Day Traders Diary


Stocks began today's session on a negative note after the September Empire Manufacturing Survey registered its worst reading since April 2009. The bearish sentiment was then extended as unfounded rumors of tapping into the strategic petroleum reserve sent the major averages to fresh session lows. As a result, the S&P 500 ended lower by 0.3%.

Healthcare stocks outperformed the broader market on strength in biotech companies. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 143.15, +1.39) advanced 1.0% as Gilead Sciences (GILD 65.80, +3.78) added 6.1% after positive comments were made by analysts before the open. Meanwhile, Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI 12.91, +0.90) and Onyx Pharmaceuticals (ONXX 81.26, +4.59) gained between 6.0% and 7.5%.

In M&A news, medical equipment supplier, IRIS (IRIS 19.54, +6.12) surged 45.6% after announcing that the company will be acquired by Danaher (DHR 54.84, +0.08) for $19.50 per share. The purchase price represents a 45.3% premium to IRIS' Friday closing price of $13.42. Following the acquisition, Feltl & Co downgraded shares of IRIS from 'buy' to 'hold.' Elsewhere, Complete Genomics (GNOM 3.02, +0.35) jumped 13.1% after the company entered into a definitive merger agreement with China-based BGI-Shenzhen. Per the agreement, a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of BGI-Shenzhen will launch a tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of GNOM for $3.15 per share, representing an 18.0% premium to GNOM's Friday closing price of $2.67.

The Dow Jones Transportation Average slipped 1.5% as it underperformed the broader market. Within the bellwether group, only UPS (UPS 74.23, +0.55) and CSX Corp (CSX 23.26, +0.10) managed to stay marginally positive. Airline stocks were generally lower after Southwest Airlines (LUV 9.05, -0.02) and Delta (DAL 9.23, -0.04) raised roughly 10% of their round trip fares by $10. The two carriers both shed near 0.3%. Trucking and railroad stocks also showed considerable weakness as Con-way (CNW 29.22, -1.33) and Kansas City Southern (KSU 81.24, -2.39) ended lower by 4.4% and 2.9%, respectively.

Shares of major financials showed weakness after last week's broad rally. The SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF (XLF 16.13, -0.15) slipped 0.9% as most major names posted losses in the neighborhood of 1.0%. Bank of America (BAC 9.30, -0.25) and Morgan Stanley (MS 17.80, -0.44) both fell near 2.5%, while JPMorgan Chase (JPM 41.19, -0.38) and Goldman Sachs (GS 119.90, -1.46) lost near 1.0% each.

The materials sector was the weakest performer. The SPDR Materials Select Sector ETF (XLB 37.76, -0.59) slumped 1.5% as steel producers lagged after a series of downgrades. AK Steel (AKS 5.53, -0.34), Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF 42.36, -3.19), Reliance Steel & Aluminum (RS 54.99, -2.67), and United States Steel (X 21.31, -1.04) all posted losses between 4.5% and 7.0% after JP Morgan downgraded shares of the steelmakers from 'overweight' to 'neutral.'

Looking at tomorrow's earnings, FedEx (FDX 89.28, -0.87) will report its first quarter results before the bell. The company will be in focus after it recently lowered its earnings guidance to $1.37-1.43 from the original forecast of $1.45-1.60 per share.

The Empire Manufacturing Survey for September registered a reading of -10.4, which was down from the prior month's reading of -5.9. Economists polled by had expected that the Survey would rise to -3.0.

A handful of economic data points will be reported tomorrow. The current account balance will be released at 8:30 ET, while net long-term TIC flows and the NAHB Housing Market Index will be reported at 9:00 ET and 10:00 ET, respectively.

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.