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Dow Jones Futures Extend Gains After Cool Inflation Data; 6 Stocks To Buy And Watch

Dow Jones futures extended gains Friday morning after key inflation data, with the release of the PCE price index, the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation. Six top stocks to buy and watch in the new stock market uptrend include Dow Jones software giant Microsoft (MSFT).


Before the open, the Commerce Department’s personal income and outlays report showed that personal income rose 0.3% in February with consumption expenditures up 0.2%, both in line with Econoday estimates. The overall PCE (personal consumption expenditures) price index rose 0.3% on the month, below estimates that called for a 0.4% rise, with an annual rate of 5.0%, below the 5.1% estimates. Core prices, minus food and energy, rose 0.3% on the month, with an annual core inflation rate of 4.6%; both readings were just cooler than estimates.

Stock Market Today

Electric-vehicle giant Tesla (TSLA) rose 0.4% early Friday. Dow Jones tech giants Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) were lower ahead of today’s stock market open.

PagerDuty (PD), IBD Leaderboard member Palo Alto Networks (PANW) and Workday (WDAY) — as well as Dow Jones stocks Cisco Systems (CSCO),M Microsoft and Nike (NKE) — are among the top stocks to buy and watch with the newfound market strength.

Cisco was featured in this week’s Stocks Near A Buy Zone column. Palo Alto, PagerDuty and Microsoft were all recent IBD Stock Of The Day subjects.

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Dow Jones Today: Oil Prices, Treasury Yields

Ahead of Friday’s opening bell, Dow Jones futures rose 0.4% vs. fair value, while S&P 500 futures also gained 0.4%. Tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.25% in morning action.

Among U.S. exchange-traded funds, the Nasdaq 100 tracker Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) rose 0.25%, while the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) climbed 0.4% early Friday.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield on Thursday inched lower to 3.55%, ending a three-day win streak. Last week, the 10-year yield briefly touched its lowest level since mid-September. On Friday, the 10-year ticked lower to 3.53%.

U.S. oil prices looked to add to Thursday’s solid gains, as West Texas Intermediate futures traded near $75 a barrel.

Stock Market Rally

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average tacked on 0.4%, and the S&P 500 climbed 0.6%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite rallied 0.7%, closing above 12,000 and at its highest level since Feb. 15. The small-cap Russell 2000 was a laggard, falling 0.2%.

Thursday’s Big Picture column commented, “Wednesday’s bullish gains shifted IBD’s stock market outlook into a ‘confirmed uptrend,’ and investors should be looking for opportunities to raise their market exposure. An exposure level between 20%-40% makes sense in the immediate aftermath of a follow-through day.”

Now is an important time to read IBD’s The Big Picture column following Wednesday’s trend-changing gains.

Five Dow Jones Stocks To Buy And Watch Now

Dow Jones Stocks To Watch: Cisco Systems, Nike

Cisco Systems is within striking distance of a flat base‘s 51.84 buy point, according to IBD MarketSmith pattern recognition after rising five of the past six sessions. Bullishly, the stock’s relative strength line hit a new high last week, a sign of stock market outperformance. CSCO stock rose 0.1% Friday morning.

Nike shares continue to trace a flat base that has a 131.41 buy point. The stock failed to hold above its 50-day line last week, meeting resistance, but may be setting up for another attempt to regain that key level. NKE stock moved up 0.3% Friday.

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Top Stocks To Buy And Watch: PagerDuty, Palo Alto, Workday

Recent IBD Stock Of The Day and IBD Leaderboard watchlist stock PagerDuty is building a large cup with handle that stretches back to March 2022. The correct buy point is 33.87, and shares are about 3% away from that entry after Thursday’s 1.4% advance. PD stock rose 1.6% Friday morning.

Backstory: PagerDuty uses a form of artificial intelligence known as machine learning to automate its cloud platform. But it’s not part of a new wave of software companies using content-creating “generative AI” technology.

On the company’s recent fourth-quarter earnings call, the company “noted the typical style of AI utilized by the PagerDuty platform is called analytical AI,” RBC Capital analyst Matthew Hedberg said in a note to clients.

IBD Leaderboard stock Palo Alto Networks regained its 192.94 buy point out of a cup with handle during Thursday’s 0.7% rise. The buy area runs up to 202.59. PANW stock was up 0.1% premarket Friday.

Backstory: Through acquisitions, Palo Alto Networks has expanded into endpoint security and vulnerability management. Endpoint tools detect malware on laptops, mobile phones and other devices that access corporate networks.

Workday added to Wednesday’s breakout gains, rising 0.9% Thursday. Shares are in the 5% buy zone above a 193.74 flat-base entry. The buy area goes up to 203.43. WDAY stock boasts a 98 out of a perfect 99 IBD Composite Rating. Shares fell 0.2% Friday morning.

Backstory: The company offers businesses a unified platform for planning, analyzing, applying and extending to other applications. The software is used for diverse work related operations, from managing finances to planning new business ventures. Future of Work basically means using innovation and technology for business needs.

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Stocks To Buy And Watch In Stock Market Rally

These are four top stocks to watch in today’s stock market, including two Dow Jones leaders.

Company Name Symbol Correct Buy Point Type Of Buy Point
Workday (WDAY) 193.74 Flat base
Nike (NKE) 131.41 Flat base
Palo Alto Networks (PANW) 192.94 Cup with handle
Cisco Systems (CSCO) 51.84 Flat base
Source: IBD Data As Of March 30, 2023

Join IBD experts as they analyze leading stocks in the current stock market rally on IBD Live

Tesla Stock

Tesla stock gained 0.7% Thursday, adding to Wednesday’s gains. Shares continue to trade above their 50-day line, and are again finding support around that level. The stock closed Wednesday 50% off its 52-week high.

TSLA stock moved up 0.4% Friday morning, looking to add to Thursday’s climb.

Dow Jones Leaders: Apple, Microsoft

Among Dow Jones stocks, Apple shares gained 1% Thursday, closing at their highest level since Sept. 12. AAPL stock traded down a fraction Friday.

Microsoft shares moved further past a flat base’s 276.86 buy point during Thursday’s 1.3% climb. The stock is in the 5% buy area that goes from the buy point to 290.70. And shares fell 0.2% early Friday.

Microsoft shares surged earlier this month after the company announced that it is adding artificial intelligence tools to its popular Office productivity applications. That follows the company’s investments in AI startup OpenAI, the firm behind the buzz-worthy ChatGPT application.

Be sure to follow Scott Lehtonen on Twitter at @IBD_SLehtonen for more on growth stocks and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.


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