Stocks remained lower in afternoon trading Tuesday, as Coca-Cola‘s (KO) breakout to new highs reflected relative strength in consumer stocks.
XAutoplay: On | OffThe Nasdaq composite tumbled 0.5% and the S&P 500 0.4%. Indexes bounced off early lows, but the selling resumed around 12.45 p.m. ET, leaving the Nasdaq near session lows.
The Dow Jones industrial average was off 0.3% as General Electric (GE) continued its swoon, off 7%. Small caps faced new uncertainty after the Russell 2000 fell 0.6% and was not able to climb back above the 50-day moving average.
Volume was tracking above the levels at the same time of day Monday. Losers led winners by an 8-to-5 ratio across the board.
Energy, telecom and metals stocks were some of the weakest in today’s trading. Oil prices fell 2% to about $55 a barrel after a soft demand forecast from the International Energy Agency.
In the IBD 50, Ichor Holdings (ICHR) was under stress. The stock slid right back below its 50-day moving average in heavy trading, one day after it seemed like it was finding support at that key level. An increase of more than 40% from buy points at 25.41 and 24.40 has nearly evaporated. The chip-equipment supplier’s stock has been more volatile since it reported earnings Thursday.
Hot IPO Roku (ROKU) reversed lower to a 5.5% loss in heavy trading. The stock had soared as much as 152% the past three days following the video-streaming device company’s earnings.
Consumer and defensive industry groups such as utilities and soft drinks were the best performing Tuesday. Restaurants were up nearly 2% after Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) soared 25% on news that Roark Capital Group offered $2.3 billion to take the company private. Buffalo Wild Wings has been recovering from its lows in October but remains 16% below a 52-week high.
In a sign of emerging strength in consumer plays, Dow component Coca-Cola broke out of a flat base, leaping past a 47.08 buy point in heavy volume.
Wells Fargo upgraded the stock to outperform, and an analyst raised the possibility that Coke may enter the alcoholic-beverages market. Some details may be mentioned at Thursday’s investor day, CNBC reported.
Cantel Medical (CMD) jumped past its 99.93 buy point in a flat base, but volume was only about average. The maker of anti-infection and other medical products is making a presentation Wednesday at the Jefferies 2017 London Healthcare Conference.
Pinnacle West Capital (PNW) broke out of a cup base, rising past a 91.02 buy point in flat volume. The holding company of electric utility Arizona Public Service is the latest in a handful of utility stocks that have broken out of bases in the past few weeks.
The Dow utilities average was up 0.9%, leading the market.