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Stock Market Today: Stocks Fall Early; This IBD 50 Name In Buy Range Ahead Of Earnings | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

The major market averages fell modestly in early Thursday trade after Wednesday’s solid gains as global investment bank Morgan Stanley (MS) reported upbeat earnings in the stock market today. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 0.3%, while the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average moved down 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively.

X Among the Dow Jones industrials, Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) was the day’s big early winner with a 1.7% rise. The retailer was upgraded from neutral to buy at Goldman Sachs. Shares are trading toward the top of a buy range from a 100.23 flat-base buy point.

Elsewhere in the Dow, IBM (IBM) moved up 0.6% ahead of its Q4 earnings report after the close. Analysts expect positive year-over-year quarterly earnings growth for the first time in six years. The stock is shaping the right side of a large cup-shaped base.

On the downside, Boeing (BA) led the Dow’s losers with an over-2% decline. The stock is trading just off its 52-week high and over 40% above a 246.59 flat-base buy point.

FANG stock Netflix (NFLX) reversed lower despite analyst firm Buckingham upping its price target on the video streaming firm from 235 to 251 — a 15% premium to Wednesday’s closing price. Shares fell 0.3%, but remain extended from a 204.48 flat-base entry after a Jan. 3 breakout ahead of next week’s Q4 earnings release.

Among companies reporting earnings, Morgan Stanley rose 0.8% after topping Q4 earnings and sales targets early Thursday. The stock is near a new high; it is also extended from a 48.59 cup-with-handle entry and multiple tests of the 10-week moving average line.

Meanwhile, IBD 50 member Atlassian (TEAM) will report its fiscal-Q2 earnings results after the close, as shares dropped nearly 2%. Analysts expect the software maker to earn 12 cents per share on revenue totaling $204.5 million. The stock is in buy range from a 53.55 cup-shaped base entry. The stock’s breakout on Jan. 16 sputtered along with the general market, but reclaimed the buy point Wednesday.

Inside the IBD 50, Essent Group (ESNT) advanced 1.4% and is nearing a 20%-25% profit-taking level from a 41.54 flat-base buy point.

On the downside, Control4 (CTRL) declined 2%, giving back a portion of Wednesday’s hefty advance that saw the stock regain its 50-day line for the first time since mid-December. The stock’s relative strength line is drastically lagging, indicating strong underperformance vs. the general market.

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