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Intel, Microsoft Lead As Market Rallies On Tax Reform Optimism | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

The Nasdaq ran ahead of the major market averages Friday, up 1.2% as rising optimism regarding a GOP tax reform effort helped drive blue chip tech names including Intel (INTC), Microsoft (MSFT) and United Technologies (UTX) to the head of the Nasdaq 100.

X Electronics makers and staffing companies, metals and drug distributors were among the many industries to post gains of better than 3% during the session.

The advance was sufficient to lift the Nasdaq past its Nov. 28 peak to its first new high in three weeks. The S&P 500 gained  0.9%, also scratching off a new high as Under Armour (UA) took the index’s largest gain, surging 9% after Stifel Nicolaus upgraded the stock to buy, from hold.

That put Under Armour shares back above their 10-week moving average and up 32% from a November low, although still deep in a 20-month correction.

Railroad CSX (CSX), Barbie-maker Mattel (MAT) and chipmaker Oracle (ORCL) turned in the S&P 500’s worst losses, down 8%, 5% and 4%, respectively.

The Dow ran not quite as hot as its peer indexes, up 0.6%, but plenty strong enough to once again make news highs. Intel was the leader, up 3% on what appeared to be primarily a tax plan-related move.

Small caps also did well with the Russell 2000 up 1.5%.

Intel’s gain put shares in a buy range on a rebound from support at the stock’s 10-week moving average. The rebound occurred in only modest volume, and the chart pattern is also a flat base, so investors have the option of waiting to see whether shares climb past the 47.40 buy point.

Microsoft took out its 86.30 buy point, rising nearly 3%  in powerful trade, moving to a new high but remaining well within buy range.

Bitcoin drew heavy attention, with the cryptocurrency jumping 10% — back above $17,800. Related stocks were also busy, with Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) up 14%, bringing its gain since the start of the month to 79%. Riot Blockchain (RIOT) also vaulted 14%. Marathon Patent Group (MARA) thumped out a 6% gain and bitcoin friendly online retailer (OSTK) soared 11%.

Nearly one third IBD 50 names scored gains of 2% or better. At the top of the list, Planet Fitness (PLNT), SVB Financial Group (SVB) and Atlassian (TEAM) all sparked up more than 3%. Planet Fitness and SVB are extended. Atlassian is fighting to beat resistance at its 10-week line and start up the right side of a 19% deep consolidation.


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