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Stocks Trim Losses; Consumer Stocks Rise As Holiday Shopping Starts

Stocks pared losses as the market started the final hour of a shortened session Friday, while some consumer stocks led at the start of the holiday shopping season.




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All indexes opened lower but immediately started to bounce back. The Nasdaq composite was flat after being down as much as 0.8%, thanks in part to a 0.5% increase in the Philadelphia semiconductor index and a good performance in biotechnology shares.

The S&P 500 lost 0.2% and the Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.3%. Sharp losses in the energy sector hurt both those indexes. Also, Dow components Apple (AAPL) and Goldman Sachs (GS) made new lows.

Small caps led, with the Russell 2000 up 0.6%.

Volume was tracking lower compared with the same time on Wednesday. Trading will conclude at 1 p.m. ET, three hours earlier than normal.

Consumer stocks were some of Friday’s strongest as the holiday shopping season kicked off. Internet retail was up more than 1%, although the group’s giant, Amazon.com (AMZN), was nearly flat. Amazon is holding above the 1,500 price, an area where the stock is in vital need of finding support again.

Home furnishings, airlines, toys and mail order were among the best-performing industry groups Friday morning. Biotechs and some other health care groups also rose more than 1%.

But the energy sector suffered again, after oil prices plunged more than 6% to $51.25 a barrel. Expanding supplies of crude and other reasons contributed to a deepening of the commodity’s bear market.

Exploration and production, drilling, oilfield services, oil pipeline, machinery and other related industry groups crowded the bottom-20 industry groups. Losses ranged from 1% to 3.5% in those groups.

No surprise, Chevron (CVX) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) were the weakest stocks in the Dow industrials. Chevron fell 3.5% and Exxon Mobil 3%. Both charts are a mess.

Leading stocks easily outperformed the main stock indexes. Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) reversed higher and climbed nearly 1%.

Innoviva (INVA) cleared the 18.09 buy point of a cup base in heavy volume. Shares eased below the buy point, a reminder that buying stocks during a market correction is extra risky. Innoviva makes its money from royalties from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) tied to drugs for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

But Fox Factory (FOXF) gapped below its 50-day moving average in heavy volume. The stock triggered a sell rule after breaking out past a 73.20 buy point.

Most IBD 50 stocks have a lot of repairs to do. The average IBD 50 stock is more than 13% below its prior high.

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