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Nasdaq Today: KLA-Tencor, Analog Devices Lead Rally In Semiconductor Stocks

The Nasdaq today traded near the flat line in afternoon trading Wednesday after the minutes from the January Federal Reserve meeting came and went without much fanfare. In stock market news today, DowDuPont (DWDP) and Caterpillar (CAT) outperformed in the Dow Jones. Nasdaq 100 winners included Analog Devices (ADI), which rallied 2.5% on strong earnings.




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The Nasdaq today erased a 0.4% intraday gain and was down 0.1%. The Dow Jones industrials and S&P 500 were also near the flat line.

Among other things, the minutes showed the Federal Reserve expects to end bond selling in its bloated balance sheet by the end of the year. It also noted increasing risks to the economy. In late January, the Fed said it will be patient with regard to interest-rate hikes. Market watchers are not expecting any rate hikes this year.

The 10-year Treasury yield didn’t react much to the release of the minutes. It was up 1 basis point to 2.65%. The 10-year yield has been in a free fall since hitting a high of 3.24% on Nov. 8.

The Philadelphia Semiconductor index gained 1%, helped by strength in other semiconductor stocks in the Nasdaq today like Nvidia (NVDA), Micron Technology (MU) and KLA-Tencor (KLAC).

Steel producers were among the day’s best performers, although most stocks in the group remain far off highs. Top gainers in the group included Steel Dynamics (STLD), U.S. Steel (X) and Nucor (NUE). Steel Dynamics was added to Swing Trader Wednesday morning.

SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) fund, meanwhile, extended gains after a powerful breakout from a cup-with-handle base Tuesday. Gold tends to rise amid weakness in the U.S. dollar, and the U.S. Dollar index has been trending lower since Feb. 14.

Nasdaq Today: Gainers

In the stock market today, Garmin (GRMN) jumped 16% to 82.59 after reporting better-than-expected earnings and sales. Headed into the report, Garmin was trading near a 70.87 buy point. Since Garmin gapped up past the buy point Wednesday, the open price of 75.84 was a valid entry.

Also in the Nasdaq today, chipmaker Analog Devices (ADI) rose 3% on strong earnings. It was featured in the latest Earnings Preview column, which highlights possible call-option trades.

Cadence Design Systems (CDNS) was another earnings winner in the Nasdaq today, up nearly 5%, but the stock was near its session low after jumping 8.8% early.

Group peer Synopsys (SNPS), meanwhile, is just below a 103.50 buy point ahead of its earnings report today after the close.

IBD 50 Gainers

Inside the IBD 50, China-based Autohome (ATHM) outperformed, rising nearly 4%. It’s still 31% off its high, but the stock could try to break out over a descending trend line soon. A breakout over a trend line would generally correspond with a move above the 200-day moving average.

Another China stock made headlines Wednesday. Shares of Kandi Technologies (KNDI) soared 44% after the electric vehicle maker won federal approval to import two of its vehicle models to the U.S.

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