Day Traders Diary
12/31/13The major averages wrapped up a memorable year with a forgettable final session. The S&P 500 added 0.4%, extending its 2013 price return to 29.6%.Given its banner year, it was appropriate for the index to end 2013 at a
fresh all-time high of 1848.35. The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 26.5% in 2013 and ended at a record high of its own.
Although the Dow (+0.4%) and S&P 500 (+0.4%) saw comparable gains today, the
Nasdaq (+0.5%) fared a bit better. That was the theme throughout the year as the tech-heavy index rallied 38.3%.
Similar to earlier sessions of the week, today's affair felt like it was taking place in slow motion until indices roared to fresh highs during the final hour. As a result, paltry intraday NYSE volume turned into a more
respectable final tally of 558 million.
Seven of ten sectors registered gains as cyclical groups provided leadership. The energy sector (+0.9%) led from the start with Phillips 66 (PSX 77.13, +2.41) contributing to the strength after Berkshire Hathaway
(BRK.B 118.56, +0.52) agreed to acquire Phillips Specialty Products, a flow
improver business. Strikingly, the energy sector rallied even as crude oil slipped 0.8% to $98.46/bbl.
Elsewhere, the other commodity-related group-materials (+0.3%)-posted a modest gain as miners displayed strength. The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX 21.13, +0.49) gained 2.7% as gold futures ended little changed at
$1202.70/ozt. Unlike the S&P 500, the yellow metal will be happy to see the calendar turn to 2014 after seeing its price plunge 28.0% in 2013.
Outside of energy, the technology sector (+0.7%) was the only other noteworthy outperformer. The largest component, Apple (AAPL 561.02, +6.50), broke its four-day losing streak, gaining 1.2%.
With regard to momentum names, Twitter (TWTR 63.65, +3.14) rallied 5.2% after falling nearly 17.5% over the past two sessions while the top S&P 500 component of 2013, Netflix (NFLX 368.17, +1.18), added 0.3%, extending its
2013 gain to 297.3%. Fittingly, the S&P 500's top performer of 2013 resides in the strongest sector of the year, consumer discretionary, which finished with an annual gain of 41.0%.
On the countercyclical side, consumer staples (-0.1%), health care (-0.1%),and telecom services posted modest losses while utilities (+0.2%) finished slightly higher. Treasuries ended on their lows after spending the day in a
steady downtrend. The 10-yr yield rose six basis points to 3.04%.
Today's economic data featured three reports:
The October Case-Shiller 20-city Home Price Index rose 13.6% while a 13.8% increase had been expected by the Briefing.com consensus. This follows the previous month's increase of 13.2%.
The Chicago PMI reading for December dropped to 59.1 from 63.0 while the consensus expected a decline to 60.0. The reported decrease was not too concerning given that readings above 60.0 are not sustainable for a long time. Production growth slowed as the related index fell to 57.9 from 64.3. The weakness stemmed from a softening in new orders growth, from 68.8 in November to 60.7 in December.
The December Consumer Confidence Index increased to 78.1 from 72.0 while the
consensus expected an increase to 77.1. Although the index posted a solid
increase, the jump was a result of consumer attitudes returning to pre-government shutdown levels. In reality, confidence levels have
essentially held steady since late summer.
There is no economic data on tomorrow's schedule as bond and equity markets
will be closed for New Year's Day.
On Thursday, weekly initial claims will be released at 8:30 ET while November construction spending and the December ISM Index will both cross the wires at 10:00 ET.
With the year drawing to a close, we at Briefing.com would like to wish all
of our readers a happy and healthy start to 2014.
Nasdaq +38.3% YTD
Russell 2000 +37.0% YTD
S&P 500 +29.6% YTD
DJIA +26.5% 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.