Day Traders Diary


The major averages began the abbreviated week on a mixed note as the Nasdaq added 0.7% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.3%. For its part, the S&P 500 rose 0.3% as eight of ten sectors finished in the green.
Stocks began the day with solid gains but the early strength faded quickly when the S&P 500 was unable to extend above the 1850 level during the opening minutes. That rejection emboldened sellers, who promptly drove the indices to their lows. Adding insult to injury was the fact that today's mostly better-than-expected earnings failed to entice buyers.
On that note, 16 out of the 17 companies that reported this morning met or exceeded their Capital IQ consensus estimates. Forest Laboratories (FRX 68.00, -0.74), Halliburton (HAL 49.78, -0.88), and Dow components Johnson & Johnson (JNJ 94.03, -1.03), Travelers (TRV 85.00, -1.47), and Verizon (VZ 47.68, -0.68) all beat estimates but settled lower.
The notable weakness among the three Dow members pressured the price-weighted index, which had to contend with losses in 18 of its 30 components. The second-largest member, IBM (IBM 188.43, -1.66), lost 0.9% ahead of its earnings report set for an after-hours release.
One name that rallied following its earnings beat was Delta Air Lines (DAL 32.08, +1.01). The stock jumped 3.3%, which provided support to the Dow Jones Transportation Average (+0.6%). However, the industrial space was unable to keep pace with the broader market as the top sector component, General Electric (GE 26.29, -0.29), lagged after announcing a pair of acquisitions.
Similar to industrials, consumer discretionary (-0.2%) and financials (+0.1%) lagged while the remaining cyclical groupsenergy (+0.5%), materials (+0.6%), and technology (+0.5%)finished ahead of the broader market. Notably, the materials sector was boosted by Dow Chemical (DOW 45.93, +2.86), which surged 6.6% after Third Point took a big stake in the company and called for a spinoff of its petrochemical business.
On the countercyclical side, telecom services (-0.7%) lagged while consumer staples (+0.3%), health care (+0.5%), and utilities (+1.2%) outperformed. The health care sector received support from biotechnology as the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 251.99, +4.56) rose 1.9%. In turn, this also factored into the outperformance of the Nasdaq Composite.
Treasuries ended modestly lower with the 10-yr yield up one basis point at 2.83%.
Participation was a bit above average as 740 million shares changed hands at the NYSE.
Tomorrow, the weekly MBA Mortgage Index will be released at 7:00 ET.

Nasdaq +1.2% YTD
Russell 2000 +1.1% YTD
S&P 500 -0.3% YTD
DJIA -1.0% YTD

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