Stocks Mixed As This Sector Provides Some Buoyancy | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Stocks were mixed Thursday afternoon as semiconductor stocks extended a rally and gave the tech sector some  relative strength.

X Chip stocks helped the Nasdaq composite climb 0.2%. The S&P 500 was up only a fraction. The Russell 2000 was off 0.3%.

The Dow Jones industrial average was off 0.2%, yet still managed a record high during the day.  Boeing (BA) and Merck (MRK), two components that have accounted for a big chunk of the Dow’s rally this month, fell 2.5% and 1.4% in today’s market.

Volume on the NYSE and Nasdaq was lower compared with the same time Wednesday. Despite light volume, the balance of trading was clearly in the seller’s favor: Decliners led advancers by 2-to-1 in the NYSE and by 7-to-5 on the Nasdaq.

A number of industrial stocks were down in heavy trading, some related to the lithium industry.

Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM) reached an accord with Chile’s development agency that allows the company to expand its production. The potential increase in supply for the mineral used in batteries rattled shares of SQM and other lithium plays.

SQM shares fell below the 50-day moving average but soon bounced back above it. Deutsche Bank upgraded shares to buy from hold this morning.

FMC Corp. (FMC) gapped below its 50-day moving average in huge volume. That represents a sell signal.

A rally in semiconductors got more fuel Thursday after Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) hit a new high on strong quarterly results.

Shares surged 4% as it followed through on its breakout Wednesday. The stock is now extended from the 42.67 buy point. On Thursday the chip foundry beat profit and revenue expectations and the company forecast record sales in 2018 thanks to a boom in cryptocurrency mining and trading.

ASML Holding (ASML), ON Semiconductor (ON) and STMicroelectronics (STM) were chip stocks hitting new highs in unusually high volume. STMicroelectronics topped a 24.90 buy point.

Security software name Palo Alto Networks (PANW) cleared a cup without handle with a 156.95 buy point. Evercore ISI upgraded the stock to outperform from in line.  But volume was limp and the relative strength line is far from new highs. Moreover, Palo Alto has had a habit of tanking after its breakouts.

Myriad Genetics (MYGN) broke out of a 15-week consolidation and was in buy range from the 37.40 buy point. Volume was mediocre. The gene-testing firm has recovered from a sell-off in August after the company’s guidance missed views and analysts blasted the stock with downgrades.

Lionsgate Entertainment (LGFA) broke out of a flat base and remained near the 34.85 buy point. The company’s B shares, which trade under the symbol LFGB, also broke out. Volume was big after a report said (AMZN), Verizon Communications (VZ) and other media companies are in talks to acquire Lionsgate.


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Originally posted 2018-01-18 20:20:39.


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