Stock Market Strengthens As Fed Still Backs Gradual Rate Hikes – Investor’s Business Daily

The stock market strengthened  in afternoon trading Wednesday after the minutes from last month’s Federal Reserve meeting showed that the Fed continues to back gradual interest rate hikes despite ” substantial underlying economic momentum.”

X Market participants gave an 83% chance for a quarter-point hike at the March meeting, but after the minutes were released, the chances went down to 77.5%.

The Nasdaq led the way, up 1.4%, while the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average added 1.1% each. Small caps outperformed with the Russell 2000 up 1.6%. Volume on the NYSE and Nasdaq was tracking lower than Tuesday’s levels in the stock market today, but picked up the pace after the minutes were released.

The Nasdaq looks to be the strongest index at this point after reclaiming the 50-day moving average last week in higher volume.

Strong performers in the Dow included United Technologies (UTX), JPMorgan (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS) with gains of 1% to 3%.

Inside the IBD 50, Wingstop (WING) was a top gainer, rising nearly 5%  to 46.10 ahead of its earnings report Thursday after the close. Wingstop gapped out of a base in early November, then found support at the 10-week moving average in January. It’s currently extended in price.

Leaderboard name Atlassian (TEAM) jumped 5% to 57.13. After flashing a sell signal from a 53.55 buy point, the software name recently reclaimed the 50-day line  and hit a new high Wednesday.

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Among China names, Baidu (BIDU) was on pace for its seventh gain in eight sessions as it works on an asymmetrical double-bottom base with a 265.87 buy point. Shares were up 2.5% to 251.69.

Also in China, Alibaba (BABA) is also acting well after reclaiming the 50-day line. Shares gained nearly 3% to 192.66. It’s also back above a 191.85 buy point.

Elsewhere, Roku (ROKU) reversed lower before its earnings report after the close. After rising 3% early, shares were down 1% to 50.64. The company isn’t profitable yet, but sales growth has been impressive in recent quarters. Roku is working on the right side of a first-stage, cup-shaped base.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LNGD) also reports after the close today. The profitable biotech has been showing supporting action at the 10-week line after a breakout over a 149.41 buy point.


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