The Nasdaq commanded the upside in the U.S. stock market at midday Thursday, while the No. 1 industry group among the 197 rated each day by IBD flourished on a fresh breakout by former big market winner First Solar (FSLR).
X First Solar rushed more than 6% higher to 67.25 in volume running more than double its usual level. The big gain extended a breakout from a new buy point at 62.67. The 5% chase zone goes up to 65.80. The RS line (painted in blue on IBD charts) shot into new high ground.
Meanwhile, Apple (AAPL) is largely sitting out the Thursday rebound, up just a fraction while the Nasdaq composite is scoring a gain of nearly 0.6%. However, as seen on a weekly chart, the iPhone, iPad and digital services marketer is doing just fine, appearing to find support near its still-rising 10-week moving average.
Apple, despite being down nearly 1.1% for the week, still holds a 5% gain past a 160.97 buy point in a shallow second-stage cup with handle. And the stock is still up more than 40% since clearing a first-stage cup with handle at 118.12 on Jan. 6-9.
The Nasdaq 100 is up for a third day in a row, rising 0.4%. The Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 edged roughly 0.1% to 0.2% higher, weighed by declines in
The Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) surged nearly 9% to 1,835 in fast turnover, extending its gain from a Nov. 22 breakout at 985.10 to 86%. The ETF produced a deep yet symmetrical cup with handle after sinking fast in early September.
As seen in an IBD chart, the 55% drop from head to toe within the 11-week base is much deeper than the ideal range of 12% to 33%. However, Bitcoin Investment regained its 50-day moving average with relative ease, produced a fine downward-sloping handle in light trading in November, then broke out in furious volume.
One could decide to sell the ETF for a profit when it undercuts the short-term 10-day moving average significantly. The 50-day moving average, currently near 932, is not helpful as a technical indicator at this point as it sorely lags the price of this highflying ETF.
Semiconductor shares continued to rebound in the wake of good quarterly results of Broadcom (AVGO), which also raised its quarterly dividend by nearly 75%. Nvidia (NVDA), whose chipsets allow bitcoin mining, rallied more than 1% to 192.54 and is on a potential path to rebounding back above the rising 50-day average.
Nvidia’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said during a Q3 conference call that while the revenues currently being derived from bitcoin activities are small, it’s not nothing in comparison with the other major markets addressed by the leader in GPUs (graphics processing units). Huang seemed, however, to hold a positive long-term outlook for bitcoin growth.
Going back to First Solar, the utility-scale solar power infrastructure expert, had initially broken out of a bottoming base pattern with a 20% gap up on Oct. 27, sending shares hurdling over a 53.10 entry.
On that day, First Solar posted its best quarterly results in eight quarters with earnings vaulting 64% to $1.95 a share on a 60% revenue boost to $1.09 billion. In the year-ago quarter, both earnings and revenue had fallen sharply. Solar companies tend to show extreme boom and bust cycles in their fundamentals.
While First Solar, due in large part to its renewed relative strength, harbors a solid 94 Composite Rating on IBD Stock Checkup, earnings are expected to decline both in 2017 (down 51% to $2.45 a share) and next year (down 40% to $1.47).
The Energy-Solar industry group currently ranks No. 1 in IBD’s daily rankings for six-month relative price performance.
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