Day Traders Diary


After enduring a choppy session, the S&P 500 settled higher by 0.4% to end the week with a gain of 1.2%. The Nasdaq outperformed the benchmark average throughout the day as the tech-heavy index advanced 0.8%.

The outperformance of the Nasdaq was largely due to the relative strength of biotech as the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 180.02, +5.13) settled higher by 2.9%. The sharp gains in biotech also provided support for the health care sector, which ended atop the leaderboard.

Meanwhile, other tech stocks traded in mixed fashion. The largest sector component, Apple (AAPL 452.97, -3.80), lost 0.8%, but many other large cap names ended with modest gains. Chipmakers also finished among the outperformers after NVIDIA (NVDA 14.54, +0.63) beat on earnings and revenue. The broader PHLX Semiconductor Index rose 0.7%.

While the Nasdaq spent the entire day in positive territory, the Dow and S&P 500 underperformed as commodity-related sectors lagged.

The energy space was the biggest laggard as the sector lost 0.5%. Lower price of crude oil contributed to the sector weakness as the energy component slipped 0.6% to $95.86 per barrel. Oil was down as much as 3.1% at the start of today's session, but was able to pare its losses intraday.

Similar to oil, metals sold off early, but regained some of their losses into the afternoon. Gold closed down 1.8% at $1442.80 per troy ounce while silver shed 0.7% to end at $23.75 per troy ounce. Copper also displayed losses early, but ended the session with a gain of 1.2% at $3.38 per pound.

The weakness in metals pressured the materials sector early on, but the group was able to climb off its lows to end flat.

Notably, the industrial sector underperformed despite the strength of transportation-related stocks. The Dow Jones Transportation Average added 0.6%.

Cyclical groups were led by the discretionary sector. Retailers outperformed notably after Gap (GPS 40.99, +2.18) reported better-than-expected April same store sales. The broader SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 76.45, +1.08) settled higher by 1.4%.

Homebuilders also provided support for the discretionary sector as the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB 31.91, +0.44) ended higher by 1.4%.

Today's economic data was limited to the April Treasury Budget, which showed a surplus of $112.90 billion. This was better than the surplus of $112 billion expected by the consensus. All comments contained herein are for informational purposes only, and should not be considered as a solicitation to buy or sell any security. The firm does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information or make any warranties regarding results from it's usage.