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Stocks had quite a volatile session Thursday as the S&P 500 gapped up on the open, gave up all those gains shortly after, went moderately negative by 11 Am, fought back to break even by mid afternoon and then jumped around the unchanged line for the rest of the day. The NASDAQ started the same way, gapping up and going negative but stayed in negative territory the rest of the session. In the end the S&P 500 ended up 0.03% and the NASDAQ down 0.27%. Tomorrow premarket will be the monthly employment data which should sway the direction of the session. We did not have a daily recap yesterday but the Federal Reserve minutes released yesterday had indicated: some members expressing the view that the "criterion of substantial improvement in the outlook for the labor market was likely to be met in the coming year."
No major changes to the indexes as the NASDAQ remains in the top half of its long term channel and the S&P 500 is holding all key support levels.
In terms of sector action the biotechs continue their starring role from 2013 into 2014.
Financials have been strong out of the gate in 2014....
And transports bucked the trend today, showing very nice gains.
So overall this is a good group of leadership as these are not defensive sectors.
In individual stock action, oh those airlines (again!) - we have highlighted them throughout 2013 and 2014 is starting in the same bullish fashion; see the big move by UAL (UAL) as many names in the group reported a very good December.
United's stock touched its highest level since late 2007 a day after reporting that unit revenue, an important measure called passenger revenue per available seat mile, rose as much as 12.5 percent last month from a year earlier as the later Thanksgiving in 2013 shifted some holiday traffic into December. United also attributed part of the December gain to some 1,200 flights it canceled because of winter storms. Cancellations tend to help unit revenue as more travelers are put on remaining flights.
Macy's (M) surged as it reported job cuts; for Wall Street job cuts = lower expenses = higher profits. It also said holiday sales were solid and upped its 2014 forecasts.
Macy’s Inc. (M), the second-largest U.S. department-store company, forecast profit for its next fiscal year ahead of analysts’ estimates and disclosed a program to cut costs that includes eliminating about 2,500 jobs. Profit per share in the year through January 2015 will be $4.40 to $4.50. The average of 19 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg was $4.36. The job cuts and other actions will save about $100 million a year.