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MARKET COMMENTARY - Friday, October 31, 2014
The major averages tallied gains on Thursday, but behind the gains the volume totals were reported lighter than the prior session totals on the NYSE and on the Nasdaq exchange. Breadth was positive as advancers led decliners by about a 9-5 margin on the NYSE and on the Nasdaq exchange. Leadership remained strong as there were 80 high-ranked companies from the CANSLIM.net Leaders List that made new 52-week highs and appeared on the CANSLIM.net BreakOuts Page, up from the prior session total of 78 stocks. The new 52-week highs totals easily outnumbered new 52-week lows on the NYSE and on the Nasdaq exchange. There were gains for 7 of the 10 high-ranked companies currently on the Featured Stocks Page, a list which recently gained several new companies as broader market conditions improved. Disciplined investors know that new buying efforts may be made under the fact-based investment system only in stocks meeting all key criteria.
PICTURED: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied for a big gain and closed the session -0.8% off its all-time high.
Stocks finished higher on Thursday. The Dow rose 221 points to 17,195. Visa (V +10.24%) contributed the most to the index's advance, rallying following its positive earnings release. The S&P 500 gained 12 points to 1,994. The NASDAQ Composite was up 17 points to 4,566.
The major averages ended a choppy session in positive territory following generally encouraging economic data. Third-quarter GDP grew at a 3.5% annualized rate versus a projected 3% increase. Weekly jobless claims rose 3,000 to 287,000 while the four-week average fell to a 14-year low.
On the earnings front, MasterCard (MA +9.40%) jumped results topped projections. Johnson Controls (JCI +3.08%) after profits exceeded analyst estimates. Avon Products (AVP -9.03%) tumbled on its revenue shortfall.
Utilities and health care were up the most on the session. Exelon (EXC +4.02%) was higher. Bristol-Myers (BMY +8.90%) on positive trial data for its experimental lung cancer treatment. Energy and tech were among the worst performing sectors. Shares of Intel (INTC -3.90%) fell. Exxon (XOM -0.15%) edged lower in sympathy with a decline by crude oil.
Treasuries were slightly higher with the 10-year note up 3/32 to yield 2.31%. In commodities, WTI crude oil slumped -1.5% to $80.96/barrel on the NYMEX. COMEX gold futures dropped -2.2% to $1198.30/ounce, contributing the to big decline for the Gold & Silver Index (see the Industry Group Watch section of the After Market Update - read here).
Large gains on 10/21/14 backed by higher volume totals while leadership (stocks hitting new 52-week highs) expanded met the definition of a "follow-through day" confirming a new uptrend for the market (M criteria). The S&P 500 Index, Nasdaq Composite Index, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average have collectively rebounded above their respective 50-day and 200-day moving average (DMA) lines, technically putting the market in a healthier stance.
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The Retail Index ($RLX +1.01%) was a positive influence on the major averages on Thursday, and the Bank Index ($BKX +0.24%) and Broker/Dealer Index ($XBD +0.06%) both edged higher. The tech sector has a mostly positive bias as the Networking Index ($NWX +2.87%) outpaced the Biotechnology Index ($BTK +1.68%), but the Semiconductor Index ($SOX -1.16%) lost ground. Energy-related shares were indecisive as the Oil Services Index ($OSX -0.19%) and the Integrated Oil Index ($XOI -0.04%) finished fairly flat. Meanwhile, the Gold & Silver Index ($XAU -6.76%) tumbled hard and it was a standout decliner.
Charts courtesy www.stockcharts.com
PICTURED: The Semiconductor Index ($SOX -1.16%) lost ground after it met resistance at its 50-day moving average (DMA) line following a rebound from below its 200 DMA line..