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Stock Market Closes Mostly Lower; Boeing Helps Keep Dow Higher; Chips Lag

The stock market closed mainly lower Friday, as a weak outlook from Applied Materials (AMAT) roiled the semiconductor sector.

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The Nasdaq composite, where the majority of chip and technology shares are listed, fell 0.4%. The S&P 500 lost 0.3%. The Dow Jones industrial average edged up a fraction, thanks to a 2% increase in Boeing (BA) shares. Without Boeing, the Dow would have finished about 45 points lower.

But the Russell 2000 added 0.1% as small caps continued to outperform. Major stock indexes, except the Russell, closed lower for the week. Volume Friday was lower on the Nasdaq and higher on the NYSE, according to preliminary data.

Semiconductor equipment was Friday’s worst industry group, down more than 4%. Industry leader Applied Materials gapped down sharply after the company gave weak guidance for the current quarter’s sales. The stock closed below its long-term 200-day moving average.

The related semiconductor manufacturing industry group fell 0.3%. But the selling in chip equipment stocks did not spread to other technology groups. Only the data storage group was in the bottom 50. It wasn’t all bad news for the chip sector: Cowen initiated coverage on 11 stocks, giving most of them positive ratings.

That lower quartile of industry groups saw a mix of consumer, materials, energy and financial stocks.

Department stores were among the five lowest groups, adding to the industry’s woes this week. Nordstrom (JWN) gapped down to close 11% lower. The retailer reported late Thursday lagging same-store sales.

Restaurants were broadly lower as well. Jack in the Box (JACK) tumbled for a second straight day after the fast-food chain reported disappointing earnings and sales for its March-ended quarter. Shares have fallen 13% since the report was announced.

Red Robin (RRGB) was another restaurant down sharply in active trading. Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group (DFRG), a Texas-based steakhouse operator, fell 6% to the lowest level since late November.

Lexfintech (LX) cleared the 17.70 entry of a handle, but that part of the base does not appear in the weekly chart. Classic breakouts are visible on weekly charts. The relative strength line did not make a new high. Lexfintech is a Chinese provider of consumer loans that had its IPO on the Nasdaq Dec. 21.

The Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) climbed 0.1%, outperforming the market. IBD 50 stocks were mixed.

Trade Desk (TTD) added to its rally with a new high in heavy volume. The online ad platform soared out of a base May 11 after a strong earnings report. PGT Innovations (PGTI), which makes windows and doors, broke out of a flat base with a 19.70 buy point. But Smart Global Holdings (SGH) hurt the IBD 50 with a loss of about 9%.

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