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Stock Market Today: Bulls Charge Higher; Apple, Financial Stock Try For Breakouts | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

U.S. stock indexes rushed higher at Monday’s open and then held most of the gain in midday trade. The small cap Russell 2000 led with a nearly 1.3% thrust.

XThe Nasdaq and the S&P 500 rose 0.8% and 0.6% respectively, while the Dow Jones industrial average added 0.7%.

Volume in the stock market today was running below Friday’s pace.  Friday’s session involved expirations, which often boosts volume and makes for a tough comparison for the next session.

Piper Jaffray (PJC) broke out Monday, clearing an 80.90 buy point in a cup-with-handle base. Volume was 48% above average but then faded.

Piper’s Finance-Investment Bankers/Brokers group is No. 11 among 197 industry groups. Money has been rotating into the group. Six weeks ago, Piper’s group was No. 56.

Within its group, Piper Jaffray is No. 5 in Stock Checkup at Investors.com.  The four stocks rated above Piper are each too extended to buy under IBD’s probability-based rules.

Big Gainers In IBD 50

In the IBD 50, three stocks jumped at least 4%. Connected-home software provider Control4 (CTRL) rose 5% in heavy volume, bouncing off its 50-day moving average area. China Lodging (HTHT) rose 6% as it retook its 50-day line in fast trade. PetMed Express (PETS) added almost 4—% in brisk volume.  PetMed is building the right side of a base but is 8% off its high.

Control4 and PetMed are small-cap stocks. Both stocks are in strong industry groups. Control4 is up 222% for the year. PetMed is up 103%.

Blue Chip Leaders

Blue chips were mostly up. In the 30-component Dow Jones industrial average, 10 stocks gained 1% or more. Intel (INTC) rose 2%. DowDuPont (DWDP) almost 2%.  Meanwhile, Apple (AAPL), Home Depot (HD) and American Express (AXP) added 1.5% each.

Apple was trying to break out past a 176.34 buy point in a base-on-base pattern. Volume was running 70% above average. Apple is up 52% year to date.

Gains in the stock market Monday were broadly based. Among IBD’s 197 industry groups, only 13 retreated. Finance, retail and oil stocks were leaders.  Utilities and medicals lagged.

Economic News

The National Association of Home Builders released its report for December. The reading came in at 74, blasting past expectations for 70 and above the entire range of estimates.

The iShares Home Construction (ITB) exchange-traded fund rose 1% midday Monday and is trading about 2% off its recent high. The ETF is up about 55% year to date.

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