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Small Cap Stocks Lead As Intel, Boeing Prop Up The DowSmall Cap Stocks Lead As Intel, Boeing Prop Up The Dow

Stock indexes erased losses and held on to minor gains Friday afternoon, as small cap stocks led the market to end an otherwise forgettable month of September for smaller companies.




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The Russell 2000 gained 0.4% and is on track to end the month with a loss of 2.5%. The small-cap benchmark lagged the Dow Jones industrial average, Nasdaq composite and S&P 500 in September. The Russell remains below the 50-day moving average, another difference with the major indexes.

The Nasdaq, S&P 500 and Dow were up 0.1% or even less. Overall, the indexes were little changed for the week. (For updates on this story and other market coverage, check Stock Market Today page.)

Volume was lower on the NYSE and higher on the Nasdaq compared with the same time Thursday. Winners led losers by a 3-2 ratio on the NYSE and by 9-7 on the Nasdaq. 

Intel (INTC) led the Dow with a 3% burst after it announced improvements in the production of certain chip components. Intel rose to the 50-day moving average, where it met resistance in July. Getting back above the downward-trending 50-day line would give the stock a badly needed boost.

Boeing (BA) rose more than 1%, an increase that single-handedly was enough to take the Dow into positive territory. The company is celebrating a $9.2 billion contract to build a next-generation trainer airplane for the U.S. Air Force.

Utility, real estate and mining stocks were among the leading sectors. Energy also was strong as the price of West Texas Intermediate oil rallied 1.7% to $73.35 a barrel. Exploration & production, oil machinery and drilling are among the top 25 of 197 industry groups.

WPX Energy (WPX), an exploration and production company, broke out of a flat base. Shares rose above the 19.88 buy point in active trading. The relative strength line is near a new high. Jefferies initiated coverage on the stock with a buy rating and a price target of 28.

Bluecora (BCOR) surged to a new high, breaking out of a cup base with a 40.70 buy point.

IBD 50 Is Up 0.4%

The IBD 50 was up 0.4% in afternoon trading, outperforming the dull broad market. Chip leader Nvidia (NVDA) and struggling chip stock Nanometics (NANO) rose 5% and 3%, respectively in the IBD 50. Health Insurance Innovations (HIIQ) climbed nearly 5% to a new high.

Financials were broadly weaker, with the SPDR Financial ETF (XLF) down for a sixth consecutive day. The ETF is 8% below its prior high, though it’s forming a new base. Money center banks were down 0.5%, while superregionals and regional banks were down modestly.

Fears of instability arose in Italy today after the populist government set out to increase deficit spending. The news hurt major banks in Europe and the U.S.

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