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Stock Indexes On Track For Losses, But Banks, Airlines Up | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

U.S. stock indexes headed toward their first clear loss of 2018, but the day’s big losers were as disparate as a dog’s breakfast.

Among IBD’s 197 industry groups, defensive plays such as food and soap slid midday Wednesday alongside semiconductor stocks.

X The Nasdaq plopped 0.4% lower, while the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average retreated 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively.

Volume in today’s stock market was running flat to lower vs. the same time in the previous session.

On the upside, pockets of strength included airlines, banks, savings and loans and gold miners.

Banks were moving in strong volume. JPMorgan Chase (JPM), which reports earnings Friday, rose 1% in heavy volume, scoring a 52-week high. Bank of New York Mellon (BK) rattled 3% higher in strong volume.  Morgan Stanley (MS) advanced 2% in twice its usual volume.

In the savings and loans space, BofI Holding (BOFI) popped 3% higher in heavy volume. The stock is climbing the right side of a 10-month base.

Airline stocks were mostly up on improved outlooks for United Continental (UAL) and American Airlines (AAL). The two stocks surged 6% and 3%, respectively.

Breakouts midday Wednesday included medical stock Intuitive Surgical (ISRG), regional bank Hancock (HBHC) and banking services provider Fidelity National Information Services (FIS).

Intuitive Surgical broke out about a year ago and then rose about 75% in about 10 months. Recently the stock sketched a flat base, offering a new entry at 405.15. The stock gapped up 6%, holding above the buy point in midday action Wednesday.

The Street expects Intuitive’s earnings growth to roll in at 17% for 2017 and then slow to 8% growth this year.

In economic news, China shook up the market on news that it might either slow or halt purchases of U.S. Treasuries. The report, though, was based on anonymous sources.

The decline in U.S. stock indexes could’ve been driven by the China rumors, but the market could be making  natural retreat after  six up days in a row for the Nasdaq and S&P 500.

Meanwhile, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported mortgage applications rose 8.3% for the week ended Jan. 5.


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