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Stocks Close Lower; Oracle Falls After Earnings | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Stocks fell broadly Thursday, but while percentage losses were moderate, the small-cap Russell 2000 took a heavy blow.

X Indexes closed near session lows. The Nasdaq composite was off 0.3%, extending a weeklong pattern of minor moves. The S&P 500 eased 0.4%.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.3%, Disney (DIS) led the Dow with a nearly 3% gain after it finalized a deal to acquire 21st Century Fox‘s (FOXA) entertainment assets.

But small caps were considerably weaker, as the Russell 2000 tumbled 1.1%. The index sank to its 50-day moving average, where it will now try to rebound. A drop below the line would be detrimental.

Volume was higher on the Nasdaq and lower on the NYSE, according to preliminary data. Declining stocks led advancers by about an 8-to-5 ratio across the board.

After the close, Oracle (ORCL) reported adjusted earnings per share of 70 cents and sales of $9.62 billion, both above the consensus analyst estimate. Shares fell more than 3% in early after-hours trading.

Internet, semiconductor, mortgage, jewelry and video game software industry groups were some of the leaders in today’s market. That showed there was no clear sector in command of the session.

Some retail, health care, steel and food industry groups were in the bottom of the day’s performance table. Biotechs also were broadly lower. Biogen (BIIB) fell 2% after AveXis (AVXS) said it will start a trial for a spinal muscular atrophy treatment that would rival a new drug from Biogen and Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS). Ionis shares fell nearly 4% and AveXis rose 0.7%.

Delta Air Lines (DAL), hosting its investor day, forecast solid 2018 and a fourth-quarter results, including more bullish expectations for unit revenue. Delta broke out of a cup-with-handle base with a buy point at 54.16. Volume was well above average, a positive sign.

Delta also confirmed it would buy 100 A321neo jetliners from Airbus (EADSY). The decision is a blow to rival Boeing (BA), but the Dow component still rose 0.7% to a new high.

The IBD 50 was mainly lower and a couple of trouble spots. BGC Partners (BGCP) fell below the 50-day moving average in more than double its usual volume. Floor & Decor (FND) wiped away most of a 7% surge and closed less than 2% higher. The stock is forming a base with a 47.09 buy point, unless it forms a proper handle.

Sanderson Farms (SAFM), a member in IBD Stock Spotlight, plunged 13% after the poultry producer missed earnings estimates. The stock broke below the 50-day moving average in heavy trading and fell 11% below a 167.42 buy point. That was enough to trigger sell signals. Tyson Foods (TSN), a rival that’s in the IBD 50, fell 2.4%.

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