Stock Market Adds Small Gains; Ulta Beauty Nears Buy Point

The stock market looked in vain for catalysts Friday as modest earnings beats for most banks and a quiet day on the Twitter front for President Trump offered little to go on.


Blue chips led the upside as the Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.4% above the 25,000 level. The Nasdaq was flat, while the S&P 500 edged up 0.1%. The small cap Russell 2000 added less than 0.1%.

Volume was running lower on both major exchanges.

Among the 30 Dow components, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) attracted the most turnover. Volume rose 140% above average. Neither the bulls nor the bears were able to do much with it. The stock edged up 0.2%.

JPMorgan reported quarterly results before the open. The big bank grew earnings 26%, topping the consensus target for a 22% gain.

Other banks reporting included Citigroup (C), First Republic Bank (FRC) and PNC Financial Services (PNC). Each topped views on earnings but only moderately so. Price gains and losses were restrained.

Wells Fargo (WFC) also reported but missed the Street’s consensus estimate on earnings. The stock was off about 1%.

Banks have been a disappointment to the bulls. So far this year, the money center group is down 7% vs. gains of 14% and 5% for the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 respectively.

In the IBD 50, a list of the best stocks in fundamentals and technicals, losers led winners by a 3-to-2 ratio Friday afternoon. Netflix (NFLX) and Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) fell 3% and 2% respectively. There were no gainers in strong volume.

In the S&P 500, three oil stocks and a retail play led the price gains. Devon Energy (DVN) rose 3%. Newfield Exploration (NFX) popped 2.9%. Concho Resources (CXO) added 2.8%.

Ulta Sets Up Base

Specialty retailer Ulta Beauty (ULTA) climbed about 3%. The stock is approaching a 261.50 buy point in a flat base. The Street expects earnings to swell 30% in fiscal 2019 ending in January.

If Ulta breaks out, it would be its first breakout since May 2017, which only led to an 8% gain. The 2017 breakout was after a long run-up. A breakout now would be after a long decline, though the stock’s current base does have a 36% prior uptrend.

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


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Originally posted 2019-09-19 23:17:11.


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