Market Intelligence

MID - Equity Market Insight December 21, 2015

Monday, December 21, 2015, 12:20 PM, EST

Stocks open the week on a positive note, attempting to close out 2015 with some momentum. The S&P 500 needs to add 2.5% (~50 pts) over the next 7 trading sessions to post yearly gains. Healthcare, Info Tech and Consumer Staples are the best performing sectors this morning. DOW +0.12%, S&P 500 +0.09%, Nasdaq +0.4%, R2000 +0.03%

  • US Stocks are retracing some of the losses from Friday, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 367 points to pull the broader averages lower for the second straight week. The S&P 500 is down 2.0% on the year while the NASDAQ Composite is up with the help of some large cap names. Friday was a big volume day given the quarterly "quad witch" options expirations and multiple stock index rebalances. Consolidated volume marketwide was over 12.6 billion shares, well above the 8 billion or so we have been seeing in the past week, and 6.9 billion average year-to-date. With this trading event out of the way, the last two weeks of the year would be expected to be quiet - today's volumes are running about 15 to 20% lighter than average currently.
  • Part of today's rebound is being attributed to the rebound in commodities prices, with metals up about 1-2%, despite moving lower yet again - and now trending in the $34 - $34.50 range for the day. The same factors that have led to declines to this point are still in play. . Oil is lower for the 10th out of the past 12 trading session, and dropping by more than 18% in December, and down 36% YTD. Oil hasn’t seen two consecutive years of declines since 1997/1998. Today, energy is the only group in the red today with a modest decline of .1%. The modest increase broader market and is led by industrials, up 0.9% and consumer Staples, up 0.8%. Spot Gold and Utilities are up slightly.
  • Europe closed lower on some attention to increasing yields on Spanish bonds after an election there. However, the Dollar index is trading lower as there was not a contagion fear that led to Euro weakness. The “divergence” trade is seemingly fully price into the market already. Another thing that is priced in already: the reaction to the Star Wars blockbuster ticket sales numbers. Wall Street being Wall Street, you can never trade on the obvious. This often gets discounted very quickly so it’s the second and third order effects that traders focus upon.

The Nasdaq's Market Intelligence Desk (MID) Team includes:

Michael Sokoll, CFA is a Senior Managing Director on the Market Intelligence Desk (MID) at Nasdaq with over 25 years of equity market experience. In this role, he manages a team of professionals responsible for providing NASDAQ-listed companies with real-time trading analysis and objective market information.

Jeffrey LaRocque is a Director on the Market Intelligence Desk (MID) at Nasdaq, covering U.S. equities with over 10 years of experience having learned market structure while working on institutional trading desks and as a stock surveillance analyst. Jeff's diverse professional knowledge includes IPOs, Technical Analysis and Options Trading.

Vincent Randazzo, CMT is a Managing Director on the Market Intelligence Desk (MID) at Nasdaq with over 13 years of experience in equity markets having served in equity research sales and desk analyst roles at major banks. Vincent’s specific expertise is in technical analysis and has been a Chartered Market Technician (CMT) since 2007.

Steven Brown is a Managing Director on the Market Intelligence Desk (MID) at Nasdaq with over twenty years of experience in equities. With a focus on client retention he currently covers the Financial, Energy and Media sectors.

Christopher Dearborn is a Managing Director on the Market Intelligence Desk (MID) at Nasdaq. Chris has over two decades of equity market experience including floor and screen based trading, corporate access, IPOs and asset allocation. Chris is responsible for providing timely, accurate and objective market and trading-related information to Nasdaq-listed companies.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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