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Stock Market Today: Indexes Rise Moderately; Stock Breakouts Increase | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

U.S. stock indexes jogged ahead midday Thursday, as the market digested the Republican tax overhaul and grappled with budget issues that threaten a government shutdown.

X The Dow Jones industrial average led with a nearly 0.5% gain. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq added 0.4% and 0.3% respectively. Small caps lifted the Russell 2000 0.5%.

Volume in the stock market today was lower on both major exchanges.

Blue chips rose by an 8-3 ratio. In the 30-component Dow Jones industrial average, Goldman Sachs (GS) advanced 2.4%; Chevron (CVX), 2.4%; and JPMorgan Chase (JPM), 1.6%.

Dow losers for the day included chipmaker Intel (INTC) down 1% and Coca-Cola (KO) off 0.7%.

Chevron and Intel showed the most notable chart action among those five Dow movers. Chevron cleared a 120.99 buy point in a shallow pattern. Intel reversed under a 47.40 buy point after clearing the entry Wednesday.

Breakouts Bloom

Breakouts were popping up Thursday.

Stocks either breaking out or very near a buy point included metal ores miners BHP Billiton (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO); construction services provider MasTec (MTZ); oil companies Marathon Oil (MRO), Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) and Concho Resources (CXO); Toyota Motor (TM); WisdomTree Investments (WETF); low-fare airline Allegiant Travel (ALGT) and JetBlue Airways (JBLU); and Bank of Montreal (BMO).

Among IBD’s 197 industry groups, winners for the day included airlines, oil and money centers.

For more on money centers, see the recent IBD article “Are Stocks Pivoting To New Leadership” at Investors.com.

The stock market was having an easy time digesting the tax-overhaul legislation, but now Congress faced a new problem. Lawmakers were scrambling to approve a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown.

Economic News

Three financial items disappointed the Street. The third reading on Q3 GDP rolled in at 3.2%, just shy of expectations for 3.3%. First-time jobless claims were worse than expected, 245,000 vs. the consensus view of 234,000. And the Chicago Fed’s national activity gauge was 0.15 in November vs. the consensus estimate of 0.2%.

Three others beat analysts’ views. They included the Philadelphia Fed’s business outlook survey, 26.2 in December vs. views for 21.8; the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s house price index for October, 0.5% vs. 0.4% expected; and leading indicators for November, 0.4% vs. the consensus estimate of 0.3%.

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