After a quiet morning stocks rallied again from noon to about 2:30 PM but after hitting resistance turned over late in the afternoon. A slew of selling in the closing moments actually pushed the S&P 500 down 5 points in minutes; part of that may have had to do with some rebalancing on the indexes. The S&P 500 fell 0.09% and the NASDAQ 0.07%. For the month the S&P 500 gained 1.1% and the Nasdaq advanced 0.6%. This was the fourth straight month of gains. The second revision of fourth quarter GDP was released and the economy improved from -0.1% to +0.1%. Weekly unemployment claims also fell 22,000 to a seasonally adjusted 344,000.
While commentators will offer one reason or another for today's reversal it is simple to see that the S&P 500 was stuck at the top of the range it traveled two weeks ago, roughly S&P 1525. This has been resistance on four of the last eleven days. So obviously if the index gets over that level that is bullish; if not - bearish.
The NASDAQ continues to be the black sheep of all the major indexes (DJIA, S&P 500, Russell 2000) and just is bouncing from one old high to another.
Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) dropped 11% as the provider of robots used in surgery is being probed by U.S. regulators over the safety of its products.
JCPenney (JCP) had a massive miss on earnings - same store sales were down over 30%!
On the positive side, biotech stocks had a strong day as money rotates into this group that was a star in 2012 but had mostly been resting in 2013. Such names as Celgene (CELG) had a strong session and appear to be breaking out ... if the market holds up here of course.
If you are looking at new ideas Bespoke Invest Premium service has a weekly list of 50 top growth stocks they call the "Favorite Growth Stocks" - here there description of this group.
To make the list of 50, a stock must have strong earnings growth prospects along with an attractive price chart based on Bespoke's proprietary fundamental and technical analysis.
Here is this week's group: