Day Traders Diary
The stock market ended an upbeat week on a modestly lower note as the major averages consolidated after an impressive post-election run. The S&P 500 lost 0.2%, narrowing its weekly gain to 0.8%. Separately, the Russell 2000 (+0.5%) and the Nasdaq Composite (-0.2%) outperformed, rising a respective 2.6% and 1.6% this week.
The major averages jumped out of the gate as the S&P 500 (-0.2%) and the Nasdaq Composite (-0.2%) each zeroed in on their respective all-time highs. The tech-heavy index notched a new all-time intraday high (5346.80), but was unable to establish a new closing high. The benchmark index, however, reversed just below the 2190 price level.
Equities were unable to regain their footing as investors assessed whether the broader market has risen too far, too fast. An appreciating US Dollar Index (101.28, +0.39, +0.39%), rising market rates, and volatility from the oil pit also worked to keep the broader market in check.
The long-end of the yield curve has been on the rise in recent days as investors mull rising inflation concerns and improving economic data. The combination has prompted an exodus from longer-dated issues. The yield on the benchmark 10-yr note increased four basis points to 2.34%, leaving the yield up 51 basis points since the end of October. An improving rate hike outlook has also dampened buying interest in the bond market.
Per the CME's FedWatch Tool, the implied probability of an interest rate hike at the December FOMC meeting has increased to 95.4% from yesterday's 90.6%. A number of Federal Reserve speakers contributed to the uptick, indicating that the FOMC will likely go ahead with its next rate hike in December.
The benchmark index finished just below its flat line with seven sectors ending in negative territory. The health care (-1.1%) space outpaced today's losses in the broader market while energy (+0.5%), telecom services (+0.5%), and financials (+0.1%) finished at the top of the sector leaderboard.
Biotechnology demonstrated relative weakness in the health care space (-1.1%), evidenced by the 1.3% loss in the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 284.72, -3.80). The industry group has narrowed its gain in recent days as investors walk back their post-election reaction. Mylan (MYL 36.47, -1.09) ended lower by 2.9% after Mizuho trimmed its price target from $49 to $47. The broader sector lost 1.2% this week, but remains up 3.2% in November.
In the consumer discretionary space (-0.3%), Gap (GPS 25.61, -5.10, -16.6%) and Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF 14.60, -2.33, -13.8%) weighed on the broader retail sub-group. The two demonstrated relative weakness after disappointing participants with their quarterly results and guidance. Conversely, casual restaurant names outperformed after Yum! Brands (YUM 62.36, +1.60, +2.6%) added $2 billion to its share repurchase program.
The financial (+0.1%) group extended its recent winning streak as banking names continued to outperform. The industry group has surged in the aftermath of the election as steepening in the yield curve boosted the earnings prospects for the group. The SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE 40.41, +0.24) gained 0.6%, extending its November gain to 16.6%. This compares to a gain of 12.1% in the broader sector.
The commodity-sensitive energy sector (+0.5%) led the pack as investors reevaluated the likelihood of an OPEC supply cap agreement. WTI crude finished the day higher by 1.0% ($46.38/bbl; +$0.45).
Today's trading volume was below the recent average of one billion as fewer than 926 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.
Today's economic data was limited to Leading Indicators for October:
The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index increased 0.1% in October after increasing 0.2% in September.
It was noted by the Conference Board that the six-month growth rate has moderated, but that the index still points to the economy continuing to expand into early 2017.
Investors will not receive any noteworthy data on Monday.
Russell 2000: +15.9% YTD
Dow Jones: +8.3% YTD
S&P 500: +6.8% YTD
Nasdaq Composite: +6.3% YTD
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