Unlike Wednesday, where the stock market initially popped then fizzled, stocks held onto a bulk of its gains on Thursday. The Nasdaq rallied 0.73%, but trailed the monstrous performance of the Russell 2000, which ripped 1.63%.
Renewed momentum in high-growth stocks like Shopify (NASDAQ:SHOP) and Trade Desk (NASDAQ:TTD) helped propel the Nasdaq today, as did a continued rally in memory and semiconductor stocks. It helped that large-cap tech inched higher too.
All four FANG stocks pushed higher on the day, as well as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), (although the iPhone maker continues to cling to the $200 area).
Investors are feeling comfortable heading into the G20 summit, which starts today. Even though some have been growing worried over the past few sessions, the price action has been constructive. The index held its 50-day moving average earlier this week.
If more progress materializes on the trade front, tech stocks could be ready to run, possibly through the 8,100 level to new highs.
Winners in the Nasdaq Today
iQiyi (NASDAQ:IQ) — “the Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) of China” — is surging more than 10% on Thursday. The company won the Mobile Internet Innovation Pioneer Award at the Mobile World Congress event in Shanghai. Despite strong growth and a huge total addressable market, IQ stock hasn’t gotten much love. Maybe that will change with Thursday’s jump.
The iShares Nasdaq Biotech ETF (NASDAQ:IBB) jumped more than 1%, while the SPDR Biotech ETF (NYSEARCA:XBI) jumped over 2% on the day. Benefiting from that move was Invitae (NASDAQ:NVTA), which rallied more than 6% on the day, while Immunomedics (NASDAQ:IMMU) and Genomic Health (NASDAQ:GHDX) both jumped over 4%. Given some of the large deals in this space, M&A is a constant thought among investors.
While it feels like we talk about the semiconductor industry every few days, the ongoing volatility from the group constantly draws it to the forefront. The group again caught a boost on Thursday.
The gains continued after Micron’s (NASDAQ:MU) double-digit post-earnings rally, jumping more than 2.5% Thursday. Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) and Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) caught a bid, too. Chip stocks like Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO), Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) and Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) all rallied on the day. It helped that Wedbush analysts upgraded the latter two stocks to buy and assigned a $35 price target to AMD and a $184 target to NVDA stock.
Losers in the Nasdaq Today
There weren’t many losers in the Nasdaq today. However, one area of notable under-performance? Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC). At one point, both names were down about 2%, which is a notable lag compared to both the Nasdaq and its large-cap peers.
Worth extrapolating is that Intel stock is sinking at the same time when most of its peers are all notable gainers on the day, (as noted above). Cisco is down — perhaps on Micron’s rally? — while a competitor like Arista Networks (NASDAQ:ANET) is jumping over 1%.
Despite beating on earnings and revenue expectations Accenture (NYSE:ACN) lost altitude on Thursday. However, the mostly flat price action, down less than 1%, likely won’t weigh on investor sentiment too much. In fact, they may even feel more emboldened, given that shares rallied off the lows throughout the entire session.
Finally, Salesforce (NASDAQ:CRM) is hard to count as a loser on Thursday given that the stock rallied. However, the slight gains comes after an initial crack below $150 in morning trade. Investors are still trying to digest the company’s $15.3 billion stock-deal for Tableau Software (NASDAQ:DATA). Giving credit where it is due, CRM stock is holding the $150 mark.
The Bottom Line on the Nasdaq Today
Stocks put together a decent rally as investors’ hope for a chip and memory trough in the first half of 2019 is looking more likely. If China and the U.S. can take some positive steps toward a resolution later this week and over the weekend, it could give the market another catalyst.
Let’s see the Nasdaq’s action on Friday and watch how it reacts to headlines from the summit.
Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. As of this writing, Bret Kenwell is long AAPL, AMD, ANET, AVGO, NVDA and NVTA.