Day Traders Diary
4/2/14The stock market meandered inside a narrow range on Wednesday after posting solid gains on Monday and Tuesday. The S&P 500 added 0.3% and notched a fresh record closing high at 1890.90 while the Nasdaq (+0.2%) struggled to stay in the green throughout the session.
Equity indices began the day near their flat lines and maintained narrow ranges into the afternoon before breaking out to fresh highs during the final 30 minutes of action. That thrust placed the Dow Jones Industrial Average above its 2013 closing high of 16576.66 for the first time this year, but the index returned below that level by the close.
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq and S&P 500 extended their respective 2014 gains to 2.4% and 2.3%, but the Nasdaq had a tough time keeping pace with the benchmark index today as large cap tech names and biotechnology lagged.
The technology sector (-0.02%) spent the bulk of the trading day at the bottom of the leaderboard before clawing its way back to the flat line the close. Chipmakers lagged throughout the session with Intel (INTC 25.89, -0.10) falling 0.4% while the PHLX Semiconductor Index lost 0.2%.
For its part, biotechnology displayed strength at the open, but was unable to revisit its morning high as the day wore on. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 241.60, -0.05) ended little changed while the broader health care sector (+0.4%) finished a bit ahead of the S&P 500.
Elsewhere among influential sectors, financials (+0.1%) lagged while the discretionary sector (+0.7%) finished among the leaders. Homebuilders posted gains with the iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction ETF (ITB 24.71, +0.10) climbing 0.4% while retailers also displayed strength. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 86.74, +1.24) jumped 1.5%.
Also of note, the smallest cyclical sector, materials (+0.6%), outperformed amid strength in miners. The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX 24.32, +0.63) rose 2.7% while gold futures rose 0.9% to $1290.80/ozt.
Treasuries finished just above their lows after spending the entire morning in a steady retreat. The benchmark 10-yr yield added five basis points to 2.80%.
Participation was well below average with only 640 million shares changing hands at the NYSE.
Today's economic data included just two reports:
According to the ADP National Employment Report for March, employment in the nonfarm private business sector rose by 191K, which was below the increase of 215K expected by the Briefing.com consensus. The February reading was revised up to 178,000 from 139,000.
Factory orders increased 1.6% in February after falling a downwardly revised 1.0% (from -0.7%) in January. The Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 1.1%. The upside surprise in factory orders was a result of stronger-than-expected nondurable goods orders. Nondurable goods orders increased 1.0% in February, which more than offset the 0.7% decline in January. Durable goods orders were unrevised from the advance report, up 2.2% in February after falling 1.4% in January. Excluding transportation, durable goods orders increased 0.1% in February, down from an originally reported 0.2% gain in the advance report.
Tomorrow, the Challenger Job Cuts report for March will be released at 7:30 ET while weekly initial claims (Briefing.com consensus 320K) and the February Trade Balance (consensus -$39.30 billion) will cross the wires at 8:30 ET. The final report of the dayISM Services (consensus 53.5)will be released at 10:00 ET.
Russell 2000 +2.6% YTD
Nasdaq Composite +2.4% YTD
S&P 500 +2.3% YTD
Dow Jones Industrial Average -0.02% YTD
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