Dow Jones futures fell slightly early Thursday, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures. Walmart (WMT) topped earnings views and raised full-year guidance before the open. Cisco Systems (CSCO) reported disappointing guidance late Wednesday. Nvidia (NVDA) and Applied Materials (AMAT) report earnings Thursday.
Walmart stock rallied 2.7% early Thursday, signaling a fresh all-time high. Walmart earnings beat views, with the retail titan also hiking full-year EPS guidance slightly. Sales just missed, but e-commerce sales soared 41% while Walmart U.S. comps topped forecasts.
Walmart stock rose 1.3% to 120.98 on Wednesday, hitting a record high. Shares are now extended from an early September breakout. But Walmart stock on Wednesday rebounded bullishly from its 10-week line, while also clearing a three-weeks-tight pattern with a 120.81 entry.
Cisco stock fell 5.3% before the open as weak guidance for the current quarter offset a slim fiscal Q1 earnings beat. Cisco stock already was near 2019 lows, but the Dow Jones networking giant is a bellwether for corporate tech spending.
Walt Disney (DIS) continued to trade heavily, down 0.5%. Shares shot up 7.3% on Wednesday to 148.72, soaring past two buy points and hitting a record high. Disney said Disney+ has more than 10 million sign-ups already.
Applied Materials and Nvidia earnings are late Thursday. Analysts expect another quarter of declining Nvidia and Applied Materials earnings, so guidance will be key for the two stocks and the hot chip sector. Nvidia stock and Applied Materials stock are both extended from recent buy points, but Applied Materials stock is just below its own three-weeks-tight pattern.
Cisco stock, Disney stock and Walmart stock are all Dow Jones components.
Dow Jones Futures Today
Dow Jones futures fell less than 0.1% vs. fair value, along with S&P 500 futures, even as Walmart stock partially offset the Cisco stock drag. Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 0.2%. Remember that overnight action in Dow futures, Cisco stock and more doesn’t necessarily translate into actual trading in the next regular stock market session.
President Donald Trump said late Wednesday that a China trade deal is “moving along rapidly.” That came after reports during Wednesday’s stock market trading that farm purchases are a new snag in finalizing a “phase one” China trade deal. Beijing reportedly is balking at specific figures for U.S. farm purchases. Questions remain over whether the U.S. and China will roll back existing tariffs.
Meanwhile, China’s economic growth continued to slow. Industrial production rose 4.7% in October vs. a year earlier, while retail sales climbed 5.2%. Fixed-asset investment rose 5.2% year to date. All three were weaker than expected.
Current Stock Market Rally
The current stock market rally erased slim gains on the report about China trade talks stalling on farm goods, but steadied by the close.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3%, hitting a new high as Disney stock gave a lift. The S&P 500 index edged up 0.1% while the Nasdaq composite lost a fraction.
Growth stocks mildly outperformed. Among the best ETFs, the Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) rose 0.4%. The iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF (IGV) climbed 0.3%, while the VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) advanced 0.2%.
The Dow Jones today — and the overall stock market — has rallied strongly since early October, fueled in part by China trade optimism. Despite some recent concerns about finalizing a China trade deal, the major indexes are continuing to hit record highs. That’s encouraging. Of course, if China trade talks break down and the U.S. enacts new tariffs, the Dow Jones will likely struggle.
If the stock market rally can hold above its old highs, even if it consolidates for a time, that would be bullish.
Author: Ed Carson