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For April 1, 2015, here's how the stock market did today, the top stock market news, and stocks to watch based on today's market moves…
How Did the Stock Market Do Today?
Dow: 17,698.18, -77.94, -0.44%
S&P 500: 2,059.69, -8.20, -0.40%
Nasdaq: 4,880.23, -20.66, -0.42%
The DJIA Index plunged 77 points amid disappointing economic data as the second quarter begins. The S&P health care sector .SPXHC slipped 0.5% as investors sold stocks and took gains from a strong first quarter.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) was the biggest decliner on the S&P 500, while the Nasdaq was weighed down by a sell-off in biotech. The iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index ETF (Nasdaq: IBB) slipped almost 1%. (Editor's Note: To find out why there's no biotech bubble, just money to be made, go here…)
Top Stock Market News Today
- It was a tough day for data junkies. Automatic Data Processing (ADP) announced this morning that private employers added just 189,000 jobs in March, well below analyst expectations of 225,000 jobs. This ends the nation's streak of reports above 200,000. In addition, a March report on U.S. manufacturing showed that sector growth has fallen to its slowest rate in roughly two years. The jobs report could be a harbinger of economic struggles in the first quarter. Although the markets are closed this Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will report the March unemployment rate. The U.S. Federal Reserve will keep a close eye on the figure as it determines its timeframe for raising interest rates.
- Oil prices surged again today as investors continue to suffer bouts of volatility in the markets. WTI crude oil surged more than 4% despite news that U.S. crude inventories hit a new record and their 12th straight week of gains. The United States added 4.8 million barrels of crude to its storage capacity this week, a figure that was smaller than many analysts expected. Brent crude prices jumped roughly 3% on news that a deadline expired between Iran and Western nations to hash out a deal over the former country's nuclear ambitions.
- Airline stocks slid today on news of higher oil prices. This afternoon Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB) downgraded airline stocks. American Airlines Group (Nasdaq: AAL) stock was the worst performer in the sector, falling more than 4.5%. AAL rival Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) slipped 3.78%, while Spirit Airlines (Nasdaq: SAVE) dipped 2.86%. Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), which has a strong reputation for its jet fuel procurement strategy, slipped 1.92% on the day.
Stocks to Watch: GDDY, SHLD, AAPL
- Stocks to Watch No. 1, GDDY: Shares of GoDaddy Inc. (NYSE: GDDY) soared as high as 34% in its public debut today. The IPO surge valued the web hosting and domain registration company to nearly $5.5 billion, including debt. The company initially priced its shares at $17 to $19, but opened at $20. Shares surged to more than $26 this morning. Here's a breakdown on whether GoDaddy is the right stock for your portfolio.
- Stocks to Watch No. 2, SHLD: Shares of Sears Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD) jumped more than 3% this morning on news that the company will sell up to $2.5 billion in real estate to an investment trust. The announcement is the struggling retailer's latest attempt to raise capital as it undergoes a transition. SHLD stock ended the day down 0.12%, erasing morning gains.
- Stocks to Watch No. 3, AAPL: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) slipped marginally despite a busy day for the tech giant. The company reaffirmed its opposition to a religious freedom law, while it received a patent that will allow users to unlock their phones with a selfie. Finally, the company announced a new iPad trade-in program in China that is likely to boost sales and customer loyalty in the country. Go here for all the latest news and analysis on Apple stock…
How to Make Money in the Stock Market Today
Every day we give investors a "tip of the day" to find their best profits. Here's today's tip:
Don't listen to pundits warning of a biotech bubble.
Biotech stocks have been soaring. The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index has climbed 46% in the last year, compared to only 10% for the S&P 500.
But after the biotech index shed 7% from March 20 through 26, many Wall Street pundits started crying "bubble."
These tremors could signify a correction in the coming months – but the "bubble" is not about to burst on biotech stocks.
In fact, the Nasdaq Biotech Index hasn't even reached a market correction yet. That's defined as a 10% drop from a market's high. A bear market is reached after a 20% dip.
Now, let's compare that to a "bubble" bursting. When that happens, there's a cataclysmic crash in the market.
Take the 1992 biotech crash for instance. From the end of November 1992 through the beginning of March 1993, the Nasdaq Biotech Index tanked more than 55%.
Money Morning's Biotech Investing Specialist Ernie Tremblay says biotech's recent pullback is normal for the market.
"The correction we're seeing now seems to happen every year at about this time, like clockwork," Tremblay said. "As the sector races upward, everyone begins to wonder how long the momentum can last. After a while, they get queasy from the altitude, and their risk tolerance erodes. Time to take profits. So share prices begin to tumble."
With the recent pullback, now is a great time for investors to add to their positions in strong biotech stocks.
"My investment strategy is always the same in this situation: follow the Bollinger bands," Tremblay said. "When a company you own looks oversold – when its moving average touches the bottom band twice in a short period of time – buy more shares."
Ernie Tremblay understands the FDA approval process and the market demand emerging drugs better than almost anyone else. Get more biotech investing insight and stock picks from Tremblay here.
About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.