Day Traders Diary


The major averages halted their three-day losing streak with a modest bounce that sent the Nasdaq Composite higher by 0.8%. The S&P 500, meanwhile, added 0.4% with seven sectors posting gains.
Equity indices exhibited some volatility during the opening hour before setting off on a climb to new session highs. The Nasdaq, which was the weakest index in recent days, stayed ahead of its peers throughout the day as momentum names recovered some of their recent losses.
The Nasdaq was supported by solid gains among the likes of (AMZN 327.07, +9.31), Google (GOOG 554.90, +16.75), LinkedIn (LNKD 169.10, +9.45), and Netflix (NFLX 348.89, +10.89). and Netflix also gave a boost to the consumer discretionary sector (+1.0%), while Google and LinkedIn contributed to the outperformance of the technology space (+0.9%).
Even though two of the largest sectors posted solid gains, other top-weighted groups like health care (-0.8%), financials (+0.1%), and industrials (unch) could not keep pace with the broader market. Notably, the health care sector finished at the bottom of the leaderboard amid weakness in biotechnology. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 225.83, -0.99) lost 0.4%.
The underperformance of the aforementioned sectors was overshadowed by solid gains in most of the remaining areas. Energy (+0.9%) and materials (+0.4%) finished among the outperformers thanks to gains in the underlying commodities as crude oil surged 2.2% to $102.60, while copper (+0.4% to $3.05/lb) and gold (+0.5% to $1304.30/ozt) also posted gains.
Interestingly, today's session was not free of some warning flags. For one, the top-performing sector of the day was the utilities space (+1.5%), which has a defensive orientation. The countercyclical group extended its year-to-date gain to 10.3%, while the second-best performer of the year, health care, narrowed its gain to 2.8%.
Elsewhere, Treasuries began climbing during the late morning and continued their advance through a solid 3-year note auction. The benchmark 10-yr yield fell three basis points to 2.68%.
Also of note, the Japanese yen rallied throughout the day, which is a dynamic that has often signaled caution among participants. Yen futures gained 1.4%, while the dollar/yen pair traded near the 101.75 level at the end of the New York session after hovering north of 103.00 overnight.
Trading volume was just above average as 733 million shares changed hands at the NYSE.
Today's economic data was limited to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for February, which indicated job openings rose to 4.173 million from 3.874 million.
Tomorrow, the weekly MBA Mortgage Index will be released at 7:00 ET, while the Wholesale Inventories report for February ( consensus 0.5%) will cross the wires at 10:00 ET. Also of note, the Federal Reserve will release the minutes from its latest policy meeting at 14:00 ET.

S&P 500 +0.2% YTD
Russell 2000 -1.5% YTD
Nasdaq Composite -1.5% YTD
Dow Jones Industrial Average -1.9% YTD

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