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Leigh Baldwin & Co.

112 Albany Street, Cazenovia, NY 13035 | Phone: (315) 655-2964 Toll Free: 1-800-659-8044

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The Week In Review

6/15-6/19/15

The stock market ended an upbeat week on a lower note as participants showed reluctance to step in ahead of a weekend that will be filled with uncertainty related to Greece. The S&P 500 lost 0.5% on Friday, but gained 0.8% for the week.

 

Despite frequent—and short-lived—rumors to the contrary, the entire week passed without a deal between Greece and its creditors. That lack of progress caused more than EUR3.00 billion in outflows from the Greek banking system this week alone, which prompted the European Central Bank to increase Greece's Emergency Liquidity Assistance by EUR1.80 billion to EUR84.90 billion.

 

European indices ended the Friday session near their flat lines while Germany's 10-yr bund rallied, sending its yield lower by 11 basis points to 0.75%. For the week, Germany's benchmark yield fell ten basis points. Similarly, the U.S. 10-yr note rallied today with its yield dropping seven basis points to 2.26%, which extended this week's decline to 13 basis points.

 

All ten sectors ended the day in negative territory with the consumer staples sector (-0.1%) losing its slim gain during the final hour. The countercyclical group displayed relative strength thanks to ConAgra (CAG 43.37, +4.25), which spiked 10.9% after Jana Partners disclosed a 7.2% active stake in the company and announced plans to seek representation on the company's board of directors.

 

Similar to the staples sector, consumer discretionary (-0.3%) and health care (-0.1%) ended the day with slimmer losses than the broader market. The discretionary sector displayed relative strength thanks to gains among homebuilders after KB Home (KBH 16.37, +1.41) beat earnings estimates. Shares of KBH soared 9.4% while the broader iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction ETF (ITB 27.40, +0.35) gained 1.3%. To be fair, retail stocks also fared better than the broader market with SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 100.40, -0.11) ending little changed.

 

Elsewhere, the health care sector spent the day near its flat line, locking in a 2.0% gain since last Friday, which helped the group finish the week ahead of the remaining sectors. Biotechnology was at the forefront of the weekly move with iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 377.40, -0.48) spiking 3.7% for the week.

 

On the downside, the energy sector (-0.9%) trailed throughout the session with crude oil contributing to the weakness. The energy component lost 1.3%, ending the pit session at $59.64/bbl. Similar to the energy sector, financials (-1.0%) struggled throughout the session. For the week, the financial sector slipped 0.1%.

 

It is worth noting that earlier this week, the financial sector was among the top-performing groups of the month with the strength predicated on the expectation that interest rates will continue rising. However, Wednesday's FOMC policy statement indicated the Fed is determined to stay on its current path for the time being, which pressured the financial sector as the week drew to its close.

 

Also of note, the top-weighted technology sector (-0.7%) struggled throughout the day, which prevented the market from stringing together a rebound rally. Large cap sector components like Apple (AAPL 126.60, -1.28), Microsoft (MSFT 46.10, -0.62), and Oracle (ORCL 41.59, -1.15) lost between 1.0% and 2.7% while chipmakers fared a bit better with the PHLX Semiconductor Index falling 0.3%.

 

Today's trading volume was well above average, which was due to quadruple witching. As a result, nearly two billion shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

 

Monday's data will be limited to the 10:00 ET release of the Existing Home Sales report for May (Briefing.com consensus 5.26 million).

 

Nasdaq Composite +8.0% YTD

Russell 2000 +6.7% YTD

S&P 500 +2.5% YTD

Dow Jones Industrial Average +1.1% YTD

Week in Review: Nasdaq Sets Fresh Record High

 

The stock market began the trading week on a cautious note with the S&P 500 (-0.5%) sliding below its 100-day moving average (2,089). Equities notched their session lows during the opening hour after Sunday's talks between Greek officials and the country's creditors broke down without any progress. This left the situation essentially unchanged since last week with the two sides remaining at odds over cuts to state pensions/wages and the appropriate VAT levels. The lack of progress between the two sides fueled the opening retreat, but the S&P 500 was able to cut its loss in half by midday. Equities held near their afternoon levels after Germany's Suddeutsche Zeitung reported that Eurozone officials have agreed on a plan B in the event Greece is unable to come to terms with its creditors.

 

The market ended Tuesday on an upbeat note with the S&P 500 adding 0.6%. In addition to posting a solid gain, the benchmark index reclaimed its 100-day moving average (2,089) after settling below that mark on Monday. Equity indices began the day near their flat lines and rallied throughout the day, unperturbed by the lack of progress between Greece and its creditors. Furthermore, the rhetoric in Athens intensified with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras saying the International Monetary Fund bears "criminal" responsibility for the current state of the Greek economy. Similar to U.S. equities, European stocks were able to rally despite the lack of positive macro developments. All ten sectors posted gains with consumer staples (+1.1%) leading the advance.

 

Equities ended the midweek session on an upbeat note with the S&P 500 settling four points below its 50-day moving average (2,104). The benchmark index added 0.2% while the Dow and Nasdaq posted comparable gains. The key indices began the trading day with modest gains, but the first half of the session saw a steady retreat with liquidity drying up ahead of the afternoon release of the FOMC policy statement, which called for no change to the current monetary policy stance. However, the accompanying interest rate forecast implied two 25-basis point increases before the year ends. Furthermore, the Fed lowered its 2015 GDP growth forecast range to 1.8-2.0% from the range of 2.3-2.7% that was forecast in March. Stocks struggled for direction immediately after the release, but rallied to highs during Chair Janet Yellen's press conference, which was viewed as dovish. To that point, Ms. Yellen said the central bank would like to see more "decisive evidence" on inflation and employment before hiking rates.

 

Stocks ended Thursday on an upbeat note with the Nasdaq Composite (+1.3%) leading the market higher. In addition to pacing the advance, the Nasdaq set a fresh nominal intraday record high at 5,143.32, overtaking levels last seen in March 2000. Equity indices rallied throughout the morning after the combination of Wednesday's FOMC policy statement and Thursday's economic data set the tone for interest rates to remain at their current levels for longer. To that point, the CPI report for May (+0.4%; Briefing.com consensus 0.5%) was cooler than expected while the remaining data points released on Thursday indicated improving economic conditions.