Day Traders Diary


Today's session featured disappointing earnings from technology heavyweights, Google (GOOG 896.60, -14.08) and Microsoft (MSFT 31.40, -4.04), but that could have gone unnoticed if someone were to only focus on the performance of the S&P 500, which ended with a slim gain of 0.2%, notching a new record high.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq settled lower by 0.7% as earnings and revenue misses from the two major components weighed on the tech-heavy index. For its part, the S&P technology sector fell 2.0%.

While technology shares displayed weakness across the board, the broader market was kept afloat by the outperformance of heavily-weighted energy, health care, and industrial sectors. The three groups added between 1.2% and 1.4% with health care ending in the lead.

The health care sector spent the entire session in a steady climb as biotechnology provided significant support. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 195.00, +3.06) advanced 1.6% after marking a fresh all-time high.

Elsewhere, the industrial sector was underpinned by Dow component General Electric (GE 24.72, +1.09), which jumped 4.6% after its slim earnings beat overshadowed a 3.5% year-over-year decline in revenue. Another Dow member, Boeing (BA 106.96, -0.67), kept industrials from logging further gains after two more jets produced by the company were forced to return to their home ports following in-flight technical issues.

Also of note, the energy sector advanced 1.4% on the back of better-than-expected earnings from Schlumberger (SLB 82.74, +4.33). On a related note, crude oil added 0.3% to $108.15.

Another commodity-related sector, materials, rose 0.5% as chemical producers and gold miners displayed strength. The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX 25.86, +1.08) jumped 4.4%. Gold futures displayed strength as well, climbing 0.8% to $1294.30 per troy ounce.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 12.54, -1.23) spent the entire session in a steady decline, dropping to its lowest level since May 17. After notching its 2013 high of 21.91% on June 24, the near-term volatility measure has logged three consecutive weekly losses as the S&P 500 climbed to fresh all-time highs.

Participation was relatively limited and NYSE trading volume of 872 million shares was light when taking today's options expiration into account.
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