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Leigh Baldwin & Co.

112 Albany Street, Cazenovia, NY 13035 | Phone: (315) 655-2964 Toll Free: 1-800-659-8044

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Day Traders Diary

12/19/14

The stock market capped a strong week with an advance that sent the S&P 500 higher by 0.5% to extend its weekly gain to 3.4%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.2%) underperformed today, but the price-weighted index still managed to add 3.0% for the week.

After adding more than 88 points in the previous two sessions, the S&P 500 spent the first half of the day near its flat line, but climbed ahead of the close. Despite the sharp midweek surge, buying interest remained in place today with nine of ten sectors ending the day in the green.

The energy sector (+3.1%) finished in the lead and extended its weekly gain to 9.7%, which put the growth-sensitive group well ahead of the remaining sectors. Crude oil contributed to today's rally as the energy component settled higher by 5.4% at $57.10/bbl and continued its advance into the $58.00/bbl area in electronic trade.

Meanwhile, the other commodity-related sectormaterialsended in the second place with a solid gain of 1.2%. Steelmakers contributed to the advance with the Market Vectors Steel ETF (SLX 36.61, +1.05) climbing 3.0%.

Outside of energy and materials, only one other sectors was able to end ahead of the broader market. Industrials (+0.5%) rallied behind their top-weighted componentGeneral Electric (GE 25.62, +0.48)while transport stocks ended just behind the broader market. The Dow Jones Transportation Average climbed 0.4% with freight carriers pacing the advance.

Elsewhere, the health care sector (+0.4%) slipped behind the market into the close, but biotechnology outperformed. Juno Therapeutics (JUNO 35.00, +11.00) surged 45.8% in its debut, which represented the largest biotech IPO of the year. For its part, the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 317.20, +3.23) rallied 1.0% and helped the Nasdaq Composite end just behind the broader market even as chipmakers lagged.

The PHLX Semiconductor Index shed 0.3% with Xilinx (XLNX 43.00, -0.70) falling 1.6% after Bank of America/Merrill Lynch downgraded the stock to 'Underperform' from 'Neutral.' As for the broader technology sector (+0.1%), the top-weighted group was kept behind the broader market by relative weakness in influential components like Apple (AAPL 111.78, -0.87), Intel (INTC 36.37, -0.65), and Visa (V 261.67, -2.49).

Shares of Visa were also partially responsible for the underperformance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. However it wasn't just the top-priced listing that kept the index behind the S&P 500. Nike (NKE 94.84, -2.24) fell 2.3% after the company's below-consensus futures orders growth overshadowed better than expected earnings and revenue. Retail names in general displayed weakness with the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 94.13, -0.68) shedding 0.7%.

Treasuries climbed throughout the day and ended just below their highs. The benchmark 10-yr yield slipped four basis points to 2.17%.

Today's participation was well ahead of average, which was caused by quadruple witching. As a result more than 2.1 billion shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

Investors did not receive any economic news today and Monday's data will be limited to the Existing Home Sales report (Briefing.com consensus 5.20 million), which will be released at 10:00 ET.

Nasdaq Composite +14.1% YTD
S&P 500 +12.0% YTD
Dow Jones Industrial Average +7.4% YTD
Russell 2000 +2.7% 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.