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Bears Sleepy, Apple Falls Below Key Level; TransUnion Rips Past Buy Point

Stocks showed a sluggish start as the bears slept Friday. The major indexes look poised to march higher for a second week in a row in the wake of a key follow-through that took place April 10.

X

The Nasdaq composite sank nearly 0.5% at the get-go, then stretched losses to more than 0.7% at one point, following a 2.8% rally last week. The tech-centered index is still up for the week, but watch for a new battle of support at the key 50-day moving average. The Nasdaq 100-tracking PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ) ETF fell nearly 0.9% and is trying to slip beneath the 50-day moving average for the first time in nearly four weeks.

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.3%; Home Depot (HD) was the sole stock among the 30 components of the Dow Jones industrial average to gain 1 point or more. Read more about the follow-through by going to IBD’s The Big Picture column.

Volume has been holding below the 50-day average on the Nasdaq for at least two straight weeks. On the NYSE, trading has been muted for nearly three weeks in a row.

Consumer tech titan Apple (AAPL) gapped below its 50-day moving average. That’s a sign of weakness for the iPhone and iPad giant. The stock fell 3% to 167.26 in intense turnover and is now almost 9% below an all-time high.

Apple has already rallied 55% since it burst out of a cup with handle at 118.12 way back on Jan. 6, 2017. So it’s due for a rest, but keep watch for a base to complete itself.

The current correction for Apple looks totally normal so far.

A New Base?

Google operator Alphabet (GOOGL) eased less than 0.5% to 1,084 and still holds a stout weekly gain. Watch to see if it holds above the key 50-day moving average. The tech megacap may be forming a new double bottom base.

Among the 11 names currently in Leaderboard, new entrant Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) cooled off a second straight day and remains in buy range from a 445.20 entry in a shallow cup with handle. Shares are off just 1% to 458; volume is active.

Credit-reporting agency TransUnion (TRU), which has held a spot on the Leaderboard watch list for more than two weeks, gapped up and jumped more than 7% to 65.35, easily surpassing a 59.72 buy point in a shallow cup with handle.

The base is better viewed as a flat base with an entry at 61.52, 10 cents above the left-side high. In this case, TransUnion was within proper buy range right at the open price of 64.03, 4% above the flat-base entry.

The expert in consumer financial data posted a 36% jump in first-quarter earnings to 57 cents a share, spanking the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate by nearly 10% and issuing the biggest year-over-year increase in five quarters. Revenue grew 18% to $537 million, marking a third quarter in a row of accelerating top-line growth. TransUnion also announced an acquisition of U.K.-based Callcredit.

This Shoe Drops

Skechers (SKX) got body slammed, gapping down more than 25% to around 31. The company reported a 13% rise in Q1 earnings to 68 cents a share, sharply undercutting Wall Street’s expectations. Sales rose 17%, easing from a 27% Q4 top-line increase, but moving at a faster pace than the year-ago quarter.

Net margin edged 20 basis points lower to 8.6%, suggesting the shoe giant felt price pressures from the competition or saw its costs climb.

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