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Leigh Baldwin & Co.

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Day Traders Diary

2/20/15

WRAPX Closing Market Summary: S&P 500 Settles at Fresh Record High

The major averages finished what had been a range-bound week with a Friday rally that helped the S&P 500 (+0.6%) add 0.6% for the week. The benchmark index settled at a fresh record high at 2,110.30 while the Dow (+0.9%) outperformed today, but ended the week just ahead of the benchmark index (+0.7%).

 

Once again, Friday's main focus was on Greece with the market starting under modest pressure after morning reports dampened hopes for an agreement at today's Eurogroup meeting, the start of which was delayed twice. However, the market spent the morning in a slow climb off its low and the S&P 500 was able to turn positive with help from reports indicating the two sides were able to reach an agreement to extend funding for Greece until the end of June. Per today's accord, the Greek government has agreed to honor current obligations in full and is expected to present a list of reforms on Monday.

 

The afternoon developments weighed on Treasuries, causing the 10-yr note to surrender its intraday gain and end on its low with the benchmark yield higher by a basis point at 2.12%. Meanwhile, the Dollar Index surrendered its intraday gain, ending little changed.

 

Nine of ten sectors posted gains with health care (+1.0%) and industrials (+0.9%) ending in the lead. The two sectors outperformed throughout the session with the industrial sector rallying behind a few large components. Deere (DE 92.43, +0.72) added 0.8% in reaction to better than expected earnings and cautious guidance while Dow component Boeing (BA 158.31, +4.56) jumped 3.0% after securing a helicopter delivery contract with the U.S. Army.

 

Elsewhere among heavily-weighted cyclical sectors, financials (+0.8%) spiked in reaction to the Eurogroup-Greece news while the largest sector by weight—technology (+0.6%)—settled in-line with the broader market.

 

On the flip side, energy (-0.3%) ended at the bottom of the leaderboard while crude oil fell 1.9% to $50.82. The energy component settled near its low that was reached after the latest Baker Hughes rig count registered its 11th consecutive decline, which indicated the number of active oil and gas rigs declined by 48 to 1310. For its part, the energy sector climbed off its low ahead of the close, but still ended the week lower by 2.4%.

 

Over on the countercyclical side, consumer staples (+0.3%), telecom services (+0.1%), and utilities (unch) underperformed while the health care sector (+1.0%) was boosted by biotechnology. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 336.43, +4.44) climbed 1.3% while the broader health care sector ended the week ahead of other groups with a gain of 1.9%.

 

For the first time in two weeks, trading volume was close to long-term averages, but that was largely due to today's options expiration. As a result, more than 810 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

 

Investors did not receive any economic data today and Monday's data will be limited to the Existing Home Sales report for January, which will be released at 10:00 ET.

 

Nasdaq Composite +4.6% YTD

S&P 500 +2.5% YTD

Russell 2000 +2.2% YTD

Dow Jones Industrial Average +1.8% YTD

Week in Review: S&P 500 Holds Narrow Range

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