Stocks Pare Losses; Five Below, Urban Outfitters Rise – Investor’s Business Daily

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Stocks made up some lost ground in the final hour of trading.

The Nasdaq and Dow Jones industrial average retreated 0.5%, and the S&P 500 fell 0.4%. Volume in the stock market today appeared higher on the NYSE vs. the same point on Wednesday but was running lower on the Nasdaq.

The conventional explanation for Thursday’s selling was that the Federal Reserve on Wednesday appeared to open the door to a rate change in June, following the U.S. central bank’s modest hike in the fed funds rate target in December. However, the market knew that much after 2 p.m. Wednesday and still managed to bounce off lows. Second thoughts could be at play, but determining the “why” behind the market’s action is often a futile errand.

It’s possible that rather than ask why, individual investors ought to be considering asking who in the market is making big moves. On Wednesday, the winners were bank stocks. On Thursday, the bank and financial stock groups were losers. Who provided most of the winning industry groups Thursday? Surprisingly it was retail.

Discount retailer Five Below (FIVE) popped nearly 4%, though the move was hollow, as volume was about 35% below average. Five  Below is stuck below its 50-day line and has some work to do.

Urban Outfitters (URBN) gapped up 13.5% in heavy volume. Urban Outfitters late Wednesday matched Wall Street’s consensus view on earnings but beat on revenue. Urban Outfitters said it was continuing its bigger stores strategy.

American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) climbed 18% in huge volume, rising enough to reclaim its 50- and 200-day moving averages. American Eagle Outfitters reported late Wednesday that it topped analysts’ consensus estimate on the top and bottom lines.

How do Urban Outfitters and American Eagle Outfitters stack up in Stock Checkup?