Analyzing the Hazards of the Current Market: Is it Time to Consider Selling ELF Beauty?

Analyzing the Hazards of the Current Market: Is it Time to Consider Selling ELF Beauty?

Dow Jones futures edged higher after hours, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures.


The stock market rally closed narrowly mixed Wednesday, amid mixed economic data and Fed chief Jerome Powell signaling no change to the rate-cut outlook.

Meta Platforms (META), HubSpot (HUBS) flashed buy signals. Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) is holding in a buy zone while Arista Networks (ANET) reclaimed a buy point. Google stock edged lower late on buzz about AI-powered search.

Meanwhile, Nvidia (NVDA) is holding support, quietly working on a base along with several other AI chipmakers.

ELF Beauty (ELF), a huge winner since mid-2022, plunged Wednesday after retailer Ulta Beauty (ULTA) warned of weak demand. ELF stock broke long-term support, flashing a sell signal.

Investors should be cautious in the current sideways markets, especially with Friday’s jobs report on the horizon.

Nvidia and META stock are on IBD Leaderboard. Meta and Arista stock are on SwingTrader. Nvidia stock, Meta Platforms, ELF Beauty, Arista Networks are on the IBD 50 list. ELF Beauty was Wednesday’s IBD Stock Of The Day.

Dow Jones Futures Today

Dow Jones futures were 0.1% above fair value. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.1%.

Remember that overnight action in Dow futures and elsewhere doesn’t necessarily translate into actual trading in the next regular stock market session.

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Stock Market Rally

The stock market rally had a relatively quiet session Wednesday.

Before the open, the ADP Employment Survey reported March private hiring was slightly stronger than expected. But the ISM services index, released at 10 a.m. ET, unexpectedly fell, signaling slower economic growth in March.

Fed chief Jerome Powell said policymakers are in no rush to cut rates, largely reiterating recent comments. But he also said recent strong economic reports did not “materially change” the decelerating inflation trend and rate-cut outlook.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1% in Wednesday’s stock market trading, pulling back after retaking the 21-day line intraday. The S&P 500 index edged up 0.1%, with Ulta Beauty and ELF stock key losers. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.2%.

The small-cap Russell 2000 climbed 0.6%, back above the 21-day line.

U.S. crude oil prices edged up 0.3% to $85.43 a barrel, jumping 5% over the past four sessions.

The 10-year Treasury yield fell 1 basis point to 4.35%, reversing from a fresh 2024 highs of 4.43% intraday following the ISM services data and Fed chief Powell’s comments.


Among growth ETFs, the iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF (IGV) nudged 0.2% higher. The VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) rose 0.4%. Nvidia stock is the largest SMH holding by far.

Reflecting more-speculative story stocks, ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK) edged up 0.3% and ARK Genomics ETF (ARKG) closed flat

SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME) jumped 2.2% and the Global X U.S. Infrastructure Development ETF (PAVE) climbed 1%. U.S. Global Jets ETF (JETS) fell 0.5%.

The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) and the Energy Select SPDR ETF (XLE) stepped up 0.7%. The Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV) dipped 0.1%.

The Industrial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLI) rose 0.5%. The Financial Select SPDR ETF (XLF) closed a fraction lower.

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ELF Beauty Stock

ELF stock has been a model book stock for more than a year, skyrocketing 983% from its May 2022 low to its early March peak.

But shares have been pulling back in recent weeks. On Wednesday, ELF Beauty plunged 11.9% to 163.77, knifing through the 10-week line in heavy volume. It’s the first time ELF stock had undercut that key level since last November.

The cosmetics maker tumbled Wednesday as beauty products retailer Ulta Beauty (ULTA) warned of weak demand to start the current quarter. ULTA stock dived 15.3%, below its 200-day line. Cosmetics makers Coty (COTY) and Estee Lauder (EL) retreated 6.3% and 4.2%, respectively.

Long-term ELF stock holders likely should be taking at least partial profits. They could choose to see if ELF rebounds by Friday’s close.

Stocks Near Buy Points

Meta stock gained 1.9% to 506.74, moving above the 500 level and extending a bounce from the 10-week line. That offers a buying opportunity. Meta could be in the process of forging its first base of 2024.

Google stock edged up 0.2% to 154.93, holding in range of a 152.15 handle buy point, cleared on Monday. Shares edged lower Wednesday night on an Financial Times report that Google is mulling charging for AI-powered search.

Google’s Waymo self-driving service is teaming up with Uber Eats for food delivery in Phoenix.


HubSpot stock popped 2.7% to 626.70 in strongvolume, retaking a trendline early entry. HUBS stock has a 660 buy point from a flat-base, base-on-base pattern.

Arista stock rose 2.7% to 298.79, once again rebounding from the 21-day line and retaking a 292.66 flat-base buy point, according to MarketSurge analysis.

Nvidia Stock

Nvidia stock dipped 0.55% to 889.64, again finding support at the 21-day moving average. NVDA stock is a few weeks into a possible base, but needs more time. An aggressive trader could use a move above 904-905 as a place to start or perhaps add shares.

It’s not a coincidence that a number of other AI stocks are consolidating around key support, including Broadcom (AVGO), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM).

What To Do Now

Some stocks have been topping or flirting with entries off the 10-week line, offering possible buying opportunities. Those might work out, especially if the market quickly rebounds, so investors could try a position or two.

But a sideways market is among the most challenging for growth investors. A correction or bear market keeps investors out. But in a rangebound market, stocks will often show just enough strength to lure in buyers before pulling back. Promising stocks finding support could look significantly worse with relatively modest declines.

While Meta, HubSpot and Arista Networks closed in the upper half of their intraday range, (CRM) largely erased Wednesday’s gains while and Uber Technologies (UBER) edged lower.

Friday’s jobs report could be a big market mover, especially with Treasury yields front and center.

Ultimately, a sideways market are often constructive — if investors have patience to wait. A slightly longer pause would let more stocks forge bases, including Nvidia and other AI chip plays that have led the market rally.

So work on your watchlists, looking for those emerging bases and other setups.

Read The Big Picture every day to stay in sync with the market direction and leading stocks and sectors.

Please follow Ed Carson on Threads at @edcarson1971 and X/Twitter at @IBD_ECarson for stock market updates and more.


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