Day Traders Diary


The major averages got off to a strong start, but the bullish bias faded shortly after the open. Headlines out of Europe provided another risk-off signal as reports suggested that a Spanish aid request is not imminent. After marking their session highs during the first five minutes of trade, the key indices spent most of the session trending lower. However, a rally in the final hour of trading lifted the S&P 500 and Nasdaq into positive territory while the Dow closed with a small loss of 0.2%.

The health care sector was the day's top performer. Within the space, biotech stocks showed strength which was reflected by the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 145.18, +1.54) adding 1.1%. Looking at individual names, Amgen (AMGN 86.35, +1.27) traded at its all-time high before closing higher by 1.5%. Meanwhile, Gilead (GILD 69.17, +1.73) also marked a fresh all-time best as the shares gained 2.5%.

On the downside, ArQule (ARQL 2.18, -2.81) fell 56.3%. The weakness followed the company's announcement regarding the discontinuation of Phase 3 MARQUEE clinical trial in non-small cell lung cancer after determination that study would not meet its primary endpoint. As a result of the announcement, Needham downgraded ArQule from 'buy' to 'hold.'

Telecom stocks also outperformed as buyout speculation lifted one name to its best level since July 2011. MetroPCS (PCS 13.57, +2.05) spiked 17.8% after a Bloomberg TV report suggested the company may be nearing a deal with Deutsche Telecom/T-Mobile. Peer, Leap Wireless (LEAP 7.59, +0.59) surged 8.4% while Sprint (S 4.90, -0.28) slipped 5.4%.

The materials sector was the weakest performer as steel and aluminum producers were under pressure. AK Steel (AKS 4.79, -0.09), Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF 38.55, -0.33), and United States Steel (X 18.99, -0.32) all posted losses between 0.8% and 1.8%.

Elsewhere in the sector, Mosaic (MOS 55.76, -2.25) slid 3.9% after missing on both earnings and revenues. The company's earnings per share were reported $0.15 below consensus estimates, while revenues fell $180 million short of estimates. In its defense, the company cited longer annual maintenance shut-downs and challenges posed by hurricanes, noting demand for products outpaced Mosaic's ability to produce and deliver.

Wassau Paper (WPP 8.67, -0.49) slid 5.4% after lowering its full-year guidance due to lower profitability at its facility in Brainerd, Minnesota. Other paper names were mixed as Neenah Paper (NP 27.91, -0.67) shed 2.3% while Louisiana-Pacific (LPX 13.00, +0.32) gained 2.5%.

The Dow Jones Transportation Average edged up as it outperformed the remaining industrials. Airline stocks enjoyed their second consecutive day of gains as Delta Airlines (DAL 9.77, +0.30) and JetBlue Airways (JBLU 4.98, +0.11) rose by 3.2% and 2.4%, respectively.

Meanwhile, shipping stocks led the transportation complex. Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG 7.08, +0.59) jumped 9.1% after its joint venture with Euronav secured a new charter deal. Peer, Matson (MATX 20.50, +0.34) added 1.7% on related strength.

Financial stocks showed some relative outperformance. Citigroup (C 33.26, +0.51) was the top performer among the majors. The financial giant gained 1.6% after Keefe Bruyette upgraded shares of Citigroup from 'market perform' to 'outperform.' Elsewhere in the sector, JPMorgan Chase (JPM 40.92, -0.05) shed 0.1% after New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman announced he would file a lawsuit against the bank over mortgage-backed securities sold by Bear Stearns.

In tomorrow's economic data, the MBA Mortgage Index will be reported at 7:00 ET. In addition, the ADP Employment Change and ISM Services will be released at 8:15 ET and 10:00 ET, respectively.
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