A 0.3% decline for the Nasdaq composite by the close Tuesday didn’t look too bad on the surface, but semiconductor stocks got hit with more selling, particularly Apple (AAPL) suppliers, after several analysts expressed concern about flagging demand for the iPhone X.
X Apple paid a visit to the 50-day moving average, falling 2.5% to 170.57. Headed into Tuesday, it had been trading tightly near highs, working on a flat base with a 176.34 buy point.
The S&P 500 eased 0.1% and the Dow Jones industrial average fell fractionally. The Russell 2000 small-cap index eked out a modest gain. Preliminary data showed volume on the NYSE and Nasdaq coming in lower than Friday’s light levels.
Chip bellwethers Micron Technology (MU), Applied Materials (AMAT), Skyworks (SWKS) and KLA-Tencor (KLAC) lagged badly in the Nasdaq 100, with losses of around 2% or more. The Philadelphia semiconductor index gapped below the 50-day moving average, falling 1%.
In the stock market today, retail stocks were among the bright spots after data from Mastercard said U.S. holiday sales were up 4.9% from last year. E-commerce sales jumped 18%. Heavy-volume gainers included IBD 50 name Five Below (FIVE), up 3% and Children’s Place (PLCE), up nearly 2%.
Wal-Mart (WMT) was a top percentage gainer in the Dow, rising 1% to 99.16. It’s working on a flat base with a 100.23 buy point.
Recent IPO Stitch Fix (FIX) soared to a new high, rising about 18%, after a volatile week last week. Shares slumped nearly 10% Wednesday after the company reported earnings, but analysts quickly came to Stitch Fix’s defense.
Meanwhile, oil and gas names continued their recent string of outperformance as U.S. crude oil futures for February delivery settled at $59.97 a barrel, up 2.6%. The move was fueled by news of a pipeline blast in Libya as well as comments from Saudi Arabia that said it expects oil revenue to rise 80% by 2023, according to Bloomberg.
Oil and gas producer Centennial Resource Development (CDEV) looked poised for its fourth straight gain, rising nearly 3% to 20.68. It’s back above the 50-day moving average as it works on a short consolidation with a 22.21 buy point. EOG Resources (EOG), meanwhile, broke out straight up off the bottom from a cup-shaped base with a 108.05 buy point. Shares rose 2% to 109.41.