Stock indexes closed moderately higher Monday, while the misery continued for small caps.
XAutoplay: On | OffThe Russell 2000 fell a fraction at the close and it is barely hanging on to its 50-day moving average. The index seemed to be bouncing from the last week but could not maintain upward momentum.
The Nasdaq composite and S&P 500 added 0.1% as indexes came off session highs in the final half hour. In the most noteworthy move among major Nasdaq stocks, Netflix (NFLX) rose 1.6% as the stock found support in a pullback to the 50-day moving average.
The Dow Jones industrial average also rose 0.1%, although General Electric (GE) dragged the industrials as its shares slid 7%. The company’s restructuring plan unveiled Monday failed to generate enthusiasm on Wall Street.
Volume was higher on the Nasdaq and lower on the NYSE, according to preliminary figures. Breath was negative, despite the minor index gains. Decliners led advancers by a 9-to-7 ratio on the NYSE and by about 14-to-13 on the NYSE.
As it’s been the case for much of the past week, consumer stocks led the market. Consumer electronics, automakers, soft drinks, periodicals and jewelry companies were some of the best-performing industry groups. Some other top groups were defensive in nature, such as utilities, soap makers and long-term care providers.
Oil, department store and specialty retail industry groups were among the laggards.
Evercore (EVR) broke out of flat base with an 82.20 buy point in busy trading. The investment bank and advisory firm is part of the investment banking and brokers industry group, which has moved up from below 100 (out of 197) to the top 50 in rank and includes emerging leaders such as Houlihan Lokey (HLI) and TD Ameritrade (AMTD).
Weight Watchers International (WTW) continued to shed pounds, extending a decline that began immediately after the stock broke out to new highs last Tuesday in big volume. Shares gapped up to a nearly four-year high that day after the company reported strong earnings.
But the stock showed no follow though and the institutional buying has mysteriously evaporated. Weight Watchers has slid more than 12% from the 48.29 buy point, triggering a sell signal.