Day Traders Diary


The S&P 500 ended flat after spending the entire session inside of a four-point range. The quiet trading day did little to upset the S&P 500's return for the year as the index will enter tomorrow with a 29.1% year-to-date gain.
Interestingly, while the S&P 500 was challenged by its flat line throughout the session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average held just above its unchanged level for the duration of the day. The price-weighted Dow saw 19 of its 30 components finish in the green, but shares of Disney (DIS 76.23, +1.88) stood out with a 2.5% gain. The noteworthy strength ensued after Guggenheim upgraded the stock to 'Buy' from 'Neutral.'
Fittingly, Disney also provided a measure of support to the discretionary sector (+0.4%), which ended ahead of the remaining nine groups. Retailers and homebuilders factored into the sector's strength as the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 88.01, +0.44) and iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction ETF (ITB 24.68, +0.07) added 0.5% and 0.3%, respectively.
The discretionary sector was the only area of strength among cyclical groups. The materials sector (+0.04%) eked out a slight gain, but had a limited impact on the broader market due to its small size. Meanwhile, the two top-weighted sectorsfinancials (-0.1%) and technology (-0.1%)posted modest losses.
Another growth-sensitive sector, energy (-0.8%), spent the entire day at the bottom of the leaderboard while crude oil fell 1.1% to $99.20 per barrel.
Countercyclical groups fared a bit better as consumer staples (+0.3%), health care (+0.2%), telecom services (+0.04%), and utilities (+0.3%) all posted modest gains.
On a stock-specific note, Twitter (TWTR 60.51, -3.24) endured another rough session after falling 13.0% on Friday. Shares of the social media company slid 5.1%, which narrowed its December gain to 45.6%.
Even though the major averages ended little changed, volatility protection was in demand as the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 13.53, +1.07) posted its second consecutive gain.
Trading volume was well below average as only 452 million shares changed hands on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
The bond market proved to be a one-way street today as Treasuries rallied throughout the session. The 10-yr yield slipped three basis points to 2.97%.
Today's economic data was limited to November Pending Home Sales, which ticked up 0.2% while the consensus expected an increase of 1.5%.
Tomorrow, the October Case-Shiller 20-city Index will be released at 9:00 ET, December Chicago PMI will be reported at 9:45 ET, and the December Consumer Confidence report will cross the wires at 10:00 ET.

Nasdaq +37.6% YTD
Russell 2000 +36.6% YTD
S&P 500 +29.1% YTD
DJIA +26.0% YTD 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.