U.S. stock indexes climbed moderately midday Friday as the stock market headed toward its sixth consecutive up session. Volume in the stock market today rose on the NYSE but fell on the Nasdaq vs. the previous day's pace.
[ibd-display-video id=3149600 width=50 float=left autostart=true] The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 0.4%, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 each added 0.3%. The small-cap Russell 2000 popped 0.4%.
In the 30-component blue chip Dow, the day's leaders led losers by a 2-to-1 ratio. Cisco Systems ( CSCO ), still rising from Wednesday evening's upbeat earnings report, led the upside with a 1.3% pop.
McDonald's ( MCD ) took the hardest hit on the downside with a 1% drop.
Cisco is trading at its highest level since 2001. Pretax margin was 32% in fiscal 2017 ended in July, the best in at least nine years. Cisco's rebound since a November gap-up move has been good. However, Cisco's five-year earnings growth rate of 5%, coupled with a 3% dividend yield, point to a conservative profile.
Still, Cisco's stock rose 27% last year and so far this year has added 17%.
Breakouts Friday included: March initial public offering MuleSoft ( MULE ), up 15%; tech services provider Syntel ( SYNT ), up 4%; advertising firm Interpublic Group ( IPG ), up 3%; software security company VeriSign (VRSN), up 4%; Ireland-based airline Ryanair (RYAAY) , up 1%; January IPO PagSeguro Digital (PAGS), up 6%; and Pacific Premier Bancorp (PPBI), up 1%.
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Meanwhile, Innovator IBD 50 Fund (FFTY), an exchange-traded fund that reflects the IBD 50, retreated 0.7%.
In economic news, the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment gauge for February rolled in at 99.9, above the consensus estimate of 95.5 and above the highest estimate in the range, 97.
Housing starts for January surged 7.6% above the consensus forecast. Permits clocked in at 7.4% above the consensus estimate. The iShares U.S. Home Construction (ITB) exchange-traded fund rose 0.7%. The ETF is 11% off its high.
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