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Stocks End Mixed As Dollar Slumps, Commodities Rally; One FANG Stays Sharp | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Chips, airlines and mortgage services stocks were among the hardest hit industries Wednesday, as a mixed performance played out through the closing bell.

XThe Nasdaq Composite coughed up a 0.6% loss as Apple (AAPL) groaned 1.6% lower. Among the FANG stocks, Facebook (FB), Amazon.com (AMZN) and Google (GOOGL) ended down for the day. Texas Instruments (TXN) and American Airlines Group (AAL) posted the worst declines among Nasdaq 100 listings.

The Dow Jones industrial average plodded nearly 0.2% higher, with Verizon (VZ), Goldman Sachs (GS) and American Express (AXP) leading the index’s handful of better-than-1% gains, while General Electric (GE) and Apple brought up the rear.

The S&P 500 struggled against an incremental loss, maintaining some altitude above the 2,800 mark. W.W. Grainger (GWW) turned in the list’s top performance, while United Continential (UAL) dived nearly 12%, to the bottom of the list.

The dollar played a key role in the session, tumbling to 3-year lows after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced to an audience in Davos, Switzerland that the U.S. had shifted its policy stance on currency, and now welcomed short-term declines in the dollar. Dollar sensitive commodities rallied, with oil rising more than 2%, and silver and copper each knocking out gains of nearly 4% for the day. Gold also rose sharply.

LendingTree Withers, Apple Undercuts Buy Point; Grainger, Netflix Rocket

LendingTree (TREE) and HFF (HF) led a sell-off across a range of mortgage services firms, despite early data showing an unexpected 4.5% increase in mortgage activity during the week. LendingTree collapsed 10%, after being initiated at hold by SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. Shares were overdue for a consolidation, up 179% since an April breakout, and still well above support at their 10-week moving average while not showing any real signs of overheating.

HFF dumped more than 7% after a downgrade to market perform, from market outperform, from JMP Securities. Also due for consolidation, the stock had gained 44% since clearing a base in June.

Apple backed off after reports from Bernstein and Nomura Instinet added to the growing pile of reports on slowing sales of iPhones.  The loss sent shares back below a 176.34 buy point as the tech giant continues to wrestle resistance.

Netflix (NFLX) once again asserted is role as a leader, rising more than 4% as it chalks off new highs, ending 27% above the 204.48 buy point overtaken in strong volume on Jan. 3.

Earnings provided both a powerhouse driver and detractor for the session.

Industrial supplies distributor W.W. Grainger spiked almost 19% after reporting a fourth quarter of accelerating revenue growth and its first earnings gain since Q3 of 2016.  The surge blasted shares to the top of the S&P 500, and past a 240.59 buy point in a deep, year-long cup-with-handle base.

United Continental veered almost 12% lower, as it’s fourth-quarter report triggered a sell off among airline stocks. Q3 earnings and revenue both topped expectations, but management comments about capacity expansion triggered concerns that a price war was in the offing. United shares halted their dive at their 10-week moving average.

Among peer airlines, Delta Air (DAL) dropped 5%, American Airlines (AAL) slumped 6%.

Other Important End-Of-Trade News For Thursday:

These Fighting Words From United Just Ignited Another Another Airline Meltdown

Analyst Says Netflix Could Top 200 Million Subscribers By 2020

Bitcoin Pulls Back After Rally As Early Adopter Abandons Currency

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