XAutoplay: On | OffTech stocks once again set the example as a late rally on Thursday hauled the Dow industrials and the S&P 500 out of shallow losses to a positive finish.
The Nasdaq ended 0.4% higher, enough to notch a new closing high and turn the index positive for the week. The Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 scratched only the thinnest of gains, although the Dow did manage to jab briefly to a fresh high earlier in the session. Both indexes remain down for the week.
Small caps ran well ahead of the general market, with Russell 2000 and the S&P SmallCap 600 each rallying 1.4%.
Preliminary data showed volume sharply higher on both the NYSE and the Nasdaq vs. trading levels on Wednesday.
Alibaba, Yahoo, Nvidia, HealthEquity Seize New Highs
Merck (MRK) narrowed its late loss to 1.3% after Newlink Genetics (NLNK) announced Genentech would return the rights to NewLink’s navoximod following disappointing results in a joint trial that tested Genentech’s indoximod in combination with Merck’s keytruda. The move left Merck down 4% for the week and testing support at its 40-week moving average. The low-priced Newlink unraveled 41%.
China’s Alibaba Group Holdings (BABA) lofted 13% higher, snapping far past a 126.50 buy point in a three-weeks tight pattern. The online retail and e-commerce giant, also an IBD 50 and Leaderboard stock, announced full year revenue guidance far above consensus views at its investors day conference.
Yahoo (YHOO) topped the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 with a 10% advance. The rise came partly from Yahoo’s 15% stake in Alibaba, but news reports that Verizon (VZ) planned to trim yahoo’s work force by 2,100 during its integration with AOL may also have been a factor. The gain sent shares past Yahoo’s November 2014 peak.
Health savings manager HealthEquity (HQY) popped 3% in heavy trade. After a strong quarterly report delivered late Tuesday, the stock has surged and is extended above a 49.35 buy point.
Europe is likely to be a factor in early trade Friday as results come in from today’s parliamentary elections in the U.K. Late polls showed Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative party with a significant lead over the Labour party. May hopes the snap election with strengthen her backing in Parliament and support negotiations on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.