Day Traders Diary


The major averages posted modest Friday gains to punctuate an upbeat week that saw relative strength among small-cap stocks. Fittingly, the Russell 2000 (+0.3%) settled just ahead of the S&P 500 (+0.2%). The two indices extended their weekly gains to 2.2% and 1.6%, respectively.

The S&P 500 spent the entire session in the green, but was limited to a four-point range as top-weighted sectors traded in mixed fashion. The modest gains were supported by the relative strength among groups like energy (+1.0%), health care (+0.8%), industrials (+0.4%), and financials (+0.3%), but the underperformance of consumer discretionary (-0.4%), technology (-0.3%), and consumer staples (-0.4%) kept the index from pulling too far away from its flat line.

The energy sector seized the lead shortly after the open and held that spot into the close. The group locked in a 2.7% gain for the week, which was driven in part by oil supply concerns following the escalation of sectarian tensions in Iraq. For its part, crude oil rose 0.7% to $106.81/bbl.

Commodities in general enjoyed a strong week with gold and silver futures adding to yesterday's big gains. Gold futures added $2.30 to $1316.60/ozt, bringing their total weekly advance to 3.3%. Silver, meanwhile, tacked on another 1.1% today to settle at $20.95/ozt, which represented a 6.6% gain for the week. Interestingly, miners were not boosted by the strength in metals as the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX 25.82, -0.27) fell 1.0%.

Elsewhere, the health care sector made a noteworthy contribution to the advance with biotechnology powering the move. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 255.64, +5.08) rose 2.0%, extending its June gain to 6.7%.

On the flip side, the top-weighted sector-technology-kept the lid on the market as Oracle (ORCL 40.82, -1.69) weighed. The stock fell 4.0% after missing earnings and revenue estimates. High-beta chipmakers lagged for the better part of the session, but climbed into the close (PHLX Semiconductor Index +0.2%).

Also of note, the consumer discretionary space was pressured by quick-service restaurants following disappointing quarterly results from Darden Restaurants (DRI 47.58, -1.94).

The modest gains in the market did not stop some participants from demanding volatility protection as the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 10.67, +0.05) rose 0.5% after marking a new low for the year.

On the fixed income side, the 10-yr note edged up one tick with its yield ending at 2.62%.

Participation was well above average, but that was a function of today's quadruple witching and S&P rebalancing. As a result, more than 1.7 billion shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

On Monday, the Existing Home Sales report will be released at 10:00 ET.
S&P 500 +6.2% YTD
Nasdaq Composite +4.6% YTD
Dow Jones Industrial Average +2.2% YTD
Russell 2000 +2.1% YTD

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