The Week In Review


The major averages did little to distinguish themselves in the final session of the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 both ended flat while the Nasdaq underperformed, shedding 0.3%.
Today's trading range was limited to just five points in the S&P 500, but that masks the fact the index rested near its flat line for the vast majority of the trading day. It is understandable that some rest was in order after the benchmark index gained 3.4% during the previous six affairs.
Buyers and sellers alike stuck to the sidelines today, but then again, just about everyone elected to forego today's session. On that note, NYSE floor volume totaled a paltry 414 million shares.
There was no concerted leadership among individual sectors as two cyclical groupsenergy (+0.5%) and materials (+0.2%)and two defensive sectorsconsumer staples (+0.3%) and utilities (+0.2%)posted gains.
The energy sector was powered, in part, by crude oil, which rose 0.8% to $100.31 per barrel. The sector also drew strength from its top-weighted components. Chevron (CVX 125.23, +0.42) and ExxonMobil (XOM 101.51, +0.61) gained 0.3% and 0.6%, respectively.
The other commodity-related sector, materials, was kept afloat by steelmakers. The largest steel producer, ArcelorMittal (MT 17.75, +0.42) jumped 2.4% while the broader Market Vectors Steel ETF (SLX 49.71, +0.83) advanced 1.7%.
Despite the modest gains in a handful of sectors, the broader market was held in check by the underperformance of its three largest groups as technology (-0.2%), financials (-0.1%), and health care (-0.1%) spent the entire afternoon in the red.
Although the major averages ended little changed, the same could not be said for a recent momentum favorite. Twitter (TWTR 63.75, -9.56) plunged 13.0% after Macquarie downgraded the stock to 'Underperform' from 'Neutral.' Entering today, shares of Twitter were up 76.4% in December but today's tumble trimmed its month-to-date advance to 53.4%.
Elsewhere, the Treasury market endured a sleepy session as the 10-yr note slipped three ticks with its yield ending just a shade below 3.01%.
There was no data released today and Monday's economic data will be limited to the Pending Home Sales report, which will be released at 10:00 ET.

Nasdaq +37.7% YTD
Russell 2000 +36.7% YTD
S&P 500 +29.1% YTD
DJIA +25.8% YTD
Week in Review: Santa Claus Visits NYSE

On Monday, the S&P 500 settled higher by 0.5%, registering its third consecutive gain. The benchmark index extended its December advance to 1.2% as eight of ten sectors ended in the green. Stocks jumped at the open with the technology sector (+1.5%) driving the early surge. The space received considerable support from its largest component, Apple (AAPL 560.09, -3.81), which spiked 3.8% after inking a long-rumored distribution agreement with China Mobile (CHL 52.76, +0.26).

Stocks ended Tuesday's abbreviated session with modest gains that were paced by cyclical sectors. The S&P 500 added 0.3% as energy (+0.6%), industrials (+0.5%), and materials (+1.0%) outperformed.

On Wednesday, U.S. bond and equity markets were closed for Christmas.

The bullish trend continued on Thursday with little in the way of the major averages. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.8%) logged its sixth consecutive gain while the S&P 500 (+0.5%) posted its fourth advance in a row. Technology (+0.3%) and the financial sector (+0.2%) were the only cyclical groups that could not keep pace with the broader market. The remaining four cyclical sectorsconsumer discretionary (+0.6%), energy (+0.9%), industrials (+0.7%), and materials (+0.6%)all finished ahead of the S&P. Although trading volume finished at a one-year low, Twitter maintained its torrid pace on heaviest volume (82.5 million) since its market debut. The stock surged 4.8%, extending its December gain to 76.4%.