Day Traders Diary


The stock market ended a strong week on a subdued note. The S&P 500 added 0.1% after spending the day in a 13-point range while the Nasdaq Composite (+0.4%) outperformed. For the week, the benchmark index climbed 3.3% while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 2.6%.


The Friday session made for a quiet finish to a week that saw all ten sectors register gains. The S&P 500 began the trading day above its flat line, but slipped into the red around midday. The index traded just below its unchanged level into the afternoon, but turned green during the final hour.


With the benchmark index settling near its flat line, five sectors registered gains while the other five ended lower. Most notably, energy (-0.7%) and financials (-0.6%) spent the day below their flat lines, which prevented the market from stretching its legs.


Even though the energy sector lost 0.7% on Friday, the group still gained 7.8% for the week, finishing well ahead of its peers. To little surprise, the move was supported by strength in crude oil futures as the energy component climbed 0.4% to $49.67/bbl. For the week, WTI crude soared 9.1% to mid-July levels.


On the flip side, the technology sector (+0.5%) finished in the lead, giving a boost to the Nasdaq Composite. Top-weighted sector components like Apple (AAPL 112.09, +2.59), Alphabet (GOOGL 671.24, +4.24), Facebook (FB 93.24, +0.77), and Oracle (ORCL 38.10, +0.36) gained between 0.6% and 2.4% while high-beta chipmakers underperformed with the PHLX Semiconductor Index falling 0.8%. That being said, the SOX Index gained 3.5% for the week.


Elsewhere, the health care sector (+0.4%) settled just behind technology to lock in a weekly gain of 0.3%. The influential group outperformed on Friday, but struggled earlier in the week due to continued volatility in biotechnology. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 308.45, +1.25) climbed 0.4% on Friday, but still lost 2.2% for the week.


Also of note, the industrial sector (+0.3%) finished among the leaders thanks to relative strength among transport stocks. The Dow Jones Transportation Average rallied 0.8%, extending its weekly gain to 4.8%. Only five DJTA components ended in the green while airlines saw broad strength with United Continental (UAL 55.71, +3.45) soaring 6.6% after reporting a 1.4% year-over-year increase in September consolidated traffic.


Similar to stocks, Treasuries spent the day inside narrow ranges, posting slim gains, with the 10-yr yield slipping one basis point to 2.10%.


Economic data was limited to Import/Export Prices and Wholesale Inventories:


Export prices, excluding agriculture, decreased 0.6% in September after decreasing 1.3% in the prior reading

Excluding oil, import prices decreased 0.3%, which followed last month's decrease of 0.4%

Wholesale inventories increased 0.1% in August after a downwardly revised 0.3% decline (from -0.1%) while the consensus expected no change

Durable wholesale inventories increased 0.3% after declining 0.1% in July with a 0.3% decline in automotive inventories offsetting a 0.9% increase in electrical inventories and a 0.5% increase in machinery inventories

Nondurable wholesale inventories declined 0.2% in August after declining 0.5% in July with lower oil prices helping reduce petroleum inventories (-1.4%) for the second month in a row. Meanwhile, farm product inventories declined 3.1% after declining 1.2% in July

Monday's session will be free of economic data.


Nasdaq Composite +2.0% YTD

S&P 500 -2.1% YTD

Dow Jones Industrial Average -4.1% YTD

Russell 2000 -3.3% YTD

Week in Review: Cyclical Sectors Lead Stocks Higher

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