Day Traders Diary
12/2/13Equity indices finished the holiday-shortened session on a mixed note. The Nasdaq stayed true to a theme that has held throughout the week, finishing ahead of its peers. The tech-heavy index advanced 0.4%, extending its week-to-date gain to 1.7%. The S&P 500 shed 0.1%, but still managed to secure its eighth consecutive weekly advance. The benchmark index gained 0.1% in the final week of November.
The S&P 500 suffered from late weakness, surrendering its entire gain during the final 30 minutes as financials (-0.4%) and industrials (-0.4%) tumbled into the red with most other sectors following suit. In addition, energy (-0.2%), which displayed intraday strength, also gave up its gain into the close. The sector lagged even as crude oil rallied 0.9% to $93.15 per barrel.
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq led from the opening bell as its largest component, Apple (AAPL 556.07, +10.11), charged out of the gate. The stock climbed 1.9% amid news the company has secured almost 76% of October smartphone sales in Japan. Biotechnology also provided a measure of support to the index as the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 224.16, +0.83) rose 0.4%. However, biotech had a limited impact on the health care sector (-0.1%), which struggled to keep pace with the broader market.
Outside of technology, the discretionary sector (+0.1%) was the only other advancer. Online retailers like Amazon.com (AMZN 393.62, +6.91) and eBay (EBAY 50.52, +1.22) outperformed traditional names like Target (TGT 63.93, -0.48) and Wal-Mart (WMT 81.01, +0.08) even after the two brick-and-mortar retailers made upbeat-sounding comments regarding early Black Friday returns.
Countercyclical groups posted modest losses between 0.1% and 0.6% with telecom services rounding out the bottom of the leaderboard.
The late selloff sent the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 13.75, +0.77) higher by 5.9% as the near-term volatility measure ended at its highest level in more than a week.
Trading volume was light as only 474 million shares changed hands on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
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