Daily Market Recap

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The S&P 500 closed off by 0.18% and the Dow was off by just 0.10% today. The VIX spiked higher today after reaching multi-year lows yesterday. Correlations between stocks continues to be low. Investors are increasingly selecting individual stock and sector stories.

Cyclical sectors traded lower today with steel, homebuilders and banks underperforming today. Steel stocks traded lower on an analyst downgrade of the industry group.

Economic data was mixed as durable goods orders were better than expected with housing sales disappointing. But, even with December housing on pending home sales coming in below analyst expectations the number was up 9% over the same month last year. 

Many of the largest names in technology were up today. Apple, Oracle, Microsoft, Intel and Xerox all traded higher. There were few earnings announcements in the tech sector today to explain the buying in the group.

The industrial sector traded in line with the overall market today. General Electric and Honeywell continued to be leaders in the space. Both companies have reacted favorably to recent earnings announcements. Caterpillar reacted favorably to its pre-market earnings announcement with the stock rising by 1.96%. CAT reported earnings that exceeded analyst expectations. They reported a large decrease in inventory in the quarter.

The materials sector was weaker than the overall market today. Metals and chemicals saw selling. Barron’s released a negative story on iron over the weekend.

Energy traded slightly lower with crude up 0.50% and natural gas slightly lower. Energy services names were the best performing industry group in the sector. Halliburton led the area as it moved higher by 1.5%.

Consumer staple stocks outperformed the market and consumer discretionary trailed. Men’s store retailers traded off lead by Joseph A. Banks trading down by over 15%. The office superstore area performed well today with Staples, Office Depot and Office Max all trading higher.

Source: PFS Group

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