Stocks Close Modestly Higher As Verizon Helps Prop Up The Dow | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Stocks closed higher Monday, with small caps extending their rally and Verizon (VZ) helping the Dow outperform the two major indexes.

XAutoplay: On | OffThe Nasdaq rose only 0.1% despite leadership in semiconductor and other technology groups. The S&P 500 also added 0.1%.

Small caps led, as the Russell 2000 rose for the third straight session. The index, up 0.6% at Monday’s close, is about 1% away from a new high.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 0.3%. Volume was lower than Friday’s pace and is likely to remain light this Thanksgiving week. Winners led losers by a 3-to-2 ratio on the NYSE and the Nasdaq.

Verizon picked up 1.7% after Wells Fargo upgraded the telecom giant to outperform from market perform. A Wells  analyst also raised her price target on Verizon to 50 from 48, citing the company’s dividend outlook. Much of the bad news on wireless revenue declines is behind, the analyst added.

Goldman Sachs downgraded Wal-Mart (WMT) to neutral from buy, while Jefferies put a 110 price target on the retail titan, which it rates as a buy. Wal-Mart was flat after erasing losses. Merck (MRK) also lagged on the Dow, shedding 2% on favorable news for a potential treatment for advanced lung cancer from rival Roche (RHHBY).

While several high-rated stocks broke out of bases, most showed minor volume. That puts breakouts in question, and may be the norm this week because Thanksgiving week tends to see light trading.

Besides Verizon, a couple of other telecom stocks broke out and contributed to the sector’s leading performance in Monday’s market.

Ubiquiti Networks (UBNT) cleared the 66.84 entry of a cup-with-handle base. Volume was about 70% less than average for the wireless network equipment maker.

Rogers Communications (RCI), Canada’s largest provider of wireless communications services, topped the 54.34 buy point of a flat base in volume equal to its 50-day average of 309,000 shares a day.

But lower-priced AXT (AXTI) broke out sharply, vaulting above a 9.80 buy point in nearly four times its average volume.  The chip-equipment manufacturer has a 97 Composite Rating.

Energy and health care were the weakest sectors. Some retail also lagged, including restaurants and drugstores.

Three Chilean stocks fell in unusually heavy volume: lithium producer Sociedad Quimica y Minera (SQM), brewing firm Compañia Cervecerias Unidas (CCU) and Banco Santander-Chile (BSAC). Conservative candidate Sebastian Piñera won the plurality of votes in Sunday’s presidential election but failed to win an outright majority and now heads to a run-off vote.


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Originally posted 2017-11-21 03:02:06.


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