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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

3/20/15

The major averages ended the week on an upbeat note with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.9%) in the lead. The price-weighted index ended the week higher by 2.1% while the S&P 500 (+0.9%) gained 2.7% for the week.

 

Equity indices climbed throughout the session with trading volume running well above average due to today's quadruple witching. As a result, more than two billion shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

 

Meanwhile, the Dollar Index (97.89, -1.37), which was a point of focus throughout the week, fell 1.4% to narrow its March gain to 2.5%. Notably, the euro gained 1.3%, climbing to 1.0800 against the greenback with the move partially supported by upbeat comments from the Eurogroup. Specifically, Greece has agreed to present a new reform plan within the next few days in order to receive funds needed to prevent a liquidity shortage.

 

Today's pullback in the dollar was a supportive factor for the commodity market. Crude oil settled higher by 2.4% at $46.58/bbl, but backed off its best level of the session after the latest Baker Hughes rig count registered its 15th consecutive weekly decline (-56 to 1069). Meanwhile, the energy sector (+1.4%) finished well ahead of other groups.

 

Elsewhere among cyclical sectors, financials (+1.3%) and consumer discretionary (+1.1%) outperformed with the discretionary sector rallying behind homebuilders after KB Home (KBH 15.26, +1.19) reported better than expected results. Shares of KBH jumped 8.4% while the broader iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction ETF (ITB 27.82, +0.54) gained 2.0%. Meanwhile, apparel and luxury retailers were a bit more mixed. Dow component Nike (NKE 101.98, +3.66) spiked 3.7% after beating bottom-line estimates while Tiffany & Co (TIF 82.99, -3.38) lost 3.9% after below-consensus revenue and light guidance overshadowed in-line earnings.

 

Also of note, the technology sector (+0.5%) slumped to the bottom of the leaderboard during the final minutes as Apple (AAPL 126.05, -1.45) fell to a fresh session low.

 

Over on the countercyclical side, the consumer staples sector (+1.2%) outperformed while health care (+0.8%) lagged. Despite today's underperformance, health care gained 4.5% for the week, ending ahead of other sectors. Volatility in the biotech space pressured the sector from its early high as the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 366.52, +1.27) narrowed its gain to 0.4% after being up near 2.0% at the start. The early strength stemmed from a 9.8% spike in the shares of Biogen Idec (BIIB 475.98, +42.33) after the company issued an encouraging report on a developmental drug for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. For its part, the biotechnology ETF logged a 5.7% gain for the week.

 

Treasuries climbed throughout the morning, ending on their highs with the 10-yr yield lower by five basis points at 1.93%.

 

Monday's economic data will be limited to the Existing Home Sales report for February, which will be released at 10:00 ET.

 

Nasdaq Composite +6.1% YTD

Russell 2000 +5.1% YTD

S&P 500 +2.4% YTD

Dow Jones Industrial Average +1.7% YTD

Week in Review: Fed in Focus

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