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Apple, Microsoft, Intel Are In Bullish Patterns, Nearing Buy Points: S&P 500 Futures | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Futures for the S&P 500 index rose modestly early Thursday morning after the major averages were mixed Wednesday following the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate hike and 2018 outlook. Dow tech titans Microsoft (MSFT), Apple (AAPL) and Intel (INTC) continued to act bullishly, trading near key levels. Late Wednesday, Apple suppliers Finisar (FNSR) and Lumentum (LITE) continued to move late on the Apple-Finisar investment, while industrial coatings and adhesives maker Nordson (NDSN) soared above a buy point on strong earnings.

X Meanwhile, investors will be on the alert Thursday for Walt Disney (DIS). The Mouse releases “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and is expected to announce a deal to buy much of 21st Century Fox (FOXA). Adobe Systems (ADBE), Oracle (ORCL) and Costco Wholesale (COST) will report earnings late Thursday.

S&P 500 index futures rose nearly 0.2% vs. fair value.

Microsoft

Microsoft fell 0.3% to 85.35 in Wednesday’s stock market trading, holding just below an 86.30 flat-base buy point. Microsoft rebounded from just above its 50-day moving average starting on Dec. 5.

Microsoft is seeing huge growth in cloud-computing services, moving the needle as its legacy PC-based Windows business stagnates. Microsoft on Wednesday rolled out new features for its Bing search service powered by artificial intelligence, including one that highlights reputable sources.

Intel

The other half of the Wintel duopoly also is moving past PCs finally, finding strong demand for its chips in data centers — partly a reflection of cloud-computing demand. And Intel acquired Mobileye last year to provide fuel for its autonomous-driving efforts.

Intel rose 1 cent to 43.34 on Wednesday, continuing to close above its rising 50-day moving average. It’s a critical test, especially with most leading chipmakers trading below that key support area. If Intel rises strongly in high volume, it could offer a new buying opportunity. The chip giant also boasts a 47.40 entry from its ongoing flat-base consolidation.

Apple

Apple rose 0.3% to 172.27 on Wednesday. The iPhone titan needs a few more days to complete its flat base, or base-on-base formation. But if it does, it would have a 176.34 buy point.

Finisar, Lumentum

Apple will invest $390 million in Finisar to help the latter revamp a Texas plant, the companies said Wednesday. Finisar will make vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers used in the iPhone X to power its Face ID identification software and other apps.

Finisar shot up 23% to 23.70 during the regular session, then rose about 2% in late trading.

Finisar’s gain was seen as coming at the expense of Lumentum. Lumentum shares plunged as low as 44.05 intraday, but closed down just 2.85% at 50.28, near session highs. Lumentum rose 3.3% to 51.95, as the intraday rally continued.

Nordson

The maker of adhesives and industrial coatings and systems earned $1.38 a share in its fiscal fourth quarter vs. $1.39 a year earlier. But that beat views for $1.32, according to Zacks Investment Research. Revenue swelled 13% to $573.9 million, well above views for $543 million. Nordson also gave first-quarter guidance that was well above analyst forecasts.

Nordson shares shot up 10% in late trading to 140. That strongly suggests that Nordson will retake a 127.71 cup-with-handle buy point and hit a record high at Thursday’s open.

Nordson rose 2.2% to 126.91 during the regular session, retaking its 50-day line.

The stock’s Relative Strength Line has been lagging since late May, reflecting Nordson’s underperformance vs. the rising S&P 500 index over that span.

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