Stocks Look to Close Short Week With Monthly, Quarterly Wins

Markets will be closed tomorrow to observe Good Friday

Digital Content Manager
Mar 28, 2024 at 12:13 PM
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Volatility plagued stocks during the holiday-shortened week, which also ushered the end of March and first quarter. Much of the optimism surrounding potential interest rate cuts faded, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and S&P 500 (SPX) marking a third-straight daily drop after declining consumer confidence data, as well as higher-than-expected durable goods orders.

Stocks eventually snapped out of this rut, with the Dow rising 477 points on Wednesday, as the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) staged a last-minute rally. While that malaise returned on Thursday amid an upwardly revised gross domestic product (GDP) and strong jobs data, all three major indexes were still eyeing outsized monthly and quarterly gains

Pharma and Biotech Roundup

There were some major drug and vaccine developments this week. Viking Therapeutics (VKTX) revealed an early stage trial of its experimental weight-loss tablet helped reduce patients' weight and was safe. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also approved Merck's (MRK) treatment for adults with high blood pressure, and Moderna (MRNA) received $750 million in funding from Blackstone Life Sciences (BX) to develop flu vaccines.

Latest Tech Updates

In the tech sector, Intel (INTC) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) both struggled on news China plans to limit usage of their chips and servers in government computers. Elsewhere, Uber Technologies (UBER) looked ready to pick up new highs thanks to a bull signal.

Morgan Stanley upgraded Seagate Technology (STX), citing potential for increased demand from generative artificial intelligence (AI), while Palantir Technologies (PLTR) drew a Monness Crespi Hardt downgrade to "sell." Traders should also steer clear of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), which is among the worst tech stocks to own in April.

New Month, Quarter Ahead

April starts off strong next week, with the purchasing managers' index (PMI) and several speeches from Federal Reserve officials on tap. A handful of earnings reports will trickle in as well from BlackBerry (BB), Cal-Maine (CALM), Dave & Busters (PLAY), and Levi Strauss (LEVI). Before then, dig into why this Choe Volatility Index (VIX) signal helps build a bullish case, and prepare for this good short-term buying opportunity that could be ahead.

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