Stock Market Today: Rally Slows, But Nasdaq Resets the Ceiling Again

Nasdaq advances, but Dow and S&P 500 take small steps back

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The market's red-hot run lost some steam on a relatively calm Tuesday that added little to the economic-rebound narrative.

Labor Department data from April showed that 7.7 million people were laid off in the month, down from 11.5 million in March; however, hiring cooled to record lows, and April job openings declined to 5 million from 6 million the month before.

Most of the Dow's components finished in the red as the industrial average snapped its six-day win streak with a 1.1% decline to 27,272. But the Nasdaq set fresh all-time highs for the second consecutive day, gaining 0.3% to 9,953, led by big moves in large components Apple (AAPL (opens in new tab), +3.2%), (AMZN (opens in new tab), +3.0%) and Facebook (FB (opens in new tab), +3.1%).

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Speculators emboldened by the market's recent rally received a sharp warning today. As we mentioned in our A Step Ahead e-letter, several companies that have filed for bankruptcy recently (or warned that they might) have doubled in share price over the past few weeks, but they fell back to earth today – Hertz Global (HTZ (opens in new tab)) plunged 24.4%, Whiting Petroleum (WLL (opens in new tab)) crashed by 32.5% and Chesapeake Energy (CHK (opens in new tab)) collapsed by 66.0% after its trading was halted for three hours.

Just remember: There's nothing wrong with a little speculation, but stocks like these can wipe out shareholders overnight.

If you do want to take on a bit more risk, consider more realistic growth scenarios where the research points to real potential. These 11 small-cap stocks, for instance, have plenty of analyst support – so, too, do these 14 under-the-radar tech plays.

But if you're simply looking to build wealth over time, you want to start from a place of strength. Big, burly blue chips with strong liquidity aren't just less of a bankruptcy risk in the worst-case scenario of a prolonged recession – they also have the most flexibility to go on the offensive as soon as economic conditions are right. Here are 25 such stocks to start digging into.

Kyle Woodley

Kyle Woodley is the Editor-in-Chief of Young and The Invested (opens in new tab), a site dedicated to improving the personal finances and financial literacy of parents and children. He also writes the weekly The Weekend Tea (opens in new tab) newsletter, which covers both news and analysis about spending, saving, investing, the economy and more.

Kyle was previously the Senior Investing Editor for, and the Managing Editor for before that. His work has appeared in several outlets, including Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, Barchart, The Globe & Mail and the Nasdaq. He also has appeared as a guest on Fox Business Network and Money Radio, among other shows and podcasts, and he has been quoted in several outlets, including MarketWatch, Vice and Univision. He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University, where he earned a BA in journalism. 

You can check out his thoughts on the markets (and more) at @KyleWoodley (opens in new tab).