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Stocks Stall and Close the Week Flat

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Stocks Stall and Close the Week Flat

Stocks started the Friday trading session on a positive note, after Hewlett Packard notched up better than expected earnings. The S&P 500 index edged toward an all-time high on the open, while the Nasdaq continued its impressive run. Facebook shares continued to grind higher notching up an all-time high despite paying more than 16-billion dollars for messaging company WhatsApp. Although most of the major indexes traded in the black for most of the session, selling late took the indices lower, as all three major indices finished the session in the red.

Hewlett-Packard’s (NYSE:HPQ) first quarter profits beat analysts’ forecasts as the company halted a decline at its PC operations. Net profit increased 16% to $1.4 billion and adjusted earnings per share were $0.90, although revenue slipped 0.6% to $28.2 billion. PC sales grew 4% after dropping 2% in the 4th quarter and contributed to the revenue beat.

Despite paying more than 16 billion dollars for messaging company WhatApp, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares continue to improve and notched up a new all-time high on Thursday, increasing 2.3%. Prior to the opening bell the social media giant was edging higher, pulling the Nasdaq 100 up to new 14-year highs.

In Economic news, Existing Home Sales fell 5.1% in January from December to an annual rate of 4.62 million, according to the National Association of Realtors. The drop, the fifth in the past six months, pushed sales down to the lowest level in 18 months.

After Thursday close more than 84% of the Nasdaq 100 stocks were above their 200-day moving average. The high over the past 12-months was 95%, which occurred in August of 2013, which shows that the Nasdaq still has room to run on the upside as more stocks press above their 200-day moving averages. This also means that the Nasdaq 100 has been driven by a few selective stocks and when the broader market begins to participate it should rocket to new all-time highs.


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