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Stocks Hold Onto Gains, But Builders Fall; This Fitness Stock Breaks Out | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

U.S. stock indexes sprang higher after the opening bell, and were holding the gains midday Friday.

X The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 gripped 0.9% gains. The Dow Jones industrial average added more than 0.7%. The small cap Russell 2000 advanced 0.3%.

Volume in the stock market today was running lower vs. the same time in the previous session.

The stock market has had trouble holding gains recently. For example, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 have suffered negative reversals to close low in the day’s range for the past four sessions.

In midday action Friday, oil stocks and electric utilities — two laggard groups — were among the day’s leaders. Chevron (CVX) rose 1.5% in average volume. The price of light sweet crude has rebounded about 9% since marking a short-term low of 58.07 on Feb. 9.


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Electric utility Edison International (EIX) popped 3% in busy volume. Edison is 26% off its high and could be attracting yield shoppers.

Edison’s annualized yield is 4.1%. The utility reported earnings after Thursday’s close. Adjusted quarterly earnings rose 15% to $1.10 a share, which was about 20% higher than the Street expected.

On the downside, homebuilder stocks were among the day’s weakest performers. TRI Pointe Group (TPH) slid 3% in heavy volume. The homebuilder industry group is 17% off its high.

Among top-rated stocks, footwear marketer Skechers (SKX) advanced 3% in heavy volume.

Breakouts were scarce midday Friday, but two stocks broke out.

Planet Fitness (PLNT) gapped up 10% in heavy volume. The company reported fiscal 2017 annual earnings growth of 22% on a 14% gain in revenue. The Street expects 2018 earnings growth to roll in at 30% on revenue growth of 11%.

BJ’s Restaurants (BJRI) gapped up 11% in huge volume, continuing work on a new cup-style base. The company reported results after Thursday’s close and topped analysts’ views on the top and bottom lines.

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