By PAUL WHITFIELD, INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY
Stocks tacked on gains Tuesday, but low volume suggested that big money stayed on the sidelines. The Nasdaq advanced 0.7%, while the S&P 500 and the NYSE composite each added 0.6%. The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 0.2%. The Philadelphia semiconductor index jumped 2.2%.
Volume fell on both major exchanges, according to unconfirmed figures.
The iPath Dow Jones Copper Subindex (JJC) dropped 1%. The copper ETF has been in a rolling downtrend since February 2011. Copper price is said to have a Ph.D. in economics because it often acts as an economic bellwether.
Financials did best on the S&P 100 with Morgan Stanley (MS) jumping 4%, though volume was below average.
Top-rated stocks were mostly up as stocks in the IBD 50 rose by a 5-2 ratio. Moves in big volume, though, were scarce.
Dollar General (DG) attracted 173% greater volume as the stock lost 3.5%. The company reported better-than-expected results late Monday but a secondary offering appeared to dampen the enthusiasm. The stock lost its 50-day line.
On the Big Cap 20, which only has 17 members this week because of weakness, Walt Disney (DIS) rose 1% in a fifth faster volume. The stock broke out May 9, clearing a 44.60 buy point in a square box base. The stock is less than 1% above the buy point.
Upscale retailer Lululemon Athletica (LULU) gained almost 2% in volume that was 26% above average. The stock is still under its 50-day line.
Among industry groups, fertilizers did best and retail wholesale building products were weakest.
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve is expected to release its beige book survey of economic conditions throughout the nation. Before the open, the latest readings on productivity and costs are due out.