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The stock market was slightly higher at midday after erratic trading.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average inched 0.1% higher while the Nasdaq was off a fraction. Volume was tracking modestly lower vs. the same time on Friday.
Among the Dow industrials, Caterpillar (CAT) was the clear leader in the stock market today, leading the Dow higher with a 1.9% gain, while energy component Chevron (CVX) followed up with a near 1% advance as crude oil prices jumped over 1%. Caterpillar is approaching a 99.56 flat-base entry, while Chevron is still attempting to reclaim its 50-day line after a three-month downtrend. On the downside, Intel (INTC) continues its recent struggles as shares moved 0.9% lower to fall back under the 50-day line.
Two leading stocks reached new highs today: Tesla (TSLA) and Alibaba (BABA). Tesla surged over 3% after Piper Jaffray upgraded the electric automaker to overweight from neutral, while raising its price target to 368 from 223. Alibaba, a recent addition to Leaderboard, jumped almost 2% and is now extended from a 104.67 cup-with-handle entry. On Monday, though, it cleared a three-weeks-tight buy point of 110.55.
Among other analyst actions, Amazon (AMZN) moved up 1.1% after Needham upgraded the e-commerce giant to buy from hold, expecting continued online retail dominance. Shares are holding up nicely after a strong rebound from the 50-day. Ulta Beauty (ULTA) advanced 0.6% after Loop Capital upgraded the beauty products retailer to buy from hold, while boosting its price target to 350 from 285.
Netflix (NFLX) dropped 0.9% amid senior executive changes as shares fell under the 50-day for the second time since a Jan. 4 cup-with-handle breakout. Two weeks ago, the stock fell under the 50-day only to recover into positive territory at the close. The video streaming giant will report its Q1 earnings next Monday after the close.
Among stocks breaking out, JD.com (JD) cruised past a 32.57 flat-base buy point as shares rallied 2.5% higher. The Chinese retailer is 13% above a 29.01 cup-with-handle entry. Apple supplier Cirrus Logic (CRUS) fell 0.4% in midday trading as the stock followed up on Friday’s breakout above a 64.26 cup-base buy point.
Action within the IBD 50 was mixed in midday trading. On the upside, BioTelemetry (BEAT) soared 12% after entering into an agreement to acquire LifeWatch AG, a Swiss-based company that supplies cardiac monitoring products. China-based Momo (MOMO) jumped 6.9%. Shares are back at new highs, 56% above a 23.96 cup-with-handle buy point.
On the downside, chip leader Nvidia (NVDA) continued its string of declines as shares dropped near 2%. The stock has fallen six of the last seven trading days on its way below the 50-day line.