Stocks Close Narrowly Mixed; FleetCor Hits New High

By Scott Stoddard, Investor’s Business Daily

Stocks closed narrowly mixed Monday amid continuing concerns about the so-called fiscal cliff, a package of deep spending cuts and tax hikes due to take effect Jan. 1.

The S&P 500 edged up a fraction while the Nasdaq ticked down and the Dow Jones industrial average ended flat. The major averages had been up slightly in afternoon trading. Volume was down 23% on the Nasdaq and 61% on the NYSE compared to Friday.

Investors worry that the economy could fall into a recession early next year unless Congress can agree to compromise that would soften the blow of the measures aimed at bolstering the government’s finances.

FleetCor Technologies (FLT) rose more than 1% in strong trade, hitting a new closing high. The stock is well beyond a 41.40 buy point from a cup base.

Late Thursday, the provider of fleet fuel cards and other payment products posted a better-than-expected 48% jump in Q3 profit, the biggest gain in seven quarters. Sales rose 39%, the most in 10 quarters, and the company boosted its full-year profit and sales outlook.

Ultimate Software (ULTI), which develops workforce management software, rose almost 2% in heavy volume as it found support at its 200-day line.

The thinly traded stock has nearly doubled this year. However, its Accumulation-Distribution Rating has fallen to a lowly D- and its Relative Strength line is lagging, reflecting a sharp sell-off recently.

Also Monday, VF Corp. (VFC), which makes apparel under brands such as The North Face and Wrangler, popped more than 4% in strong volume, retaking its 10-week line and its 153.07 handle buy point.

VF Corp. plunged below its support line in the week of Oct. 26 following weaker-than-expected quarterly revenue. Its D+ Accumulation-Distribution Rating and 0.9 up-down volume ratio indicate that institutional investors have been selling the shares.

On the downside, gold miner Allied Nevada Corp. (ANV) lost more than 3%, sinking further below its 10-week line.

AMC Networks (AMCX), the cable TV company behind “Mad Men,” fell 2% in heavy turnover. Yet the stock is still 15% above its 44.18 cup-with-handle buy point, putting it well out of buying range.

Bond markets were closed Monday in observance of Veterans Day.

Michael Kors (KORS), Home Depot (HD), TJX Cos. (TJX), Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Dicks Sporting Goods (DKS) are due to report quarterly earnings Tuesday.

In economic news, the Treasury Department is scheduled to announce Tuesday that the budget deficit for October totaled $113 billion.

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