Stocks Rise in Holiday-Shortened Session

By VICTOR REKLAITIS, INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY

Stocks rallied into an early close Tuesday, finishing near their session highs with solid gains. The Nasdaq rose 0.8%, while the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average both advanced 0.6%. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 each scored their highest close since May 3 and stretched their winning streak to three straight sessions.

Volume came in mixed, according to early data. It decreased on the Nasdaq, but increased on the NYSE compared with level at 1 p.m. ET Monday.

GNC Holdings (GNC) added 1% in big turnover, as it reached an all-time peak. The nutritional supplements retailer cleared a buy point at 42.05 from a cup-shaped pattern in intraday action, but finished below that level. GNC was No. 4 in Monday’s IBD 50 lineup.

Coinstar (CSTR) rose 2% in strong volume, touching an all-time high. The operator of Redbox DVD rental kiosks closed 5% past a 67.10 handle buy point that it cleared last week, meaning it’s extended past a possible buy zone. Coinstar has an IBD Composite Rating of 99, the best possible.

Priceline.com (PCLN) tacked on 1%, lifting further above its 50-day line as it works on a new base. Turnover came in roughly average. The longtime leading stock was No. 19 in Monday’s IBD 50.

Sourcefire (FIRE) slid 4% in big turnover, but it had been down as much as 9% intraday. It appeared to find support near 50. CEO John Burris announced late Monday he would take a medical leave of absence to undergo treatment for colon cancer. Founder and CTO Martin Roesch was named interim CEO. Sourcefire, which sports a 99 Composite Rating, also released preliminary second-quarter results. The company projected revenue and EPS at the high end of prior guidance.

The market closed at 1 p.m. ET, shutting down early ahead of Wednesday’s Independence Day holiday.

Economic news was mostly encouraging Tuesday. Factory orders jumped in May, topping forecasts. New orders increased 1.3%, the first gain in three months.

Automakers also generally reported stronger-than-expected sales gains for June. In addition, the European Central Bank is widely expected to cut a key interest rate Thursday.

On the downside, some retailers took hard hits after the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs reported a 1.4% year-over-year gain, and a flat weekly performance, for retail sales in the week ended June 30. The ICSC cited bad weather and power outages late in the week.

In commodities, oil surged amid reports that Iran may close the Strait of Hormuz, a key route for tankers.

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