Day Traders Diary



Another day, another record close for the major averages. The key indices backed away from their best levels during afternoon action, but still kept the bulk of their gains. The Dow (+0.7%) led the day's advance while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both gained 0.5%.

President Trump's upcoming tax-related announcement was yet again the driver of today's bullish sentiment. Investors have pushed the stock market higher since last Thursday when Mr. Trump promised to deliver a "phenomenal" tax reform plan in the coming weeks. Without any specific details of said plan, it's clear that investors are seeing the gesture as symbolic, a sign of the new administration's resolve in keeping the pro-growth promises of Mr. Trump's presidential campaign.

Financials (+1.1%) provided strong sector leadership throughout the morning, but lost some of their momentum in the afternoon. Industrials (+1.0%) also had a solid showing, as Caterpillar (CAT 98.50, +2.19) rallied around a recent report from U.S. Department of Homeland Security which suggested Mr. Trump's proposed barrier along the U.S./Mexico boarder may cost more than it was originally estimated.

The top-weighted technology sector (+0.7%) finished just a step ahead of the benchmark index, thanks in large part to Apple's (AAPL 133.29, +1.17) strong performance. Apple, the largest company by market cap, has added over 10.0% since reporting record revenues, earnings, and iPhone sales on January 31st.

Energy (unch) was the worst performing cyclical space as crude oil broke its three session wining streak. The commodity finished lower by 1.7% at $52.95/bbl as an uptick in U.S. production overshadowed the release of an OPEC report, which showed high compliance with last year's agreed upon production cuts. This report confirms similar findings from the International Energy Agency.

The only group to finish behind energy was the lightly-weighted telecom services sector (-1.3%) thanks to heavy losses from Verizon (VZ 48.55, -0.43) and AT&T (T 40.65, -0.73). Verizon slipped 0.9% after unveiling a new unlimited data plan while AT&T's downtick of 1.8% was partly due to the company's ongoing dispute with the Communications Workers of America. 

U.S. Treasuries also finished the day in the red, leaving the 10-yr note with its fourth consecutive loss. The benchmark 10-yr yield finished two basis points higher at 2.43%.

Investors did not receive economic data on Monday. Tomorrow's lone economic report, January PPI ( consensus 0.3%) will cross the wires at 8:30 am ET.

In addition, Fed Chair Janet Yellen will be delivering her semiannual monetary policy report to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday. Investors will be tuned in, looking for indications regarding the timing of the next rate hike from the FOMC.

  • Nasdaq Composite +7.1% YTD
  • S&P 500 +4.0% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +3.3% YTD
  • Russell 2000 +2.6% YTD

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