At the close today the Standard & Poor’s 500 was down 0.19%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended dead even. The NASDAQ Composite “soared” 0.07%.
It wasn’t until you looked at the Russell 2000 small cap index that you saw any signs of what a wild day it was. That index, so economically sensitive these days, finished ahead 2.04%.
Don’t look to the usual suspects if you’re seeking big winners today. Apple (AAPL) edged higher by 0.11%. Amazon (AMZN) fell 2.44%. Facebook was down 2.99%. Alphabet (GOOG) was off 0.79%. Microsoft (MSFT) slid 1.30%. And Netflix (NFLX) dropped 1.44%. (With these kinds of losses in the Big Tech momentum winners of the relay, it’s kind of amazing that the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) fell just 0.25% on the day. Big gains among what I’d called the second wave of technology momentum stocks–somewhat smaller and somewhat less familiar to the general investor–made up for the lag among the Big Tech momentum plays. Chip stocks continued to do extremely well with NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) ahead 3.04%, Marvel Technology Group (MRVL) higher by 2.66%. Skyworks Solution (SWKS) gained 2.35%. Infineon (IFFNY) closed up 2.78%. On a big earnings and revenue beat last night chip equipment maker Applied Materials (AMAT) soared 5.19%.)
As you might guess from the performance by the Russell 2000, the biggest winners today were among stocks connected to an economic recovery. Infrastructure plays Caterpillar (CAT), Deere (DE), and Vulcan Materials (VMC) were up 5.05%, 9.96%, and 2.42%, respectively. Commodity stocks from Albemarle (ALB) in lithium, and in copper Southern Copper (SCCO), Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX), and First Quantum Minerals (FQVLF) gained 10.12%, 6.58%, 9.30%, and 11.15%, respectively.
Gold fell taking Barrick Gold (GOLD) and VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) down, again, by 2.73% and 0.12%, respectively.