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Stocks Lower But Retail, Energy Make A Stand; New Trouble For Facebook? | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Retail and energy stocks helped offset weakness in technology shares Tuesday, thanks to strong holiday shopping and rising oil prices.

X The Nasdaq composite lagged 0.3%, as chip, solar, fiber optics and other technology groups led losses in the broad market. Facebook (FB), one of the largest Nasdaq components, fell below its 50-day moving average. The move illustrates Facebook’s struggles of late, but the stock is not in immediate danger.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average lost only 0.1%. Volume was lower compared with the same time Friday. The trend could continue this week, traditionally one of the slowest periods on Wall Street. Advancers led decliners by a 7-to-5 ratio on the NYSE and were even on the Nasdaq.

Retail and energy made up 13 of the top 25 industry groups in today’s market. Oil prices surged to near $60 a barrel, a 2 1/2-year high after reports of a pipeline explosion in Libya. Already, major producers had agreed to extend production cuts. Encana (ECA), EOG Resources (EOG) and CNOOC (CEO) were some oil stocks topping buy points, although all in light volume.

U.S. retail sales increased at their best pace in six years, while Amazon (AMZN) reported outstanding holiday sales. Even the much-maligned department stores  industry group stood strongly, up 4% to lead all 197 IBD industry groups.

With today’s selling focused on chip and other technology stocks, there was relative strength also in small caps and transportation. The Russell 2000 rose 0.1% and the Dow transports added 0.1%.

Universal Display (OLED), a supplier of screen technology used in the iPhone X, fell to its 50-day line, where it is trying to find support.

Emergency vehicle make Spartan Motors (SPAR) fell below the 16.95 buy point of last week’s breakout. Volume was heavy Tuesday, but the stock has not triggered a sell signal.

KLX Inc. (KLXI) soared 11% in heavy volume to a record high. The company, which makes aerospace hardware, late Friday announced it is exploring strategic alternatives, including a sale of the company, the sale of some divisions, or a business combination.

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