Stocks Close At Record Highs As Retailers (Seriously) Lead Market – Investor's Business Daily

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XAutoplay: On | Off The stock market had its best day in more than five weeks on Thursday, notching new highs for the Nasdaq composite and S&P 500 index. And this time, give credit to newly leading retail chains, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet (OLLI) among them.

The composite and the S&P climbed almost 0.8%, their best one-day gains since April 24. Both made all-time highs. The Dow Jones industrial average added nearly 0.7%, and was left a bit below a new high. Goldman Sachs (GS), Wednesday’s big Dow loser, and UnitedHealth (UNH) were the top gainers in the Dow industrials.

Small caps outperformed as the Russell 2000 surged 1.9%. The index has been lagging much of the year.

XAutoplay: On | Off Volume was lower on the NYSE and higher on the Nasdaq, according to early figures. Breadth was impressive, with winners beating losers by better than 9-to-2 on the NYSE and 5-to-2 on the Nasdaq.

A few industry groups within the vast retail sector led the market, an unaccustomed role for these firms lately. Discount and variety chain stores rose nearly 4% as a group after good earnings reports.

Dollar General (DG) beat earnings and revenue forecasts and raised its sales outlook. The stock leaped 6.5% as it works its way back from a major price correction.

Ollie’s Bargain rallied 6% to a new high in about double its usual volume. The company beat views late Wednesday, with a 25% increase in earnings per share and a 17% rise in sales.

Consumer electronics, office supply and jewelry retailers also were leading industry groups in today’s stock market. Bottom-ranked department stores rose more than 2%.

The security software industry group led, hoisted by Palo Alto Networks‘ (PANW) 17% rise after it beat profit expectations. The stock jumped above the 200-day moving average for the first time since Feb. 28 — the previous time Palo Alto reported earnings.

Restaurant Brands (QSR) sold off early but pared losses and closed down 0.6%. Volume was heavy as shares ended high in the day’s price range, a good sign after a frightful morning for the Leaderboard member. The operator of Burger King and Tim Horton’s eateries is extended from a 58.08 buy point.

On Friday, the U.S. Labor Department reports payrolls for May. Economists forecast an increase of 180,000 jobs and the unemployment rate to hold steady at 4.4%, but also important will be any indications on wage growth.

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