An afternoon rally helped fortify gains in the major stock averages, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average, on the first trading day of March. But both individual growth stock leaders and ETFs showed serious outperformance vs. the 30-stock blue chip average in the current stock market.
While the Dow Jones industrials gained around 0.4% with an hour to go on Wall Street, the Innovator IBD 50 (FFTY) ETF rose more than 0.7%. The newest Innovator Capital-managed growth stock-oriented exchange traded fund, Innovator IBD Breakout Opportunities (BOUT), matched the Dow Jones' gain. But at 20.18, BOUT holds a year-to-date gain of 16%, vs. a 11.6% for the Dow.
The S&P 500 is trading in the upper half of its session range with a nearly 0.6% advance. Strength in software, internet content, biotech and consumer-oriented stocks helped boost the Nasdaq composite nearly 0.8% ahead.
At 7600, the Nasdaq now shows a year-to-date rise of 14.5%.
Top Growth Stocks Roasting The Dow Jones
Meanwhile, Acacia Communcations (ACIA), Zscaler (ZS) and small-cap Chinese wearables leader Huami (HMI) are propelling further into new high ground and show strong gains since Jan. 1.
Acacia and Zscaler recently joined IBD Leaderboard as half-size positions.
Leaderboard stocks — combining its half and full positions — delivered a gain of 11.8% in 2018, vs. a 6.2% drop by the S&P 500.
An emerging leader in the security space, San Jose, Calif.-based Zscaler shocked Wall Street analysts late Thursday by reporting fiscal Q2 earnings of 9 cents a share on a 65% spike in revenue to $74.3 million. That marked the biggest sales in a single quarter in the company's history.
Zscaler specializes in security for customers that use virtual private networks. It's now delivered two quarters in a row of earnings after it lost 21 cents a share in fiscal 2018, ended in July that year.
IBD Stock Checkup shows the mid-cap growth stock improving its Composite Rating to a very respectable 94 on a scale of 1 (the worst) to 99 (the best). Please remember, the Composite Rating helps IBD readers save time in selecting true market leaders. But it should not be used as either a timing tool on both the buy side and the sell decision.
That's what stock charts are for.
A Tech Turnaround In The Making
Acacia, whose equipment fine-tunes the quality of fiber-optic data networks, shows a 97 Composite Rating on IBD Stock Checkup.
The company scored its first strong earnings increase in seven quarters as Q4 profit jumped 52% to 41 cents a share. Revenue grew 24% to $107.1 million.
An Emerging Leader Among China Growth Stocks
Huami looked poised to rise for a 10th straight up week, with a gain of more than 14% this week so far. Shares have catapulted past a 15.19 correct buy point in a large cup without handle.
The marketer of smart wearable devices grew its earnings 195% to 59 cents a share in 2017; the Street expects full-year profit to jump 78% in 2018 and another 19% this year. Sales lifted 33% to $307 million in 2017 and 94%, 58% and 119% in the past three quarters vs. year-ago levels.
The Shanghai composite index soared 6.7% for the week.
On the downside, Workday (WDAY), Alarm.com (ALRM) and Splunk (SPLK) fell in big volume despite posting strong quarterly results. Alarm.com's 12% EPS increase marked the slowest growth in 12 quarters.
Software Sector Leader
Workday, a leader in software for human resources management, posted a very healthy 46% increase in earnings to 41 cents a share in the January-ended fiscal fourth quarter. Revenue growth accelerated a touch, rising 35% to $788.6 million following year-over-year gains of 29%, 28% and 34%.
The stock was already extended from a proper buy point ahead of results. Despite the sharp loss of more than 4%, Workday remains in a strong uptrend.
Shares have risen nearly 30% since surpassing a 146.98 proper entry in a double-bottom base. Many stocks pull back sharply after delivering a gain of 20% to 40% after a breakout.
That's why selling at least some shares on the way up helps protect hard-earned stock profits.
In Other Financial Markets
Crude oil fell hard, but is still having a banner 2019 so far. U.S. oil futures slid 2.5% to $55.79 a barrel.
The yield on the benchmark U.S. Treasury 10-year bond rose sharply for a second straight day and hit 2.75%, up 2 basis points, amid news of slower expansion in U.S. factories. The February reading for the ISM survey dropped to 54.2, below the Econoday forecast of 55.0. A reading above the neutral 50 figure points to expanding manufacturing activity.
The spread between 3-month T-bills and the 10-year note continues to widen, now at 32 basis points vs. 24 basis points at the start of January.
Gold futures fell 1.6%. The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) ETF by the same amount and sliced below its rising 50-day moving average for the first time since late November.