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US Stock Market Finished On A High Note, Biotech Led Rally

Posted by: : Paul EbelingPosted on: September 24, 2014 US Stock Market Finished On A High Note, Biotech Led Rally

US Stock Market Finished On A High Note, Biotech Led Rally


The US stock market finished Wednesday upbeat. The S&P 500 rose 0.8% with 9 of 10  sectors posting gainers, the NAS 100 (+1.0%) outperformed.

DJIA +3.8% YTD , S&P 500 +8.1% YTD,  NAS 100 +9.1% YTD, Russell 2000 -3.2% YTD

DJIA +154.19 at 17210.06, NAS 100 +46.53 at 4555.22, S&P 500 +15.53 at 1998.30

Volume: trade  was above-average with more than 730-M/shares changing hands on the NYSE.

US stock indices were flat for the 1st 1.5 hrs of the session, the S&P 500 was pushed to it 50-Day MA (1976.58) by the early weakness in the energy sector (+0.04%). The growth-sensitive stock group was down in excess of 1.0% early,  but charged into the Green in the afternoon. Crude Oil rose 1.6% to 93.03 bbl.

The test of the S&P 500’s 50-Day MA brought in buyers, while the relative strength of high-beta stock areas like biotechnology and chipmakers supported.

The healthcare stock sector (+1.7%) took the lead at the open, and held on the day adding to its September advance of 2.4%. Biotechnology drove  the rally with the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (NYSEArca:IBB) 279.29, +7.67, + 2.8% to a record high.

The rises  in biotech gave a boost to the NAS 100, which ended ahead of the broad market.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) 101.73, -0.91 spent the day in the Red.

Chipmakers picked up some of the slack with the PHLX Semiconductor Index climbing 1.2%.

Micron (NASDAQ:MU) 32.22, +1.02 outperformed on reports the company has discussed a potential joint venture with Advanced Semiconductor(NYSE:ASX) 6.02, 0.00.

The consumer discretionary sector (+1.0%) finished among the leaders despite underperforming.

Homebuilders were unable to participate following a disappointing quarterly report from KB Home (NYSE:KBH) 16.07, -0.90. The stock lost 5.3% and pressured its peers in the early, but the stock group was able to trim its losses after a better than expected New Home Sales report crossed the wire (504-K Vs consensus 435-K).

The iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction ETF (NYSEArca:ITB) 23.15, -0.05 finished lower by 0.2%.

US Treasuries attempted to turn positive just ahead of the housing data, but were rebuffed. The 10-yr note spent the entire day in the red, ending near the lows with its yield up four basis points at 2.56%.

Economic data

  • New home sales rose 18.0% in August to 504,000 from an upwardly revised 427,000 (from 412,000)  the consensus expected an increase to 435,000 the 1st time that new home sales passed 500,000 since May 2008.
  • The weekly MBA Mortgage Index fell 4.1% to follow last wk’s 7.9% rise.


Weekly Initial Claims (consensus 300-K) and Durable Orders for August (consensus -16.3%) will be released at 8:30a EDT.

Stay tuned…


Paul Ebeling

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Paul Ebeling

Pattern Recognition Analyst, equities, commodities, forex
Paul Ebeling is best known for his work as writer and publisher of “The Red Roadmaster’s Technical Report” on the US Major Market Indices™, a highly-regarded, weekly financial market letter, where he enjoys an international audience among opinion makers, business leaders, and respected organizations. Something of a pioneer in online stock market and commodities discussion and analysis, Ebeling has been online since 1994. He has studied and worked in the global financial and stock markets since 1984.

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