Major stock indexes suffered modest losses Tuesday, but it was a constructive session as indexes closed near session highs.
XAutoplay: On | OffThe Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.1% and the S&P 500 gave back 0.2%. The Dow’s performance wasn’t too bad considering that shares of General Electric (GE) lost 6% to 17.90. Shares are down close to 13% this week after the company on Monday outlined its turnaround plans and announced a 50% cut in the dividend to 12 cents a share.
Home Depot righted itself after a soft start, rising nearly 2% to 168.10 . It’s been getting support at the 50-day moving average after a breakout from a base in early September. Profit, sales and same-store sales growth all topped expectations. Competitor Lowe’s (LOW) reports next week.
The Nasdaq composite and Russell 2000 small-cap index eased 0.3%. Preliminary data showed volume on the NYSE and Nasdaq coming in slightly higher than Monday.
Another notable mover Tuesday was iShares Nasdaq Biotech (IBB). It lost 1.6% to 305, breaking longer-term support at the 200-day moving average. At the other end of the extreme, Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU), on the other end cleared a base with a 56 buy point, rising 1.3% to 56.88.
Oil and gas groups lagged amid a 2% drop in benchmark crude oil. Prices were weak after the International Energy Agency cut its demand forecast for this year and next, citing warmer temperatures as well as rising production outside of OPEC. U.S. shale output, for example, has risen for 11 straight months.
At the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude oil futures for December delivery settled at $55.70 a barrel, down nearly 2%.
Other gainers included Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD). Shares of the restaurant chain soared 24% to 145.60 after private equity firm Roark Capital offered to buy the company for $2.3 billion, or 150 a share. CEO Sally Smith was dealt a setback in June when activist hedge Marcato Capital won a proxy fight that put three of its directors on Buffalo Wild Wings’ board. Smith is stepping down as CEO at the end of the year.
Group peer Wingstop (WING) added nearly 2% to 39.67. Volume has been heavy in the stock after a Nov. 3 breakout over a 36.01 buy point. The early-November was fueled by strong earnings that saw profit up 31% from the year-ago quarter. Sales rose 19% to $26 million.
Elsewhere, Cantel Medical (CMD) cleared a flat base with a 99.93 entry but volume was light. Shares rose 1.5% to 100.61. Earnings from the medical-device maker are due Dec. 7 before the open.