Day Traders Diary


 The stock market began the week on a lower note as the major averages consolidated after their post-election run. The Nasdaq Composite (-0.6%) settled slightly behind the S&P 500 (-0.5%). The domestically-oriented Russell 2000 (-1.3%), however, snapped a 15 session win streak.

Participants favored a cautious approach at the start of the week as volatility from the oil pit and concerns out of Europe kept risk appetite in check. This also encouraged some profit-taking activity as investors assessed whether the broader market has risen too far, too fast. The benchmark index has gained 3.6% so far this month while the Russell 2000 has surged 11.6% over that time.

Crude oil began the day on a modestly lower note as investors reassessed the likelihood of an OPEC supply cap agreement. Saudi Arabia made headlines last week by opting out of a meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC members. The move cast doubts on the country's willingness to agree to joint supply measures. However, carryover selling interest faded when Iraq indicated that it was willing to cooperate with its fellow producers. WTI crude ended the day higher by 2.5% ($47.11/bbl; +$1.15) after sinking 3.2% in the prior session. The oil collective is scheduled to meet in an official capacity on Wednesday.

Developments in Italy were also in focus as investors eyed a downturn in the country's banking names. Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena tumbled 13.8% after the bank initiated a debt-for-equity swap and stated that it could face up to EUR8 billion in fines. The name also saw pressure ahead of the country's constitutional referendum. Italian citizens will vote on December 4 on whether the powers of the Senate should be reduced. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi stated that if the referendum should fail, he will resign.

The benchmark index finished near its session low with seven sectors ending in negative territory. The financial (-1.4%), energy (-1.3%), and health care (-0.9%) spaces outpaced today's losses in the broader market while rate-sensitive utilities (+2.0%), telecom services (+0.8%), and real estate (+0.2%) gained amid declining market rates.

The heavily-weighted financial sector (-1.4%) moved lower in sympathy with European banking names. The SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE 40.28, -0.73, -1.8%) narrowed its monthly gain to 16.2%. This compares to an advance of 11.9% in the broader sector. Heavily-weighted Wells Fargo (WFC 51.58,- 1.04) finished lower by 2.0% after being downgraded to "Hold" from "Buy" at Jefferies.

Biotechnology demonstrated relative weakness in the health care sector (-0.9%), evidenced by the 1.6% loss in the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 279.99, -4.47). The ETF narrowed its November gain to 9.1% as investors continued to walk back their initial post-election assessment. Eli Lilly (LLY 67.20, -1.92) ended down 2.8% after being removed from the "US 1 List" at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.

In the consumer discretionary space (-0.8%), retail names underperformed as the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 46.07, -0.57) declined by 1.2%. The ETF was under pressure as investors examined data from Black Friday and speculated on results from Cyber Monday. Kohl's (KSS 54.05, -0.76), Macy's (M 43.13, -1.01), and Nordstrom (JWN 56.06, -1.79) declined between 1.4% and 3.1%.

Treasuries ended on a higher note as longer-dated issues outperformed. The yield on the 2-yr note finished down two basis points (1.10%) while the yield on the benchmark 10-yr note fell five basis points to 2.31%.

Today's trading volume was below the recent average of 1.0 billion as fewer than 847 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

There was no economic data of note released today.

Tuesday's economic data will include the second estimate of Q3 GDP ( consensus 3.0%) and the Q3 GDP Deflator ( consensus 1.5%), which will each cross the wires at 8:30 ET. Separately, the Case-Shiller 20-city Index for September ( consensus 5.2%) and November Consumer Confidence ( consensus 100.0) will be released at 9:00 ET and 10:00 ET, respectively.


Russell 2000: +17.0% YTD

Dow Jones: +9.6% YTD

S&P 500: +7.7% YTD

Nasdaq Composite : +7.2% YTD


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