Stocks Start Firm On Low Jobless Claims, Then Taper Off


Stocks tried to rebound Thursday on news of the lowest weekly initial jobless claims in four years. But the morning’s gains couldn’t stick, and stocks ended mixed.

The S&P 500 rose a hair, breaking a four-day losing streak. The Nasdaq fell a sliver and the Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.1%. That makes for four straight losses for the Dow and five for the Nasdaq.

Volume fell 12% on the Nasdaq and rose 9% on the NYSE. But when the day’s final tallies come in, you may find that frenetic trading in Sprint Nextel (S) accounted for the NYSE volume’s increase. Without that acquisition-driven action, NYSE volume likely would have dropped.

Sprint Nextel shot up 14% ā€” it was up as much as 20% ā€” on reports that Japanese mobile carrier Softbank was negotiating to buy a stake in the wireless carrier for $13 billion. Sprint, which has an IBD Composite Rating of 55, had a market value of $15.1 billon at Wednesday’s close. Clearwire (CLWR), a wireless broadband provider partly owned by Sprint, rocketed up 68%.

Apple (AAPL) fell 2% in above-average volume, after gaining 1% earlier. The tech giant, No. 37 in Wednesday’s IBD 50 lineup, is on pace to close below its 50-day moving average for the fifth straight session. On Thursday, Apple was dealt a setback in a key patent battle as a U.S. appeals court overturned an injunction blocking sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone.

Many leading stocks gave up early gains. LinkedIn (LNKD) rose 2% in active turnover, after advancing as much as 4% earlier. The professional social network is struggling to lift off its 50-day moving average and climb back above a recent cup-with-handle buy point at 113.10. LinkedIn has an IBD Composite Rating of 97, near the best-possible grade of 99.

Some IPOs were faring well in their first day of trading. Shutterstock (SSTK), an online marketplace of stock photos and video, surged 27% from its issuing price, 17. Realogy (RLGY), which owns and franchises Century 21, Coldwell Banker and other real estate businesses, also climbed 27% above its IPO price, which was 17.

IBD has long advised that individual investors hold off on purchasing an IPO until after the stock sketches its first consolidation. Keep in mind that the first base for a new issue can be a bit irregular, yet still work out.

Fastenal (FAST) soared 8% in huge volume after reporting third-quarter earnings of 37 cents a share, matching forecasts. Revenue rose 10%, missing estimates. The retailer of construction supplies has regained its 200-day moving average, but remains about 15% off its March high. It sports an IBD Composite Rating of 72.

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