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Stock Indexes Up Slightly, But Technical Gauge Is Set To Improve | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

U.S. stock indexes were up modestly in early, post-holiday action Friday.

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average tacked on almost 0.2%, while the Nasdaq edged up 0.1%. The small cap Russell 2000 also added 0.1%.

Volume fell on both major exchanges vs. Wednesday’s pace. Volume for the day is expected to be slow because of the holiday Thursday and the shortened session. Friday’s session will close at 1 p.m. ET, three hours earlier than usual.

The major indexes and most other indexes were headed for gains for the week. One exception was the Dow Jones utility average, which appeared on track for a tiny, weekly loss.

The distribution-day count is expected to improve by Friday’s close. The Oct. 19 distribution day on the Nasdaq will expire at the close. After 25 sessions, a distribution day is no longer relevant to current conditions.

A distribution day involves a sizable loss in a major index in rising volume. Distribution is a sign of institutional selling.

Blue chips were mostly up early Friday. Visa (V) led the gainers with a 0.8% pop. Visa is extended from a late September pullback and bounce off its 50-day moving average line. Visa grew earnings about 23% in fiscal 2017 ended in September. The Street expects earnings to rise 17% in the current fiscal year.

Visa is No. 6 within its payment processor group in Stock Checkup at Investors.com. The No. 1 stock in the group is PayPal (PYPL).

In the internet retail group, Amazon.com (AMZN) headed toward its third daily gain in a row. The stock rose 1.2% Tuesday, 1.5% Wednesday and was up 1.4% in early trade Friday. The positive action has lifted Amazon above its 5% buy zone, which means it is too extended to safely buy. A breakout in late October was from a late-stage base, which also is a reason to avoid buying shares.

As a stock rises, it pauses to shape bases. A breakout from a first- or second-stage base is more likely to work than those from later-stage bases.

Economic News

The PMI composite flash for November rolled in at 54.6, below the Street’s expectations for 55.4 and also below the lowest estimate in the range. The flash Purchasing Managers Index is based on a survey of about 1,000 manufacturing and service sector companies.

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