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Stock Market Today: Why Apple Stock Hints At Strong New Year; How To Trade This Bitcoin ETF In 2018 | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Apple (AAPL) continued to trade tightly after a high-volume gap up in price Dec. 18 as the stock market nursed modest losses Friday heading into the Christmas holiday weekend. The equity markets in the U.S. are closed Monday.

X Meanwhile, Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), which triggered a short-term sell signal Wednesday when it clipped the 10-day moving average in heavy trading, nearly completed a round trip of its mind-blowing ascent after breaking out Nov. 22. On that day, the Bitcoin-tracking ETF hurdled over a 985.10 buy point in a very deep cup with handle, then sprinted as much as 229% higher in less than four weeks’ time.

But on Friday, the ETF plunged to as low as 1,155, at one point reducing its post-breakout gain to just 17%. Shares rebounded and were down less than 5% to 1,690. Volume is running nearly double its 50-day average pace.

For now, Bitcoin traders who wish to find the next proper buy point in Bitcoin Investment Trust should watch to see if the 50-day moving average, which has lagged far behind the ETF’s recent rush higher, provides continued support to the upside.

Traders should also see if it forms a new proper base that offers a low-risk entry.

The Nasdaq composite, S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average all posted declines of around 0.1% to 0.2%. At 6949, the Nasdaq remains in a solid uptrend. According to IBD’s The Big Picture, heavy selling by institutions has waned as only three key distribution days now remain over the past 25 trading sessions.

The S&P SmallCap 600 was also off less than 0.2%. The index, at 940, is up 12.2% since Jan. 1, severely lagging a 19.8% lift year to date for the S&P 500.

Over the past four weeks, oil drilling, department store, consumer electronics retail, airline, hospital, coal, steel and auto parts retail stocks were among the biggest winners, all running 11% or higher.

Going back to Apple, the stock remains extended from a 160.97 entry in a second-stage cup with handle. It’s also tried to clear a new flat base that could be seen as part of a base on base pattern.

Prospects for a rosy 2018 for the largest company in the U.S. equity markets by market value look intact.

Technically, the megacap tech continues to sculpt a steady uptrend. And the stock has been able to overcome pullbacks to or below the 10-week moving average (roughly equivalent to a 50-day moving average on a daily chart.)

Fundamentally, the iPhone and Macbook marketer presents additional reasons for institutions to keep investing in the stock.

All of Apple’s proprietary ratings on IBD Stock Checkup have improved significantly over the past 12 months. For instance, on Jan. 1, Apple’s Composite Rating was a mediocre 51; today, it’s 94 on a scale of 1 to 99. The EPS Rating has risen from 45 to 90 over the same time frame.

That improvement reflects a new string of double-digit top and bottom-line growth in recent quarters and expectations such gains will continue.

Also, Apple pays a dividend that has been rising over the long term. The current annualized dividend yield of 1.4% trails that of the S&P 500, but long-term annual dividend growth is currently 10%.

Meanwhile, Nike (NKE) is bouncing hard from steep early losses as it keeps a breakout from a long, deep bottoming base intact. The shoe and athletic apparel titan broke out of a first-stage cup with handle at 57.35 last month and has rallied as much as 13%. It’s likely to snap a six-week win streak.

Late Thursday, Nike reported an 8% dip in fiscal second-quarter profit to 46 cents a share on a 5% jump in revenue. The EPS dip was smaller than a 22% slide in the August-ended first quarter.

Nike’s ratings have also shown improvement, including an 83 Relative Price Strength Rating and an A for Accumulation/Distribution, signifying strong fund buying on net over the past 13 weeks.

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