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Stocks Open Flat As Apple Dips, FANGs Mixed; This Device Maker Spikes | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Stocks scratched out minuscule opening gains Wednesday, as markets headed into the last few trading sessions of 2017.

XThe Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 traded fractionally higher. The Nasdaq Composite struggled to remain positive, as Apple (AAPL) slumped 0.3%, after news reports detailed a fourth class-action lawsuit brought against the company regarding allegations of an intentionally slowed performance in aging iPhones. An analyst report from  Counterpoint Research also said Apple’s profit share of the smartphone market fell to 60% in the third quarter, still the industry leader, but down from an 86% share a year earlier.

Markets in Europe were mixed after reopening from their four-day holiday break. The FTSE 100 in London rose 0.2%, with Frankfurt’s DAX down 0.1% and the CAC-40 in Paris climbing to a fractional advance in afternoon trade. Hong Kong’s market restarted with a quiet, 0.7% gain.

GE Paces Dow; FANGs Mixed; Energous Gets FCC Nod

General Electric (GE) grabbed an early lead among Dow stocks, up 0.9%. Nike (NKE) plumbed the Dow’s low end with a 0.4% opening decline.

Three of four FANG stock tech leaders traded higher. Facebook (FB) jumped 0.6%. Amazon.com (AMZN) chalekd up an early 0.4% advance. Its shares ended Tuesday up 9% from a 1083.41 buy point in a flat base, as the stock works on the fifth week of a flat consolidation.

Energous (WATT) spiked 85% at the start of trade, after announcing late Tuesday the Federal Communications Commission had approved its wireless charging device. The units can reportedly charge devices such as cell phones from a distance of up to three feet. The gain hoisted shares to within 26% of their January high, and up 178% from their March 2014 IPO price.

Bitcoin and its related stocks were characteristically volatile in early action.  Bitcoin pulled back to just above $16,100, while near-month futures contracts were tightly mixed on the CBOE and CME exchanges. Among bitcoin-related stocks:

  • Riot Blockchain (RIOT): -2%
  • Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC): +2%
  • Marathon Patent Group (MARA): +4%
  • Overstock.com (OSTK): -1%
  • Long Blockchain (LTEA): +3%

Energy stocks were mixed in premarket trade as oil prices took a small step back after Tuesday’s big gain. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate dipped less than 1% and held above $59 a barrel, Europe’s Brent benchmark was down 0.7% to $66.55. A pipeline explosion in Libya cut oil deliveries to an export terminal, driving oil prices higher Tuesday, even as pipeline operator Ineos announced the restart of its damaged Forties pipeline, a major conduit connecting North Sea fields to European markets.

On the Dow, Exxon Mobil (XOM) traded flat, Chevron (CVX) fell 0.3%. Exxon has been attempting to muster a breakout above a flat base buy point at 84.34.

Another energy play, IBD Leaderboard name Diamondback Energy (FANG) slipped 0.9%. The stock rose more than 1% in a sixth straight gain on Tuesday, placing the stock up more than 9% since clearing a 115.03 buy point on Dec. 20.

Markets receive a burst of economic news at 10 a.m. ET, when the Conference Board releases its December consumer confidence estimates and the National Association of Realtors reports pending home sales numbers for November.

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