The ISM manufacturing index rose 0.5 point in May to 51.3, ahead of the 50.6 Econoday consensus estimate and above a tight 49.9-51 range of individual forecasts. A figure above 50 signifies expanding factory activity.
Meanwhile, the U.S. PMI survey of 50.7 for May also beat the Street’s view. The news countered dim manufacturing data from China, with the Markit survey showing slowing activity in the Middle Kingdom for a 15th consecutive month.
The Nasdaq composite fell 0.4% at the open, but turned slightly positive before turned down less than 0.1%. The S&P 500 is off 0.1% and the Dow Jones industrial average down 0.2%.
Former market leader Under Armour, however, continued to feel institutional selling heat, dropping more than 5% in heavy trading. Late Tuesday, the company lowered its sales outlook due to recent news that sporting goods retailer Sports Authority is closing all of its stores by year-end. Under Armour broke out of a cup-with-handle base on April 21 following good Q1 results (EPS +33%, sales +30%) but quickly dived back into the belly of its base.
Salesforce.com was fractionally lower. At the open, the big-cap software leader fell more than 1% following news it’s buying Demandware for $2.8 billion, or $75 a share, as a way to beef up its e-commerce offerings. Salesforce, the fastest-growing large-cap software firm, broke out of a cup-with-handle pattern at 77.92 on May 18 in heavy volume; therefore, the stock remains extended more than 5% past that proper entry. Demandware shot up nearly 56% to 74.71.
Among IBD 50 names in the stock market today, Also on the upside, Five Below (FIVE) powered 1.5% higher as it works on a new base that sits atop a prior long base. The $5 and below retail chain broke out of a long double-bottomlike base at 36.59 in mid-February. Five Below is planning to open its first store in Oklahoma City on June 3, its first in the state. Five Below reports earnings late Thursday.
U.S. Concrete (USCR), No. 2 in the IBD 50, slipped 1.4% to 63.24. That decline does not hurt the construction materials play’s current work on a potential base-on-base pattern.
As seen in Wednesday’s Big Picture column and Market Pulse table, the market is currently in a confirmed uptrend, which means an investor may buy breakouts of high-quality growth stocks at proper buy points with a reasonable amount of risk. The outlook switched to “Uptrend resumes” from “Uptrend under pressure” on May 24.
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