Major stock indexes held in a tight intraday range Friday, not moving much in either direction. The Nasdaq composite and S&P 500 firmed up after some selling Thursday as growth stocks outperformed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was led by Procter & Gamble (PG). Big winners in the Nasdaq 100 included Lululemon Athletica (LULU), featured in today’s New Highs story, and Nvidia (NVDA) which reversed higher on strong earnings.
Growth stocks in the IBD 50 outperformed, helping lift Innovator IBD 50 (FFTY) to a gain of 0.6%. Top gainers included Chegg (CHGG), and ServiceNow (NOW) and Nvidia; all three are also Leaderboard stocks.
Nvidia reversed nicely higher after the semiconductor leader reported its second straight quarter of triple-digit earnings growth. Strong sales of processors for cloud data centers and gaming PCs fueled the results.
With about one hour left to go in the session, the Nasdaq composite led the way, up 0.4%. The S&P 500 and Russell 2000 small-cap index gained about 0.2% each, while the Dow Jones industrials eased 0.2%.
Volume on the NYSE was tracking lower compared to the same time Thursday. Nasdaq volume was slightly higher.
Moderna (MRNA) added 2%, but backed off highs, after sharp losses in two of the past three sessions. Shares rebounded after Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said early coronavirus vaccine data from Moderna was hopeful. Moderna this week announced positive early phase one data, initially sending shares soaring. But doubts crept in that the data was too limited to be meaningful.
Stock Market Uptrend
According to IBD’s The Big Picture, the stock market uptrend is still in great shape despite Thursday’s losses and growing tension with China.
China will not give a GDP target this year due to coronavirus uncertainties, Premier Li Keqiang said at the annual parliamentary meeting. Li also confirmed that China will impose a national security law on Hong Kong directly. The China news comes after the U.S. Senate earlier this week passed a bill that could ultimately result in the delisting of China stocks from U.S. exchanges.
The S&P 500 confirmed a new uptrend on April 2, and the distribution day count for both indexes remains light, with one on the Nasdaq and two on the S&P 500. Read The Big Picture every day to stay in sync with the market direction and leading stocks and sectors.
Mixed Showing For China Stocks
After three straight declines, Chinese internet retailer Pinduoduo (PDD) surged more than 10%. A wider than expected loss was offset by a big sales beat. Sales jumped 37% to $923.5 million, well above the consensus estimate of $704.2 million.
But Alibaba (BABA) went in the opposite direction, falling more than 6% to 199.50, despite a big earnings beat. After three straight declines, Alibaba stock is now firmly below a 216.20 buy point and poised for a test of the 50-day moving average.
Dow Jones Gainers
P&G led the Dow Jones today, up 1%, but it’s not near a proper entry as it struggles for support at the 50-day moving average.
Outside of the Dow Jones, top gainers in the MarketSmith Growth 250 included Chegg, BJ’s Wholesale Club (BJ), Coupa Software (COUP), Bandwidth (BAND) and Datadog (DDOG). The common bond among all five stocks? After powerful base breakouts, they all triggered IBD’s eight-week hold rule.
The stock market has been running higher for a while now, which means actionable buy candidates are getting harder and harder to find. But Splunk (SPLK) delivered a powerful breakout Friday after reporting strong earnings.
In the MarketSmith Growth 250, Black Knight (BKI), Sherwin-Williams (SHW) and Nasdaq (NDAQ) are still near buy points. The pattern recognition tool at MarketSmith can help you quickly spot proper buy points.
Follow Ken Shreve on Twitter @IBD_KShreve for more stock market analysis and insight.
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