By SCOTT STODDARD, INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY
Wall Street seesawed late Friday afternoon as investors weighed weak corporate earnings against improved U.S. economic growth.
The Dow Jones industrial average and the Nasdaq were each up 0.1%, while the S&P 500 climbed a fraction as the major averages fluctuated between small gains and modest losses. Volume was tracking lower on the Nasdaq and NYSE compared with the same time Thursday.
Panera Bread (PNRA) climbed 1% in strong trade, bouncing off its 50-day line, after analysts at Baird increased its price target for the stock. The casual restaurant chain posted better-than-expected Q3 earnings and raised its outlook late Tuesday. The stock has risen more than 4% this week in strong volume, regaining its 164.10 buy point after falling below it last week. Panera is 3% above the cup-with-handle buy point, but investors should refrain from buying any stock during a market correction.
Panera’s Relative Strength line is near a new high, but its Accumulation-Distribution Rating has fallen to B- from A in the past few weeks, though that still indicates demand for the shares.
PolyOne (POL) rose 1% in volume that was 80% above average, approaching an all-time high. The stock is 5% above a 17.63 buy point from a flat base, putting it at the upper end of a buy range.
The stock gapped up to a new high Wednesday after the plastics maker posted better-than-expected quarterly profit. It’s just a shade below Wednesday’s 18.54 peak after pulling back somewhat on Thursday.
PolyOne’s Relative Strength line is at a new high and its Accumulation-Distribution Rating is a robust A-.
On the downside, Qihoo 360 Technology (QIHU) sank more than 3%, dipping below its 200-day support line in below-average volume.
The Chinese government is investigating Qihoo after a prominent blogger alleged that the company was improperly using its Web browser to mine user data, Reuters reported, citing a posting by Qihoo on its official microblog account.
Qihoo, which aims to compete against Chinese search leader Baidu (BIDU), is expected to report that profit for the third quarter was flat from a year ago at 16 cents a share. Revenue is expected to jump 72%. It’s not clear when the company will release its earnings report.
Biotech and health care stocks were among the biggest decliners Friday. Express Scripts (ESRX) fell more than 1%, dipping below its 50-day line. The pharmacy benefits manager is still 11% above a 56.30 buy point after being up as much as 17%.
In economic news, the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 2% in Q3, better than Q2’s 1.3% pace and above expectations for 1.9%. The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for October was revised down but stands at a five-year high.