Just one day after stocks logged their best-ever close, the bulls backed down. By the time the closing bell rang, the S&P 500 had fallen 0.22% to end the session at 2,927.25, almost closing at its low for the day.
AT&T (NYSE:) did a great deal of that damage, falling a little more than 4% after first-quarter numbers fell short of expectations. Its TV business was a particularly sore spot, though its wireless arm wasn’t exactly stellar last quarter either. Snap (NYSE:) technically lost more ground though, ending the day down a bit more than 6% after surging in response to a surprisingly progressive first quarter.
There were some winners, albeit few and far between. Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:) rallied another 11% after Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:) made a bid that topped the previous acquisition offer from Chevron (NYSE:).
The indecisive environment means traders would be wise to choose prospects carefully and pick names from both sides of the bullish/bearish fence. The stock charts of Norfolk Southern (NYSE:), Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:) and Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:) make for a good place to start that open-minded search.
Discovery Communications (DISCA)
Just a few weeks ago, Discovery Communications shares were in fairly serious trouble. Resistance had been met multiple times at multiple moving average lines, and a so-called ‘death cross’ had taken shape. The stock was just one bad day away from a meltdown.
That disaster has been avoided though. In fact, the rebound effort from two weeks ago has been confirmed and strengthened this week by virtue of support provided by a couple of those key moving average lines.
- The weekly chart puts matters in more perspective. Although erratic, the rally that got going in March was spurred by a fresh encounter with a support line that tags all the key lows going back to late 2017.
Norfolk Southern (NSC)
Railroad name Norfolk Southern had a terrific run from its late-December lows, outpacing most other stocks. All good things must come to an end though, and a couple of red flags started to wave for NSC stock yesterday.
- Bolstering the bearish case here is the gap left behind by yesterday’s jump. Generally speaking, gaps tend to get filled in. In this case, the sheer size of the four-month rally adds weight.
Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY)
When we last looked at Bristol-Myers Squibb , it was trying to move lower, but had thus far been unable to push under a technical support level around $46.
That’s no longer the case, though there’s a new support line now in play. Even so, the backdrop suggests there’s already a great deal of bearish momentum in place. If the current technical floor breaks, there’s nothing left to stop the next round of selloffs.
- While not yet under a major floor, note the swell of selling volume seen since March. This is a new development; the more the stock slumps, the more investors trickle out.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can learn more about James at his site, , or follow him on Twitter, at @jbrumley.
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