Daily Market Recap

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The S&P 500 closed 0.22% higher today and the Dow was up 0.15%. The tech heavy NASDAQ led the way with a rise of 0.59%.

Defensive sectors (telecom, cable and utilities) were laggards today. Cable stocks were under pressure as Time Warner Cable sold off sharply. They reported a slightly disappointing quarter and announced they were not going to raise their buyback for next year. Cable and telecom stocks were also hurt by uncertainty caused by superstorm Sandy.

Tech stocks were the best performers on the session. Semis did well as did hardware. Semi stocks were up 1.8% and have been acting well for the past week. Apple reported it has sold three million iPads since the launch of the new iPad mini and fourth generation iPad. This is double the first weekend milestone of 1.5 million Wi-Fi only models for the third generation iPad in March.

The industrial sector outperformed today. Multi line industrials were particularly strong. Early cycle names stood out as well.

Homebuilders and building products stocks were stars on the day. The area traded up by 3%-4% as investors positioned for a pick-up in activity in response to Sandy.

Materials outperformed the market on the strength of steels and base metals. FCX was up on news that an Indonesian court had scrapped a mineral export ban.

Crude oil traded up 1% and helped the energy sector. Refiners traded up between 3% and 4% on strong crack spreads. Transocean (RIG) traded up by more than 5% and helped the drilling space.

The ISM nonmanufacturing index declined from 55.1 to 54.2 in October. The most recent three-month average for the number was the strongest since May. The survey’s employment index rose from 51.1 to 54.9 in October, its highest level since March.

Source: PFS Group

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