Day Traders Diary


Equity indices entered the weekend on an upbeat note as the S&P 500 settled higher by 1.3%, ending just three points below its 20-day moving average.

Stocks spent the bulk of today's session near their highs after receiving a pre-market boost from the nonfarm payrolls report.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 175,000 jobs in May. That was up from a downwardly revised 149,000 (from 165,000) new jobs in April, and ahead of the consensus, which expected nonfarm payrolls to add 159,000 new jobs in May.

Even though payrolls beat expectations, the underlying trends point toward a stable, not upward moving, labor market and a slow-growth economy. Specifically, the increase in jobs was not enough to cause a sizable jump in income levels. That means retail sales growth will likely be soft for a second consecutive month.

Private payrolls added 178,000 jobs in May, up from 157,000 jobs in April, and above the 175,000 expected by the consensus.

The unemployment rate ticked up to 7.6% in May from 7.5% while the consensus expected the unemployment rate to remain at 7.5%.

The increase, however, was the result of improving confidence in economic conditions. The labor force increased by 420,000, topping the 319,000 increase in the number of employed.

While the headline number surprised to the upside, the increase in the unemployment rate suggests the Federal Reserve will maintain its accommodative policy course in the immediate term.

Cyclical sectors ended among the leaders as financials, industrials, and discretionary shares all gained more than 1.7%.

The industrial sector stood out as transportation and defense companies rallied broadly. The Dow Jones Transportation Average settled higher by 2.4% as 11 of 20 Index components added more than 2.0%. Airlines received clearance for take-off with United Continental (UAL 32.94, +2.27) soaring 7.4%. Contributing to United's outperformance was a Goldman Sachs upgrade of the stock to 'Neutral' from 'Sell.'

With regards to defense names, the PHLX Defense Index rose 1.9%.

The discretionary sector added 1.8% as retailers provided a measure of support to the growth-oriented space. Gap (GPS 42.09, +1.11) jumped 2.7% after reporting May same store sales growth of 8.0% while the broader SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 78.32, +1.23) rose 1.6%.

Many of today's outperformers included recent laggards. Homebuilders saw early gains, but ended the day in mixed fashion. The iShares US Home Construction ETF (ITB 23.82, +0.06) ended with just a slim gain of 0.3%.

Elsewhere in high-beta land, small cap stocks trailed behind the broader market throughout the session as the Russell 2000 gained 0.8%.

Interestingly, the materials sector rallied despite weakness in metals. Gold fell 2.6% to $1378.40 per ounce while silver dropped 5.2% to $21.52 per ounce. For its part, copper declined 1.6% to $3.267 per pound. Steelmakers also lagged as the Market Vectors Steel ETF (SLX 40.16, -0.14) shed 0.4%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 15.03, -1.60) fell early, and remained near its lows after spiking to its highest level in more than three months.

Today's nonfarm payrolls report sparked daylong selling across the Treasury complex. As a result, the benchmark 10-yr yield rose nine basis points to 2.175%.

Looking at today's leftover economic data, the average workweek remained at 34.5 in May after a slight upward revision in April (from 34.4). Average hourly earnings growth was flat.

According to the Federal Reserve, consumer credit increased by $11.1 billion in April. This follows the prior month's revised increase of $8.4 billion, and is lower than the $13.2 billion that had been broadly expected among economists polled by

There is no economic data of note scheduled for a Monday release. 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.