Day Traders Diary
The stock market endured a quiet midweek session, but the light participation did not stop the S&P 500 from rising 0.3% to register its third consecutive gain. The benchmark index extended its weekly advance to 1.0% with materials (+0.7%) and industrials (+0.7%) ending in the lead.
Market participants turned some lemons into lemonade today after the World Bank served up some lemons by lowering its 2016 global GDP growth forecast to 2.4% from 2.9% and slashing the U.S. growth outlook to 1.9% from 2.7%. The downgrade did not pressure stocks as investors interpreted the news as a sign that domestic and global monetary policy may remain highly accommodative for longer.
The S&P 500 marked its morning high within the first 30 minutes of action, but the index followed that move with a short-lived retreat to its flat line. Early weakness in sectors like consumer discretionary (+0.1%), financials (+0.2%), and technology (+0.4%) fostered that slip, but the S&P 500 proved resilient thanks to strength in heavily-weighted sectors like industrials (+0.7%) and health care (+0.5%). Furthermore, the technology sector overcame its early weakness thanks in part to Alphabet (GOOGL 742.93, +11.84). The stock climbed 1.6% after a few analysts made positive comments about the company.
To be fair, there were some weak spots among tech shares as the PHLX Semiconductor Index ended flat with Micron (MU 12.58, -0.42) falling 3.2% after announcing that its acquisition of Inotera, which was expected to complete in mid-July, will not be completed in the timeframe that was specified previously.
Elsewhere among cyclical sectors, the energy space (-0.2%) jumped out to an early lead, but could not hold its ground even though crude oil climbed 1.7% to $51.23/bbl, settling at a fresh 2016 high. The energy component posted a solid gain even though the latest weekly inventory report from the Department of Energy showed that gasoline inventories increased by 1.01 million barrels against expectations for a draw. As for crude inventories, they declined by 3.226 million barrels (consensus draw of 2.700 to 3.400 million barrels). Despite today's downtick, the energy sector is still up 4.0% for the week, which puts the group well ahead of the remaining nine sectors.
In other commodities, gold (+1.2% to $1262.20/ozt) and silver (+3.7% to $17.00/ozt) also rallied, benefiting from the fourth consecutive decline in the Dollar Index (93.61), which slipped 0.2% to levels from early May.
Treasuries climbed early on and maintained their gains into the close with the 10-yr yield slipping two basis points to 1.70%.
Today's participation was below average as fewer than 870 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.
Economic data was limited to the weekly MBA Mortgage Index and JOLTS:
The weekly MBA Mortgage Index increased 9.3% to follow last week's 4.1% decline
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for April pointed to an increase in openings to 5.788 million from last month's 5.757 million (revised from 5.670 million)
Tomorrow's data will feature weekly Initial Claims (Briefing.com consensus 265K) and April Wholesale Inventories (Briefing.com consensus 0.1%), which will be released at 8:30 ET and 10:00 ET, respectively.
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