Day Traders Diary


 The major averages closed out the first week of August on a lower note with the S&P 500 losing 0.3%. The benchmark index settled just above its 200-day moving average (2,073) after testing that level for the first time since last Monday while the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) made the first intraday appearance below its 100-day moving average (5,037) since early July. For the week, the S&P 500 lost 1.3% while the Nasdaq Composite surrendered 1.7%.


The market declined for the second consecutive day with today's retreat lubricated by the July Nonfarm Payrolls report (215,000; consensus 229,000), which was good enough to leave the door open for a fed funds rate hike in September.


Things didn't look that bad by the end as equities rebounded during afternoon action with the S&P 500 erasing more than half of its loss. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite was down more than 1.0% at its worst point, but recovered about 70% of that decline.


With the market gearing up for a rate hike in September, the post-NFP weakness in equities was not that surprising; however, strength in the Treasury market was. Specifically, the 10-yr note stumbled immediately after the Nonfarm Payrolls report was released, but recovered that loss in the following minutes and continued higher throughout the day. As a result, the benchmark 10-yr yield fell five basis points to 2.17%, registering its fourth consecutive weekly decline. To be fair, the 2-yr note ended in the red with its yield climbing two basis points to 0.72%.


The lower Treasury yields at the long end of the curve gave a boost to the high-yielding utilities sector (+1.2%), which climbed to a two-month high. Meanwhile, seven of the remaining nine sectors posted losses while financials (+0.1%) and technology (+0.1%) registered slim gains.


The financial sector benefited from the growing rate hike expectations while technology outperformed thanks to relative strength in Apple (AAPL 115.52, +0.39) and high-beta chipmaker names. For its part, Apple spent the day inside a narrow range, but still lost 5.0% for the week after sliding below its 200-day moving average (121.18) on Monday. Meanwhile, chipmakers stayed ahead of the market throughout the day with NVIDIA (NVDA 22.98, +2.53) spiking 12.4% after reporting better than expected earnings and revenue. The broader PHLX Semiconductor Index rose 0.6%.


Elsewhere among cyclical sectors, energy (-1.9%) remained pressured as crude oil futures marched lower throughout the day. The energy sector ended the week lower by 3.6% while WTI crude fell 1.7% to $43.87/bbl, ending the week with a 7.4% loss.


Also of note, the health care sector (-0.2%) paced the early decline, but erased the bulk of its loss by the close. Biotechnology appeared to be the driver as the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 368.67, -1.41) lost 0.4% after briefly crossing its 100-day moving average for the first time since late April. The high-flying ETF surrendered 3.8% for the week, but remains higher by 17.7% since the end of 2014.


Today's participation was roughly in-line with average as 810 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.


Taking another look at today's data, nonfarm payrolls added 215,000 jobs in July after adding an upwardly revised 231,000 in June while the consensus expected an increase of 229,000. Private payrolls added 210,000 jobs in July, down from an upwardly revised 227,000 from June while the consensus expected an increase of 220,000.


Average hourly earnings increased 0.2% in July after remaining flat in June while the average hourly workweek increased to 34.6 hours from 34.5. Taken altogether, aggregate earnings increased 0.7% after increasing 0.1% in June.


The July employment report fit in exactly with what the Fed is looking for. Job growth remained relatively robust after exceeding 200,000 for a third consecutive month, and the 0.7% increase in aggregate earnings should bolster consumption growth.


Separately, consumer credit increased by $20.70 billion in June after increasing by an upwardly revised $16.50 billion (from $16.10 billion) in May while the consensus expected an increase of $17.00 billion.


Monday's session will be free of economic data.


Nasdaq Composite +6.1% YTD

S&P 500 +0.9% YTD

Russell 2000 +0.2% YTD

Dow Jones Industrial Average -2.6% YTD

Week in Review: Nasdaq Leads Stocks Lower

All comments contained herein are for informational purposes only, and should not be considered as a solicitation to buy or sell any security. The firm does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information or make any warranties regarding results from it's usage.