Momentum stocks stabilized on Wednesday while the Dow Jones Industrial Average stalled.
In recent weeks, the primary stock market trend was significant weakness in risky sectors like social media and biotech, while lower-beta groups like utilities marched up steadily.
However, today we started seeing signs that the ugly selling in momentum stocks may be coming to an end.
The closely watched iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index ETF (IBB) finished in the red and utilities rose again, but the Global X Social Media ETF (SOCL) rose an impressive 2.4%.
Additionally, hot tech names like FireEye (FEYE), Splunk (SPLK), and Netflix (NFLX) were all solidly in the green following huge declines in March and early April.
We also saw significant outperformance in the Russell 2000 and Nasdaq Composite, which both rose 0.8%.
By comparison, the Dow was up just 0.1%.
Emerging markets, which have been red hot as of late, were generally green, but the iShares MSCI Brazil Index ETF (EWZ) fell. That ETF had risen 25% in a virtual straight line since March 14, so it was due for some profit-taking.
In currencies, the USD/JPY fell sharply after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda announced that the bank was not considering additional monetary easing, as Japan is on track to meet its 2% inflation goal.
And after the close, aluminum giant Alcoa (AA) reported first-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street’s expectations.
On the domestic data front, we’ll see MBA Mortgage Applications, Wholesale Inventories, and, most importantly, the FOMC minutes from last month’s meeting.
Overseas, Australian Consumer Confidence and the German and British Trade Balances will be reported.
In earnings, Constellation Brands (STZ) and Bed, Bath & Beyond (BBBY), will report, but neither is likely to be market-moving.