Indexes sold off a bit Thursday after a four day rally, ahead of Friday’s labor data from the government. The S&P 500 fell 0.11% and the NASDAQ 0.91% as weak biotech stocks hit again. They key economic report of the day was the Institute for Supply Management’s service sector index rising to 53.1 in March, slightly below expectations for a reading of 53.5 but ahead of the February read of 51.6. This continued the “slowdown in economic data past few months was weather related” theme. Overseas, the European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the central bank discussed a series of unconventional policy measures, including quantitative easing, at its latest policy meeting.
Let’s take a quick look at some major sectors. First and foremost are the energy stocks which are really moving; you can see this as expressed in the ETF for the group which is quite overbought (XLE).
We have two growth sectors acting quite well – industrials (XLI) and technology (XLK)…
… usually very conservative groups like consumer staples (XLP) are not rallying at the same time, but that is the current situation.
The strength in technology is helping offset the continued weakness in biotech which was a leading cause for NASDAQ’s large under performance today.