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Nasdaq Ends Higher In Cliffhanger As These 3 Chip Names Soar | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Stocks fought to a positive finish on Friday as all three major indexes ended the week with declines, but with names as diverse as Walmart (WMT), Western Digital (WDC) and Ulta Beauty (ULTA) taking home some of the day’s strongest moves.

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The Dow Jones industrial average strode ahead 0.3% to an easy lead for the day. The S&P 500 managed a 0.1% gain, while the Nasdaq Composite struggled to remain positive, ending a fraction higher.

Ulta, Adobe Systems (ADBE) and Western Digital took point on the Nasdaq 100, while chip giant Broadcom (AVGO) posted the index’s deepest decline.

Options and futures expirations made Friday a ‘quadruple witching’ session. This drove up volume, leaving trade 44% higher on the Nasdaq, but up only 6% on the NYSE, vs. Thursday’s end-of-day trading levels.

The Dow ended the week down 1.6%, still caught below its 50-day moving average but showing the positive trend of higher closes across its past three weekly declines. The S&P 500 slipped 1.3% to end just barely back below its 50-day line and also showing ascending closes across its three weekly losses since early February.

The Nasdaq took a 1% loss, just below Wednesday’s high, holding well above its 50-day level and just below the 7500 mark from its prior high, set in January.

Walmart Rallies Dow, Retailers; Broadcom Weighs On Chips

Walmart spearheaded the Dow’s strength for the day, powering up 2.8% in rising trade. The stock had come under late pressure on Thursday due to a whistleblower suit filed against the company, driving shares to close below their 40-week moving average for the first time in more than a year.

Also in the retail sector, salon and cosmetics chain Ulta Beauty spiked more than 7% in heavy trade, while Signet Jewelers (SIG) and Kohl’s (KSS) gained more than 3% each.

IBD Leaderboard name Adobe Systems (ADBE) forged a 3% gain after reporting a ‘beat and raise’ quarter late Thursday — beating analysts’ targets for fiscal first-quarter sales and earnings, and raising guidance for the current quarter. Several analysts also increased the stock’s price target. Shares broke to a new high, and were once again more than 20% above a 186.37 buy point in a flat base, which places the stock in a profit-taking zone.

Chip stocks notched a very mixed session with Broadcom (AVGO) suffering a heavy loss after its fiscal first-quarter results topped expectations, but the company noted a sharp drop in wireless chip orders from key customer Apple. The loss was a setback, but did no represent any real chart damage, leaving shares above their 50-day moving average and 6% below a 274.36 buy point in a double-bottom base.

Shares of Micron Technologies (MU), Western Digital and IBD 50 name Smart Global Holdings (SGH) all apparently benefited from an analyst note declaring improving prices trends among storage chips.

Micron Technologies and Cirrus Logic (CRUS) led the Philly Chip Index, up 3% apiece. That left Micron just below its high from Wednesday, but up more than 20% from a March 5 breakout and in a profit-taking zone.

Cirrus shares remain deep in a nine-month consolidation.

Hard disk and chip storage leader Western Digital spiked more than 4% during the session. That pushed its gain for March past 23% and left it extended 11% following a March 7 breakout.

Smart Global popped 5% in huge trade, breaking out past a 43.25 buy point in a four-month base. Shares ended still in a buy range.

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