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Dow Jones, Nasdaq Extend Gains; S&P 500 Nears Record Highs; Two Chip Equipment Stocks Worth Watching


The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose over 190 points in today’s stock market, extending this week’s rally. The major indexes all posted strong gains ahead of the long holiday weekend while the S&P 500 closed in on its recent record highs.




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Dow Jones Today

At the close, the Dow Jones industrials were up 0.5%. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.8%, while the S&P 500 gained 0.6%. Meanwhile, the Russell 2000 held a gain of around 0.8%. Early data showed volume was running lower on the Nasdaq and the NYSE vs. the close on Wednesday. The stock market will be closed Friday for Christmas.

The major indexes extended this week’s gains as consumer discretionary and industrial stocks took the lead. Almost all S&P 500 sectors traded positively, but real estate sank.

The Labor Department early Thursday reported weekly jobless claims of 205,000 for the week ended Dec. 18. That was slightly below the prior week’s 206,000 but in line with Econoday’s estimate. Meanwhile, personal spending in the U.S. edged up 0.6% in November, meeting projections. However, it marks a slowdown from October’s 1.4% increase.

U.S. Stock Market Today Overview

IndexSymbolPriceGain/Loss% Change
Dow Jones(0DJIA)35950.46+196.57+0.55
S&P 500(0S&P5)4725.72+29.16+0.62
Nasdaq(0NDQC )15653.37+131.48+0.85
Russell 2000 (IWM)222.06+1.78+0.81
IBD 50 (FFTY)44.96+0.40+0.90
Last Update: 4:20 PM ET 12/23/2021

Some stocks are showing improved relative strength and promising setups. Investors may consider initiating positions in these names.

Stocks Making Notable Moves

The Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) showed continued strength with a 0.9% rise in afternoon trading. The ETF still remains below the 50-day moving average, but is attempting to regain support at the 21-day exponential line.

On Thursday, stocks breaking out included medical supplies company West Pharmaceutical Services (WST). Shares rose 1.4% and traded past a 458.09 buy point of a cup-with-handle base. Volume on the breakout was weak largely due to the holiday-related low-volume session.

The stock was featured on Thursday’s IBD Live show.

Elsewhere, outside the Dow Jones Industrial Average, funeral services stock Service Corporation International (SCI) broke out from a 70.13 flat-base entry. The stock has been trading tightly above its 21-day line, a bullish sign considering the majority of stocks are trading below their 50-day and 200-day moving averages.

The funeral services industry group ranks a lofty No. 6 of the 197 groups IBD measures, showing market leadership.

CDW (CDW) was another successful breakout in today’s market. Shares rose above the 200.63 entry of a cup-with-handle base. Shares are holding strong above their 21-day line while the RS line is trending sharply higher.

Beyond Dow Jones: Leading The Tech Stocks Today

Chip equipment stock KLA (KLAC) flashed a buy signal as shares gained momentum above the 10-week line, which currently sits at around 399.19. KLA shares finish up more than 7% for the holiday-shortened week.

The expert in yield management and process control gear for chipmakers hosts a perfect 99 Composite Rating from IBD Stock Checkup.

AMAT Stock Approaches A New Buy Point

Meanwhile, fellow chip equipment maker Applied Materials (AMAT) rose 2% and remains just a small gain away from a 159.10 flat-base entry. With strong fund sponsorship and a strong RS line, this is definitely one to watch.

Both stocks also got some airplay in Thursday’s IBD Live show on Zoom.

Follow Rachel Fox on Twitter at @rachelgfox for more Dow Jones and stock market commentary.

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