Day Traders Diary



It was a mixed outing on Wall Street to begin the week, as trading volume and conviction were both on the light side.  The Nasdaq Composite (+0.3%) and Russell 2000 (+0.4%) were today's winning standouts among the major indices while the S&P 500 (+0.05%) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.02%) lagged behind.

Today's session wasn't accompanied by any market-moving headlines, so much of the trading interest revolved around specific stocks and/or industry groups.

One stock of note that outperformed was Apple (AAPL 161.47, +1.61, +1.0%).  The market's most heavily-weighted issue gained 1.0% on the back of a report that the company is planning a product event for Tuesday, September 12.  It is widely thought the event will feature the introduction of the iPhone 8, which has been eagerly anticipated by legions of customers and investors.

Apple's relative strength lent a measure of support to the broader market along with the biotech stocks, which jumped in the wake of an announcement from Gilead Sciences (GILD 74.69, +0.90, +1.2%) that it is going to acquire Kite Pharmaceuticals (KITE 178.05, +38.95, +28.0%) for approximately $11.9 billion, or $180.00 per share, in cash.

The offer from Gilead was a 29% premium over Kite's closing price on Friday.  The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 316.89, +5.84, +1.9%) advanced 1.9%.

Some other trading activity of note surrounded plays related to Hurricane Harvey.  Property insurance stocks were laggards all day on concerns about rising claim costs associate with the storm, which produced record flooding and forced the closure of the Port of Houston and many oil refineries along the Texas coast.

While gasoline futures traded higher on news of the closures, crude futures settled the day 2.7% lower at $46.57 per barrel on concerns about weaker demand for oil in the short-term due to the refinery shutdowns.

Separately, home improvement retailers Home Depot (HD 151.20, +1.55, +1.0%), Lowe's (LOW 73.80, +0.45, +0.6%), and Lumber Liquidators (LL 38.70, +1.64, +4.4%) moved up on the notion that they will be beneficiaries of remodeling/refurbishment/new construction activity in the affected areas.

The energy sector (-0.5%) was one of the day's biggest laggards, but it did manage to cut its losses in half after oil prices rebounded off their lows of $46.15.  On a related note, there were reports that Saudi Arabia and Russia are seeking a 3-month extension to the oil production cut deal that has been embraced by OPEC and certain non-OPEC nations.

The financial sector (-0.5%) was the other key laggard of the day, yet relative strength in the health care (+0.6%) and information technology (+0.3%) sectors offset the weakness elsewhere and enabled the S&P 500 to eke out a slim gain to begin the week.

Elsewhere, the Treasury market manged some modest gains of its own, bolstered by the strong demand seen at the 2-yr note and 5-yr note auctions, as well as a modicum of safe-haven buying interest in front of next month's budget and debt ceiling debates.  The 10-yr note yield dipped one basis point to 2.16%.

The dollar was on the defensive throughout the day, which pushed the U.S. Dollar Index (92.26, -0.48, -0.5%) to its lowest close since 2015.

Today's lone economic release showed a widening in the goods deficit to $65.1 billion in July ( consensus -$64.3 billion) from $64.0 billion in June and a 0.4% increase in Wholesale Inventories ( consensus +0.2%) in July versus a 0.6% increase in June.

Neither the stock market nor the Treasury market showed much reaction to that report.  On Tuesday the economic calendar will feature the Case-Shiller Home Price Index for June ( consensus 5.7%) at 9:00 a.m. ET and the Consumer Confidence report for August ( consensus 120.3) at 10:00 a.m. ET.

  • Nasdaq Composite +16.7% YTD
  • Dow Jones industrial Average +10.4% YTD
  • S&P 500 +9.2% YTD
  • Russell 2000 +1.8% YTD


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