Blue-Chip Earnings Weigh On Dow, As Indexes Edge Lower

The Dow Jones industrial average had a modest loss Friday, hurt by weakness in shares of General Electric (GE) and Microsoft (MSFT) after both blue chips reported earnings.

XAutoplay: On | OffVisa (V) was a bright spot in the Dow, rising nearly 2% to 99.82 on strong earnings. After a nice bounce off the 50-day moving average, Visa is still in buy range from a recent breakout over a 96.70 buy point.

The Dow closed with a loss of 0.1%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite fell a fraction. Small caps lagged with the Russell 2000 down 0.5%.

Volume on the NYSE was higher than Thursday’s levels in the stock market today. Volume on the Nasdaq was slightly lower.

The IPO market served up a big winner Friday as shares of small-cap PetIQ (PETQ) soared in its debut. The maker of medications as well as other health products for dogs and cats priced last night at 16, at the high end of a proposed range of 14-16. Shares opened at 21 and closed at 22.95.

In the software space, Athenahealth (ATHN) gapped up 8% on a big earnings beat. Headed into the report, it had been finding support at the 10-week moving average for the first time after a breakout in May, making it a candidate for a call-option trade.

Inside the IBD 50, four names were up 1% more, including Lumentum (LITE). Shares rose 4% to 63.10. The fiber-optic name is getting solid support at the 50-day moving average after a breakout over a 56.02 buy point.

A couple of other IBD 50 names outperformed ahead of earnings reports next week. Nutrisystem (NTRI) jumped 2%. It’s extended from a 55.10 buy point. It reports Wednesday after the close. Celgene (CELG), which reports Thursday before the open, added 1% to 137.78 as it flirts with an all-time high of 140.72 set nearly one year ago.

At the New York Mercantile Exchange, September U.S. crude oil settled at $ 45.77, down $ 1.15, or 2.5%. For the week, oil lost 2.1%.

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