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Stock Indexes Battle At 200-Day Moving Average Lines

Stocks struggled but stayed positive late Friday morning, as the U.S. stock indexes tried to establish a beachhead above their 200-day moving average lines.




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The Nasdaq spurted ahead as much as 1.3% but then gave back all but 0.3%. The big-cap S&P 500 and blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average added 0.5% and 0.4%, respectively. Small caps trailed with a 0.3% loss in the Russell 2000.

Volume was higher across the board. Friday is an expiration day, which tends to increase turnover.

Conservative plays did well as the Dow Jones utility average sprinted 1.7% higher. Among IBD’s 197 stock groups, soap, personal care and oil stocks were the day’s top performers.

Diversified utility Consolidated Edison (ED) was on track for its fifth daily advance in a row. Con Ed jumped 1.5%. The company pays a 3.7% dividend and is 13% off its high.

Household cleaning products maker Clorox (CLX) headed toward its fifth gain in six sessions, adding 2.4% in heavy volume Friday. Baking soda provider Church & Dwight (CHD) aimed at six sessions in a row without a loss as it added 1.7%.

Consumer goods plays Procter & Gamble (PG) and Colgate-Palmolive (CL) gapped up 7% and 3%, respectively. Volume was strong.

In the oil patch, international explorer Murphy Oil (MUR) climbed 2.9% in the first 15 minutes of trade and then eased to a 1.6% gain. On Oct. 11, Murphy broke out of a cup-with-handle base. The stock is in the 5% buy zone. But with the market in correction all purchases remain highly risky.

Top Stocks Mixed

Elite stocks moved at a slower pace. The Innovator IBD 50 Fund (FFTY) slipped 0.6%. The exchange traded fund is based on the IBD 50. Innovator is 12% off its high and up about 1% year to date. Before the recent decline, Innovator was up 17% for the year.

Yet, the FANG stocks and Apple (AAPL) were doing OK. Facebook (FB) rose 0.2%. Amazon.com (AMZN) added 1.1%. Netflix (NFLX) gained 0.5%. Alphabet (GOOGL) advanced 0.8%. Apple climbed 1.7%, trading just under its 50-day line.

(For updates on this story and other market coverage, check IBD’s stock market today.)

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