Stocks shrugged off disappointing economic reports Friday afternoon, and given the drop in volume, apparently decided to focus on the three-day weekend.
The Nasdaq was up 0.5% as the indexes headed into the final hour of trade. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average edged up 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively. Volume was running about 12% slower on the NYSE and 7% below average on the Nasdaq. The market is closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.
The two disappointments involved the second take on Q1 GDP, which was revised upward to 0.8%, just short of views, and the University of Michigan’s consumer gauge for May, which also fell short of the Street’s consensus estimate.
In one sense, the market’s nonchalant reaction was good news to the bulls. A weaker market might have sold off on the data. Lately, the stock market has been ignoring some things that it once found troubling. For example, earlier this week, Europe reached a preliminary deal with Greece to pour the equivalent of $11.5 billion into the beleaguered eurozone nation.
Not too long ago, news regarding Greece and its debt problems was enough to make the market stutter. Now it seems the equity markets on both sides of the Atlantic are looking past Greece’s recent financial struggles.
Blue chips were quiet. All 30 stocks in the Dow moved in below-average volume. In the IBD 50, only nine stocks moved in above-average turnover, and only four logged heavy volume. WebMD Health (WBMD) was among the fast movers. The stock popped about 3% in volume 90% faster than usual. WebMD Health recently bounced off its 50-day moving average line, which can be regarded as a buying area.
Among widely held issues, three stocks are basing and reasonably close to possible buy points. AT&T (T) recently retook its 50-day line as it works on a flat base. General Electric (GE) is 2% under its 50-day line, also in a flat base. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) has formed a handle and is about 3% under a potential entry.
AT&T carries the best fundamentals of the three stocks. Its Composite Rating is 95, putting it in the fifth-highest percentile among all the stocks in IBD’s database.