Stock Indexes Battle For Top Spot As Dow Jones Pops

Stock indexes opened on an upbeat note Friday and then piled on additional gains in late morning trade. The Dow Jones industrials led the market at first — thanks in part to gains for Apple (AAPL), Caterpillar (CAT) and Goldman Sachs (GS). But leadership among the bunched indexes shifted back and forth.




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The Dow Jones spurted 1%, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 added 1.3% and 1% respectively. Small caps in the Russell 2000 advanced 1%.

Volume increased on both major exchanges.

Apple surged 2.6% in volume that faded from strong to average. The former market leader hasn’t posted a gain that big in three weeks. Apple has been sliding since early October.  The stock shows no valid entry on the chart at this time.

Apple will report fiscal Q1 results Tuesday after the close.

Apple Pressures India

AppleInsider reported that Apple  and the Indian Cellular and Electronics Association called on India’s government to cut tariffs on machinery imports and to increase import credits. Apple has just 1% of India’s smartphone market.

Separately, Dow Jones member Caterpillar gapped up 2.5% in volume 18% above average. The stock has been struggling for about a year and is 18% off its high.

Caterpillar is one of four stocks that recently joined the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats. The group includes only those S&P 500 companies that have increased its dividend for at least 25 years in a row. Caterpillar’s annualized dividend yield is 2.5%.

The other three new members are Chubb Limited (CB) with an annualized payout of 2.2%; United Technologies (UTX), 2.5%; and People’s United Financial (PBCT), 4.2%.

Goldman Sachs popped 1.4%. Volume was high in the first half hour but faded to below average. The stock continues to test the 200 price level, an area that still leaves it 27% off its high.

Intel Falls But Other Chips Rise

Chip stocks were up despite a hard slam on Intel (INTC). The chipmaker gapped down 6.5% on a revenue miss and sluggish first-quarter guidance.

Other chip stocks were not much affected. Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) rose 3%. Marvell Technology (MRVL) jumped 5%.

In the retail space, Starbucks (SBUX) sprang almost 4% higher in strong volume.

The Leaderboard stock reported results after Thursday’s close, beating the Street’s consensus view by 15%.

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