Day Traders Diary


The stock market enjoyed a broad-based surge on Friday, which helped the S&P 500 (+1.4%) erase its weekly loss. As a result, the benchmark index added 0.4% for the week.

Equity indices registered the bulk of their gains at the open thanks to a pair of factors that underpinned the sharp spike before the first trade was made in the cash market. First, the UK general election proved surprising as conservatives expanded their presence in the parliament and won 331 of 650 seats. Meanwhile, Ed Miliband (Labour), Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrats), and Nigel Farage (UKIP) resigned from leading their respective parties. Although the results were surprising, markets cheered the preservation of status quo with UK's FTSE surging 2.3%.

Index futures held modest gains following the election results and they extended their gains once the U.S. Nonfarm Payrolls report for April beat expectations (223K; consensus 218K); however, it is worth noting that the March reading was revised down to 85K from 126K and hourly earnings growth remained weak (+0.1%; consensus +0.2%).

The report sparked a fire under equities and Treasuries as lackadaisical wage growth is likely to be used as an argument in favor of the Federal Reserve maintaining its current policy stance for longer. Treasuries soared in reaction to the report, but they retreated from their highs during the afternoon. Still, the 10-yr note ended in the green with its yield down four basis points at 2.14%. The benchmark yield narrowed its weekly increase to two-basis points and ended the week beneath its 200-day moving average (2.19%).

All ten sectors finished the day in positive territory and only three groups posted gains slimmer than 1.0%. Materials (+1.6%) and health care (+1.6%) jockeyed for the lead throughout the session, but the energy sector (+1.6%) overtook them both as part of a late rally. On a related note, crude oil rose 0.7% to $59.42/bbl.

Moving on, the health care sector received a boost from biotechnology with iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 351.93, +7.82) spiking 2.3%, and above its 50-day moving average, which had been an area of focus during the past two weeks.

Interestingly, today's broad advance masked the underperformance among a couple other high-beta areas like chipmakers and transport stocks.

The PHLX Semiconductor Index gained 1.0%, but spent the day behind the broader market as NVIDIA (NVDA 20.81, -1.68) weighed. Shares of NVDA fell 7.5% after the company reported in-line results and guided lower. That being said, the broader technology sector (+1.4%) ended a step ahead of the broader market with large cap names like Apple (AAPL 127.52, +2.26), Google (GOOGL 548.95, +6.91), and Microsoft (MSFT 47.75, +1.05) picking up the slack. Microsoft was a standout, climbing 2.3% after Reuters reported the company is no longer looking to acquire (CRM 72.40, -2.12).

Elsewhere, the industrial sector (+1.2%) settled just behind the broader market even as transport stocks underperformed with the Dow Jones Transportation Average advancing 0.6%. Five components of the bellwether complex registered losses with Landstar System (LSTR 63.18, -0.86) sliding 1.3%.

Today's participation was below recent averages as 759 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

Economic data included Nonfarm Payrolls and Wholesale Inventories:

Nonfarm payrolls added 223,000 new jobs in April, up from a downwardly revised 85,000 (from 126,000) in March while the consensus expected an increase of 218,000 

Private payrolls increased by 213,000 jobs in April after adding a downwardly revised 94,000 (from 129,000) in March while the consensus expected an increase of 215,000

The average hourly wage increased 0.1% in April after increasing a downwardly revised 0.2% in March 

The average workweek remained at 34.5 hours for a second consecutive month

The combination of the increase in payrolls and wages along with constant hours pushed aggregate earnings levels up 0.3% in April. Earnings were flat in March

The unemployment rate fell to 5.4% in April from 5.5% in March, which met consensus expectations

Wholesale inventories increased 0.1% in March after increasing a downwardly revised 0.2% (from 0.3%) in February while the consensus expected an increase of 0.3% 

The BEA assumed that wholesale inventories increased 0.6% in the advance Q1 2015 GDP report. The downside miss in March combined with the revisions to February will result in a downward revision to first quarter GDP when the second estimate is released at the end of the month

There is no economic data on Monday's schedule.


Nasdaq Composite +5.4% YTD

S&P 500 +2.7% YTD

Russell 2000 +2.3% YTD

Dow Jones Industrial Average +2.0% YTD

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