Sort by Date

Set Default.
In Magento, the default sorting order can be configured both store-wide and on a categorical level.

1. Setting default Sort Order for category
In the Category page of the Magento administration (Catalog/Manage Categories), there will be a "Display Settings" tab. This is where you will be able to change "Available Product Listing Sort By" and "Default Product Listing Sort By" values according to your needs. For example, to modify "Default Product Listing Sort By", deselect "Use Config Settings" and select "Price" for "Default Product Listing Sort By". All items will now be sorted in ascending prices on the front-end for specified category.

2. Setting default Sort Order for Store / Website / Default Config
In System / Configuration / Catalog (left menu) / Frontend, there will be a "Product Listing Sort By" drop-down menu. Deselecting "Use Default" will select default sorting for specified view (Store/Website/Default). Even though this applies to all categories, due to the override rule (fallback), this will have less priority as compared to "Sort Order for category".