Stocks traded near session highs in the early afternoon Friday, but the major averages are now on track to close out the week in the green. It would be the first up week after four down weeks for the Nasdaq and three down weeks for both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average.
The Nasdaq galloped to a 1.4% gain, while the S&P 500 rose 0.8%, and the Dow added 0.6% in the stock market today. Volume was mixed, down from the same time Thursday on the NYSE and higher on the Nasdaq.
Conservative stocks have been leaders in this choppy market, but Campbell Soup (CPB) chilled shareholders with a 7% sell-off in furious trade.
Campbell reported that fiscal-third-quarter earnings were 65 cents a share, a penny above estimates. But sales were $1.87 billion, short of $1.91 billion estimates. Earnings and sales each fell 2% from a year earlier. The stock has lost 10% this week.
Meanwhile, in economic news, April existing-home sales rose 1.7% at a 5.45 million annualized pace, beating estimates of 5.4 million. March sales were revised upward to 5.36 million from 5.33 million.
Among IBD 50 stocks, 48 were higher and 2 were lower. Universal Display (OLED) was the best performer, up nearly 6%. Shares of Universal Display retook their 50-day moving average and a 53.05 buy point from a cup-with-handle base. Universal Display makes organic light emitting diode flat-panel displays used in consumer electronics, like smartphones and televisions.
Retailer continued to disappoint, the latest being Foot Locker (FL) and Ross Stores (ROST). Foot Locker dropped 5.5%. The sneaker hawker met estimates for the April-ended first quarter with earnings per share of $1.39, but it came up a tad short on revenue, $1.99 billion vs. estimates of $2 billion. Ditto for the off-price apparel and home goods retailer Ross Stores. It matched estimates with a 73-cent EPS, while sales missed with $3.089 billion vs. estimates of $3.12 billion. Ross shares sank 4.5%.