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Stocks turned in a round of mixed results yesterday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3%, the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.7%, and the benchmark S&P 500 was flat. However, higher volume across the board means the Nasdaq suffered a “distribution day,” and price action of the S&P 500 was indicative of bearish “churning” (stealth institutional selling into strength). A big part of the blame was that shares of Apple ($AAPL), a heavily weighted component of the NASDAQ, plunged 12% yesterday. Nevertheless, the broad market fared relatively well considering the anchor effect of Apple. Although the Nasdaq failed the previous day’s breakout and closed at its intraday low, it was only the first confirmed “distribution day” the Nasdaq has suffered since its breakout in the beginning of the year.Yesterday’s price and volume action produced the first true distribution day in the Nasdaq Composite since the big gap up. While we have seen a few weak distribution days since the gap up (price action closed well off the lows of the day), Thursday’s price action closed near the lows of the day.

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