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Stock Indexes Zigzag, But These 3 Issues Break Out | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Bears haven’t been able to put together two down sessions in a row so far this year, and that trend appeared to be intact midday Thursday despite some zigzagging.

X The Nasdaq was on track for a 0.3% gain Thursday after falling 0.6% the prior day. The S&P 500 advanced 0.2% Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average held a 0.6% gain.

Volume in the stock market today fell on both major exchanges.

Indexes opened higher but fell after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi accused the U.S. of hinting at “competitive devaluations.” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday said a weaker dollar would benefit the U.S. economy.

On Thursday, Mnuchin walked back his comments in part, saying he believes in freely floating currencies.

Related or not, the market then moved back to positive territory.

Breakouts were more sparse Thursday than they were Wednesday. Still, several stocks showed bold action early.

Cullen Frost Bank (CFR) popped 4% higher, crossing above a 103.47 buy point in a flat pattern.

The San Antonio-based bank reported earnings growth of 15% vs. the consensus view for a 9% increase. Going into Thursday’s session, the bank sector was up 6.31% so far this year.

Varian Medical Systems (VAR) rocketed 13% as it cleared a 114.19 buy point in a flat base. Varian reported quarterly earnings growth of 112% vs. estimates for an 86% increase.

Spice and herbs provider McCormick (MKC) gapped up 5% in heavy volume. The stock rose above a 104.86 buy point. The company reported quarterly earnings rose 21%. The Street had expected earnings to rise 19.7%.

Economic News

First-time jobless claims rolled in at 233,000 vs. estimates for 240,000. The prior reading of 220,000 was revised to 216,000.

New home sales in December came in at 625,000, below the lowest estimate in the range. The consensus view was for 680,000. The iShares U.S. Home Construction (ITB) exchange-traded fund dived 2.3%, its biggest daily percentage loss since Nov. 2. A Justice Department investigation and NVR’s weaker than expected results also weighed on the industry.

Leading indicators for December were stronger than expected, up 0.6% vs. views for 0.5%.

The Kansas City Fed’s manufacturing index hit 16 vs. estimates for 14. Positive readings point to growth, while a rating of zero is neutral.


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