. The 10-year Treasury yield eased 2 basis points early Wednesday, to 1.36% — after jumping past recent resistance at its 200-day moving average and clearing an Aug. 12 high. The yield traded as low as 1.12% in August, and hit a high for the year above 1.76% on May 30.

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Meanwhile, Bitcoin traded near $46,100 after diving as much as 17% on Tuesday, according to CoinDesk. It traded as high as $51,247 and as low as $42,921 over the past 24 hours. The bitcoin tumble occurred on the same day that El Salvador launched the cryptocurrency as the country's official currency. The Salvadoran government had "given Salvadorans $30 each of bitcoin to encourage its adoption. It says bitcoin could save the country $400 million a year in transaction fees on funds sent from abroad," according to the BBC.

Coinbase Global was down 3.6% in early trade, following a 4.2% drop on Tuesday. Marathon Digital Holdings shed 1.9%. MicroStrategy shed 0.2%. Grayscale Bitcoin Trust traded down 0.5%.

China's Markets Slip, Tokyo Rallies, Europe Struggles

China's markets paused Wednesday after a strong two-day rally. The Shanghai Composite dipped a fraction. The Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.1%. Both indexes are tracking toward a third straight weekly advance. In Japan, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rallied 0.9% on a firming dollar, retaking the 30,000 level and putting the benchmark ahead 3.6% in its third weekly advance.

Among China-based ETFs, the iShares MSCI China ETF (MCHI) dropped 1.6% in early trade Wednesday. The Xtrackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF (ASHR) slumped 0.9% in premarket trade. The KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF (KWEB) fell 3.6%.

Europe's markets cut back their losses in afternoon trade. Frankfurt's DAX was down 9%. London's FTSE 100 took a 0.4% hit, while the CAC-40 in Paris trimmed to a 0.4% decline. The SPDR Portfolio Europe ETF (SPEU) was off 0.5%. The fund continues to trade just below a 44.06 entry in what IBD MarketSmith analysis marks as an 11-week flat base.

Other Top Stocks To Watch: Generac, Atkore, Copart

Generac Holdings (GNRC) is a stock to watch this week, with the impact of Hurricane Ida driving additional demand for emergency generators. The stock closed on Friday less than 1% below a 457.10 buy point in a six-week cup base.

Atkore (ATKR) dropped 3.45 in early trade Wednesday, falling back below a 90.18 entry in a 13-week cup.

Copart, the top-ranked stock in the auto retailers industry group, is in a five-week flat base ahead of its late-Wednesday earnings report. The buy point is at 149.16, 2% above where the stock ended on Friday.

Dow Jones Today: Apple, Salesforce Lead

After breaking below its 21-day moving average on Tuesday, the Dow Jones today opens in a test of support at it 50-day line. The Dow has not broken below its 50-day since mid-July, and then the index regained support in less than two sessions.  The Dow's prior break, in mid-June, lasted six days, part of a 4.5% pullback from a June 1 high.

The Dow's last serious trip below its 50-day came in October. The eight-day drop was part of a 9.7% pullback that sent the index for a quick test of its 200-day moving average.

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

Over the past five sessions Apple has been the Dow's top performer, up 3.2%. Walt Disney has gained 1.7%, and UnitedHealth Group has a 1.2% gain for the same period. Over the last four weeks, Salesforce.com has been the blue chip to catch, up 9%. Salesforce has now formed a healthy handle in what IBD MarketSmith analysis plots as a 54-week long consolidation.

Apple ran second, rising 7.6%, in those four weeks. The IBD Leaderboard stock jumped to yet another new high on Tuesday, exiting its most recent buy range.

UnitedHealth's Breakout Under Pressure

UnitedHealth Group has been sawing away at a breakout begun in early August and remans a stock to watch on the Dow Jones today. A first-stage cup with handle base presented a buy point at 422.63.  UnitedHealth stock cleared the buy point in Aug. 3. But the stock continues to dip back below the entry, not nearly far enough to trigger the automatic sell rule, just far enough to reconfirm 50-day support.  Six weeks after the breakout, the stock is still bobbing over and under the buy point.

UnitedHealth is a case in which, while its base was technically first stage, it was the fifth base in the series. The stock had failed to rise 20% between bases, the minimum needed to advance the base count. This can create circumstances, even in early-stage bases, of rising pressure for consolidation.

As always, this could resolve with the stock clearing the patch of resistance and running higher. But, even though the stock is showing firm support at its 10-week moving average and its Accumulation/Distribution Rating is a strong B+, its relative strength line is trending flat to lower. And investor capital that flatlines for six weeks while the market moves generally higher could be put to better use.

Find Alan R. Elliott on Twitter @IBD_Aelliott


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