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Blue-Chip Stocks Lead Market; JPMorgan Battles At 50-Day Line

Blue-chip stocks advanced nicely in late morning trade Wednesday, but the rest of the stock market appeared reluctant to follow the bullish pace. In the Dow, JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Boeing (BA) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) scored the top gains.

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The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.9%, while the S&P 500 added 0.5% and the Nasdaq 0.3%. The small-cap Russell 2000 rose more than 0.2%. Volume rose on both major exchanges vs. the same time Tuesday.

An hour into the session, JPMorgan popped 2%. Volume was about 15% above average. The bank stock recently found support at its 200-day moving average. JPMorgan is battling to retake its 50-day line, a key hurdle if the stock is to advance.

Most of the big money centers are trading below their 50-day line.

Boeing rose more than 1% in brisk volume. The stock is in its 5% buy zone from a 348.67 buy point. The base, though, was late stage. A stock generally has more trouble advancing after the first two breakouts are done.

Light sweet crude oil slid $1.08 a barrel to $64.44. Despite the retreat, Exxon Mobil initially rose 1.1% in the first 10 minutes of trade and then faded to a 0.4% gain.

Breakouts included savings & loan BofI Holdings (BOFI), specialty chemicals company Orion Engineered Carbons (OEC) and financial play Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).

Tesla Pops

Among IBD’s 197 industry groups, carmakers, construction machinery and banks were the day’s leaders. Solar and electric utilities lagged the pack.

Electric car maker Tesla (TSLA) surged 6% in heavy volume. CEO Elon Musk said the company would likely meet its Model 3 weekly production goals.

Crane maker Manitowoc (MTW) lifted 15% in huge volume. The construction equipment group is a market laggard.

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