There were some notable moves among sector groups, with Utilities selling off following the rise in Treasury yields. Industrials were dragged lower by weakness in airlines, while Energy underperformed as oil and natural gas prices continued to fall. Health Care was the best performer, with biotech names extending recent gains. The yield on the US 10-year jumped from 2.56% this morning to 2.62%, while the dollar strengthened against the euro and yen. Gold was slightly higher.
o Economic data remains upbeat:
§ The ADP private payrolls for June surpassed expectations, coming in at +281K versus a +206K consensus. It was the strongest monthly gain since November 2012. May's number was unchanged at 179K. June's strength was driven by the service sector, while construction jobs had their biggest gain since February 2006. The figures led to some upbeat commentary ahead of tomorrow's nonfarm payrolls, although there have been sizable differences between initial prints of ADP and nonfarm payrolls data in the past. Even so, reaction noted that the ADP data fits in with other signs of improvement in the labor market. The consensus for tomorrow's data is +215K and if that number is achieved, it will be the fifth consecutive month of +200K nonfarm job growth, an occurrence not realized since the late 1990s.
o Yellen comments generally in line:
§ Janet Yellen's speech today focused on financial stability and generally matched her previous comments on the subject. She reiterated that there are some pockets of increased risk taking across the system which require continued monitoring, but she noted that monetary policy does not need to deviate to address these concerns. Instead, she believes that a more robust macroprudential approach may be necessary. This sentiment broadly matched comments Yellen made in her last FOMC press conference. In today's speech she added that the Fed could act against financial excesses by using tools such as varying the requirements of its bank stress tests. She also singled out the easing of standards in the leveraged-loan market and falling of corporate bond spreads as signs of over-optimism, but as before, she added that they were not yet a systemic threat.
o Health Care, Materials show strength:
§ While equity indices were little-changed, there were some notable moves among several market groups. Health Care outperformed as biotech names continued recent strength with the NBI +0.7%, bringing its gains this week to +3.2%. Cyclical groups were mixed. In materials there was broad strength across the industrial and precious metals groups, following on from the outperformance of several names yesterday. AKS +3.7% and CLF +4.8% were notable standouts. Tailwinds were likely provided by rising metals prices, ongoing strength in China and recent upbeat auto results.
o Semis continue gains, airlines weaker:
§ While Technology was flat, semis continued to add to recent gains with the SOX +0.2% and now +2.6% on the week. Several Internet names also outperformed, adding to this week's gains. Industrials lagged, with airlines coming under pressure as DAL (5.1%) reported results for June that missed expectations and highlighted a drag from industry-wide capacity increases and lower business demand to Latin America due to the World Cup. UAL (7.1%) and AAL (4.4%) sold off in sympathy.