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Stock Market Today: Indexes Lower; Is Alphabet’s Breakout For Real? | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Stocks faded into the close Thursday, although index moves remained generally mild. Meanwhile, Nasdaq titan and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) topped a buy point.

The Nasdaq and S&P 500 lost less than 0.2%. The small-cap Russell 2000, a market leader of late, fell a fraction. The Dow Jones industrial average eased 0.1%.

XAutoplay: On | OffVolume was higher, according to preliminary figures.

Dow component Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) edged past the 137.18 buy point of a base-on-base pattern but closed below it. Credit Suisse offered praise for the pharmaceutical and diversified medical products giant, saying it remains “bullish on the story.”

Alphabet, whose base was highlighted in a Stock Market Today story earlier this week, made the new highs list as it edged higher and topped a 1,006.29 buy point. But volume was below average and the price move itself lacked power. A lagging relative strength line added another doubt to the breakout.

Megacap stocks don’t usually move in outsized volume, but several were on the decliners list: Northern California power utility PG&E (PCG) slid 6%; AT&T (T) gapped down on a sharp loss in TV subscribers; and Citigroup (C) reversed lower sharply after its earnings report.

Blackhawk Network (HAWK) plunged 20.5% after it reported earnings and gave a weak outlook. “We have recently seen increasing competitive pressures in some retail markets and believe this will result in lower growth in our U.S. retail physical channels going forward,”  CEO Talbott Roche said. He added the company is seeing excellent growth in digital channels and broader diversification.

NMI Holdings (NMIH) gapped past a buy point Thursday on news that the mortgage insurer is being added to the small-cap S&P 600. NMI shares surged past the 12.70 buy point of a cup-with-handle base in huge volume.

XAutoplay: On | OffNMI Holdings is replacing SciClone Pharmaceuticals (SCLN), which is being acquired by GL Capital Management. The change takes effect before the open of trading on Monday.

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