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Indexes Trudge Higher; IBD 50 Outperforms Thanks To These 3 Names | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

A strong performance by shares of Apple (AAPL) helped lift the Nasdaq composite to a gain of around 0.5% in afternoon trading.

XAutoplay: On | OffShares of the tech bellwether and iPhone maker were up 3% to 173.30 after the company reported its fourth straight quarter of accelerating earnings and sales growth late Thursday. It’s too late to buy Apple now, though, because the stock is extended from a 160.97 cup-with-handle buy point.

Gains in the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 were more muted, at around 0.1% to 0.2% each. The Russell 2000 was mostly flat. Volume on the NYSE and Nasdaq was tracking lower than Thursday’s levels.

Merck (MRK), Home Depot (HD) and Wal-Mart (WMT) were strong gainers in the Dow, along with Apple, with gains of around 1%.

Four names ranked inside the top 10 of the latest IBD 50 reported earnings. The good news came from Arista Networks (ANET), Universal Display (OLED) and Control4 (CTRL), which showed gains ranging from 10% to 15%. Stamps.com (STMP) was the sore spot, slumping 20% to 175.40 despite reporting better-than-expected earnings and a 24% jump in sales to $115.1 million.

Innovator IBD 50 (FFTY) was up 1% in afternoon trading.

Wall Street’s focus early was also on the October jobs report. The headline jobs number missed expectations, but all in all, it was a decent report with some hurricane-related noise. Nonfarm payrolls rose 261,000 in October, below the consensus estimate of 325,000. The unemployment rate ticked lower to 4.1%, while August and September job growth was revised higher by a total of 90,000. Bond investors were unfazed by the report, with the 10-year Treasury yield flat at around 2.35%.

In the stock market today, small-cap human resources outsourcer Trinet Group (TNET) was treading near its 50-day moving average ahead of its earnings report late Thursday, but shares gapped up powerfully, rising 15% to 41.10. It’s trying to clear a 41.68 buy point.

Starbucks (SBUX) reversed higher after a soft start, rising 3% to 56.54. The strength came despite news of disappointing sales and lower traffic. Starbucks’ 200-day moving average, just over 57, is a potential resistance level to watch.

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