XAutoplay: On | OffMajor stock indexes were moderately higher in afternoon trading Friday on an overall quiet day of news flow.
Wal-Mart (WMT) lagged in the Dow Jones industrial average, falling 0.7%, after JPMorgan said it’s possible the company could still emerge as a bidder for Whole Foods Market (WFM). Last week, Amazon.com (AMZN) offered $13.7 billion for Whole Foods, valuing the company at around 42 a share. Shares of Whole Foods were recently trading around 43.48, the market’s way of saying a higher bid could emerge.
The Nasdaq composite rose 0.4%, the S&P 500 added 0.2% and the Dow was mostly unchanged. Volume on the NYSE and Nasdaq was tracking slightly lower than Thursday’s levels.
In economic news, May new-home sales came in a bit better than expected, and April data were revised higher, helping lift IBD’s homebuilding group to a 0.6% gain. Inside the group, small cap MDC Holdings (MDC) has been trading tightly above the 50-day moving average as it works on a flat base with a 36.09 buy point. Shares were mostly unchanged around 35.
Big gainers in the Nasdaq 100 included Western Digital (WDC) and Seagate (STX), with gains of 4% and 2% respectively. Toshiba said it’s willing to talk about the fate of its flash memory joint venture with Western Digital.
In the stock market today, news that U.S. banks passed their first round of annual stress tests didn’t move the sector much. After three straight low-volume declines, Select Sector SPDR Financial (XLF) was mostly flat. Citigroup (C), meanwhile, reversed slightly lower as it sits in buy range from a 62.63 entry.
Chip-equipment firm ASML Holding (ASML) gapped above its 50-day moving average, rising 3% to 134.40. Bank of America-Merrill Lynch raised its price target to 165 and said the stock could triple in three years, according to StreetInsider.com. ASML is working on a flat base with a 132.37 buy point.
Inside the IBD 50, Lumentum (LITE) has been stubborn about giving back recent gains. Shares were up 4%, one day after Stifel called Lumentum the “best vehicle to play the near-term iPhone 3D sensing opportunity.” D.A. Davidson on Friday initiated coverage with a hold rating but set a 77 price target.
New issue Floor & Decor (FND) fell sharply for the second straight session but no sell signal has been triggered. Shares slumped 8% to 40.97. A gain from a 43.20 buy point recently hit 9%, not enough to trigger a round-trip sell rule, but it’s now 5% below the buy point.