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Stocks Close Mixed; How Oprah Caused A Stock To Break Out | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Stocks closed mixed Monday as the main indexes recorded all-time highs despite lagging action in the Dow Jones industrial average.

X The Nasdaq climbed 0.3% while the S&P 500 added 0.2%.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell less than 0.1%, dragged down by UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Disney (DIS), General Electric (GE) and Goldman Sachs (GS), each of which fell more than 1%. GE shares met resistance at the 50-day moving average, which may worsen an already steep downtrend.

The small-cap Russell 2000 rose 0.2%.

Volume was lower on the NYSE and higher on the Nasdaq, according to early figures. Winners led losers by a 7-to-5 ratio on the NYSE and were even on the Nasdaq.

Despite the sleepy market, more than two dozen stocks broke out past buy points in today’s market. Among the most notable:

Weight Watchers (WTW) leapt past the 52.17 buy point of a cup with handle in heavy volume. After a potent rally from a breakout last February, shares of the weight-loss company had been rangebound since mid-August. Monday’s breakout increases the chances for a new advance.

The stock surged after Sunday night’s Golden Globes entertainment awards, where a speech by Oprah Winfrey got a lot of media attention and rekindled rumors she may run for president. Winfrey owns 10% of Weight Watchers.

Lithia Motors (LAD) cleared a base with resistance around 123 although volume was unimpressive. The chain of auto dealers is trading near record highs, although profit growth has been lackluster, ranging from 7% to 16% the past four quarters. Sales growth ranged from 13% to 19% and has been trending higher.

IPG Photonics (IPGP) surged past the 248.33 buy point of  a cup without handle in heavy trading. The relative strength line is almost at a new high, a good sign. The stock closed barely still in buy range. The maker of high-power fiber lasers has nearly perfect EPS Rating after quarterly profit gains of 50%, 53% and 64%.

In the industry group table, automakers rose nearly 5%, thanks largely to a 6% surge in shares of Tesla (TSLA). The electric car maker is expected to report Q4 deliveries sometime this week.

Networking, dairy products, oil drilling and auto dealers (a group that includes Lithia) were among the best performing. Trucking and rail contributed the most to the Dow transports’ 0.8% rise for the day.

Health care was the sector with the most lag. Biotech, generic drug, managed care and hospital industry groups were in the bottom 20 of 197 groups.

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