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Indexes Ease But Small Caps Dive; Oprah Smiles As Weight Watchers Shines | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Selling was fairly muted in the major stock indexes in afternoon trading Tuesday, but small caps got hit hard with the Russell 2000 down 1.3% to 1479. The index is nearing a test of the 50-day moving average, currently around 1469.

XAutoplay: On | OffThe Nasdaq composite was down 0.3%, while the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 showed milder losses of around 0.1%. Volume on the NYSE and Nasdaq was tracking slightly higher than Monday’s levels.

Weakness in chipmakers weighed on the Nasdaq and retail-related groups lagged across the board, with department store operators leading the downside.

Walt Disney (DIS) outperformed in the Dow, rising 1%, after CNBC reported late Monday that the company has had talks with 21st Century Fox (FOXA) about buying part of the company.

In economic news, the IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index hit an eight-month high in November, rising 3.3 points to 53.6. The index has been in optimistic territory for the past 14 months.

In the stock market today, Weight Watchers (WTW), gapped up over a 48.29 cup-with-handle buy point after reporting its third straight quarter of accelerating sales growth. Shares soared 19% to 53.48. Weight Watchers was a well-timed buy for Oprah Winfrey. She acquired a 10% stake in the company when shares were trading below 10 in 2015.

Meanwhile, China-based IBD 50 name Autohome (ATHM) reversed higher after reporting earnings early Tuesday. Sales growth decelerated for the third straight quarter, rising 5% to $233.1 million, but sales beat views. So did adjusted earnings per share of 60 cents, up 58% from the year ago quarter.

Elsewhere, oil and gas name Matador Resources (MTDR) popped nearly 5% on strong earnings early, but the stock was well off session highs, up just 0.4%. The E&P name closed just above a 27.97 cup-with-handle buy point Monday.

On the downside, Priceline (PCLN) plunged 12% after an earnings beat was offset by a weak outlook. The online travel titan had been finding support at the 50-day moving average ahead of the results, but it’s a broken stock now with Monday’s gap down below the 200-day line.

At the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude oil futures for December delivery eased 0.2% to $57.22 a barrel. The 10-year Treasury yield edged lower by 1 basis point to 2.31%.

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