The major indexes held onto gains in the early afternoon Friday, as discount retailers continued to defy weakness in the sector.
Semiconductor and software stocks were among the day’s best performers, helping the Nasdaq to a 0.5% gain. The S&P 500 was up 0.3%, while the Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.2%.
Volume was tracking lower across the board — no surprise on the Friday before a three-day weekend. Winners led losers by 12-to-7 on the NYSE, and by nearly 2-to-1 on the Nasdaq.
Discount and specialty retail stocks led the market, one day after Dollar General (DG) and Dollar Tree (DLTR) surged on strong earnings reports. Dollar General added 2% Friday and remained in buy range from an 81.52 buy point. Dollar Tree inched higher and is extended from an 83.82 buy point of a flat base.
Five Below (FIVE), another part of the discount retailing group, added nearly 4%. Five Below will announce earnings Thursday after the close.
Weibo (WB) cleared a short consolidation, surging 8% in heavy volume to a new high. The Chinese Twitter (TWTR)-like social platform may be rising in sympathy with Alibaba (BABA), which is rebounding in fine form after news of an SEC investigation into its accounting sparked a 7% plunge Wednesday in the Chinese e-commerce company. Alibaba owns about a third of Weibo.
Alphabet (GOOGL) rose more than 1%, rising above its 50-day moving average for the first time since April 21. Late Thursday, a federal jury found that Alphabet’s Google didn’t need authorization to use Oracle’s Java programming tools as it built the Android smartphone operating system. Oracle (ORCL) claimed Google had stolen its intellectual property.
Universal Display (OLED), whose display technology is being added to a number of electronic devices, and telecom infrastructure company Dycom Industries (DY) cooled off a bit from sharp price gains earlier in the week.