Dow Jones futures were little changed overnight, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures. Tesla (TSLA) tumbled late after missing fourth-quarter views and warning of “notably lower” growth. CEO Elon Musk speaking on the earnings call.
The stock market rally had a mixed session Wednesday, slashing intraday gains as Treasury yields rose. Netflix (NFLX) and ASML stock fueled tech gains, with ASML (ASML) lifting the chip sector, including LRCX stock.
The market rally has been getting extended as earnings season kicks into high gear as of Wednesday night. So the retreat from intraday highs wasn’t a big surprise.
ServiceNow stock, Nvidia and Meta Platforms are on IBD Leaderboard. Nvidia and Microsoft stock are on SwingTrader. MSFT stock is on IBD Long-Term Leaders. ServiceNow and URI stock are on the IBD 50 and IBD Big Cap 20.
Dow Jones Futures Today
S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures lost a fraction. Tesla stock and ServiceNow are big S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 components.
The 10-year Treasury yield dipped to 4.16%.
At 8:30 a.m. ET, the Commerce Department will offer its first reading on fourth-quarter GDP growth, along with December durable goods orders. The Labor Department will release jobless claims at the same time.
All that could swing Dow futures and Treasury yields amid the heavy earnings moves.
Stock Market Rally
The stock market rally opened strong, led by tech earnings. But stocks came well off intraday highs as Treasury yields reversed higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3% in Wednesday’s stock market trading. The S&P 500 index edged up 0.1% after hitting another record high intraday. The Nasdaq composite finished 0.4% higher after jumping as much as 1.3% intraday.
Tech titans led as the Nasdaq 100 still closed up 0.6%. Netflix spiked 10.7% and ASML stock 8.85%.
Decliners led advancers, ending a few days of improving market breadth.
The small-cap Russell 2000 reversed lower to fall 0.7%, though it’s still holding the 21-day line. The Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF (RSP) slumped 0.5%. The First Trust Nasdaq 100 Equal Weighted Index ETF (QQEW) reversed to end down 0.1%.
A number of high-beta growth stocks suffered significant losses. Homebuilders and related stocks struggled for a second straight day.
The 10-year Treasury yield rose 4 basis points to 4.18%, helped by a weak five-year Treasury note auction. The 10-year yield reversed higher from yet another test of the 200-day line. It closed just above its 50-day line for the first time since Nov. 13.
Treasury yields may have been the catalyst for stocks pulling back Wednesday afternoon, but the market rally had been starting to look extended.
The Nasdaq 100 is 6.6% above its 50-day moving average, even after slashing intraday gains. The Nasdaq composite is 5.9% above that key level.
While the Nasdaq could get more extended, the odds of a pullback would increase with a greater likelihood that any retreat would be sharp.
U.S. crude oil prices rose 1% to $75.09 a barrel.
Among growth ETFs, the iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF (IGV) closed fractionally higher, with NOW stock a significant component. The VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) jumped 1.8%. LRCX stock is a big SMH holding, along with ASML stock.
SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME) gave up 0.5% and SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) retreated 1.6%. The Energy Select SPDR ETF (XLE) bounced 1.5% and the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV) declined 0.9%
Tesla earnings tumbled 40% to 71 cents a share, while revenue rose just 3.5% to $25.17 billion. Both missed views.
The EV giant didn’t provide specifics, but warned that 2024 delivery growth may be “notably lower” than in 2023.
On the conference call, Elon Musk said the current plan is to start production of the next-generation vehicle in the second half of 2025, but he acknowledged that he is often “optimistic” about timelines.
Tesla still hasn’t shown an image of the $25,000 vehicle, let alone a prototype. Musk said the next-gen EV will have the most advanced manufacturing system in the world. Achieving that, which may be necessary to make the a cheap EV profitable, could be a challenge that delays output.
Tesla CFO Vaibhav Taneja didn’t profit guidance on profit margins. He said that recent cost reductions have largely run their course, suggesting few easy offsets as price cuts and incentives continue into 2024.
Cybertruck production is slowing improving, but Musk said “demand is off the hook.” However, Tesla removed customer deposits from an earnings statement.
Meanwhile, Musk said the Tesla is using Nvidia chips for autonomy efforts, saying in-house Dojo chips are “long shot.” That undercuts arguments from some Tesla bulls, including Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas, that Dojo will eventually be a huge growth driver.
Musk talked up Optimus, though another Tesla executive said there’s still the challenge of the humanoid robot “doing useful things.”
Tesla is still buying a lot of Nvidia (NVDA) chips for its FSD and AI needs.
Tesla stock skidded 6% in active after-hours trading, approaching the late October lows. Shares dipped 0.6% to 207.83 on Wednesday, sliding for several weeks and slumping overall since July.
The relative strength line has tumbled to an eight-month low, reflecting TSLA stock’s deterioration vs. the S&P 500. Bottom line, Tesla stock is in the body shop for now.
ServiceNow earnings beat views with guidance solid. But NOW stock turned slightly lower overnight. Shares climbed 1.3% to 763.42 on Wednesday, well extended from a flat base cleared in early November.
As the first big software maker to report, ServiceNow results and guidance could have a big impact on the sector.
Lam Research Earnings
Lam Research earnings and revenue topped Q2 views, with the chip-gear maker guiding in line for fiscal Q2.
LRCX stock nudged higher after hours.
Shares rose 2.1% to 848.16 on Wednesday, buoyed by strong earnings and orders from Dutch chip-equipment giant ASML.
United Rentals Earnings
United Rentals earnings beat views with the equipment rental firm also hiking its dividend by 10%.
URI stock rose solidly overnight. Shares edged down 0.2% to 576.90 on Wednesday, erasing intraday gains after trying to clear a short consolidation.
IBM earnings and revenue topped Q4 views, with the venerable Dow giant giving strong cash flow guidance.
In late trade, IBM stock jumped. Shares fell 1 cent on Wednesday to 173.93, after hitting a nine-year high intraday.
The rail giant reported slightly lower earnings and revenue that were largely in line with Q4 views.
CSX stock fell modestly overnight. Shares declined 1.4% on Wednesday to 34.39, continuing to trade tightly within a buy zone from a cup-with-handle base, according to MarketSmith analysis.
What To Do Now
The market rally has been on a tear for the past week.
But it’s getting extended again just as earnings season kicks into high gear. Positive reports from Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM), Netflix, ASML and others mean that expectations are high. If megacap earnings disappoint over the next week, the market reaction could be very negative with growth plays suffering outsized losses.
So that’s a reason to be cautious about new buys and pay extra attention to key earnings reports and the overall market. Investors could choose to take some partial profits to lock in gains before a possible pullback, but that depends on your investing style, exposure levels and more.
Keep building your watchlists, looking for leaders setting up again and new sectors joining the rally, such as oil and mining stocks.
Read The Big Picture every day to stay in sync with the market direction and leading stocks and sectors.
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