Day Traders Diary


Today's session got off to a quiet start. The major averages held near their opening levels until the preliminary October University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey registered a reading of 83.1. The survey's best level since September 2007 lifted the major averages to their session highs. However, the exuberance was short-lived as the key indices promptly fell through the unchanged line, to their session lows. The afternoon was generally quiet as the S&P 500 hovered within points of the 1,428 level before settling at 1,428.59, with a loss of 0.3%. Note that today's session punctuated a down week, during which the S&P 500 lost 2.2%.

The financial sector was the biggest laggard of the day. Despite record earnings from two major names, the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF (XLF 15.81, -0.22) shed 1.4%. JPMorgan Chase (JPM 41.62, -0.48) reported earnings of $1.40 per share against expectations of $1.21. Meanwhile, its revenues were reported at $25.15 billion which was ahead of the expected $24.27 billion. The stock traded higher in initial response to the earnings report, but it settled lower by 1.1%.

Wells Fargo (WFC 34.25, -0.93) slid 2.6% after reporting mixed earnings. WFC exceeded earnings expectations by one cent, while its revenues fell $200 million short of analyst estimates.

Other major financials also showed weakness. Bank of America (BAC 9.12, -0.22) and Morgan Stanley (MS 17.31, -0.55) slipped 2.4% and 3.1%, respectively.

Consumer staple stocks were the top performers of the session. Within the space, Dean Foods (DF 14.94, +0.29) added 2.0% after Stifel Nicolaus upgraded the stock to 'buy' from 'hold' with an $18 price target.

Cigarette stocks also showing strength among defensive staple stocks. Philip Morris (PM 91.70, +0.86) and Altria (MO 33.12, +0.41) saw respective gains of 1.0% and 1.3%.

Elsewhere in the space, Monster Beverage (MNST 57.08, +2.64) advanced 4.9% in a rebound from recent weakness.

The Dow Jones Transportation Average outperformed the broader market and settled higher by 0.9%. JB Hunt (JBHT 58.37, +3.58) is the top performer within the space. The freight carrier settled higher by 6.5% after its mixed earnings report showed a top line beat and a slight bottom line miss. Meanwhile, peer CH Robinson (CHRW 59.94, +1.04) added 1.8%. With most transportation stocks on the rise, Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG 5.08, -0.80) was a notable laggard as the shipping stock tumbled 13.6%.

AMD (AMD 2.74, -0.46) slumped 14.4% after the company lowered its third quarter revenue guidance below consensus. Peer Intel (INTC 21.48, -0.20) settled lower by 0.9% while the Market Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH 30.50, -0.10) slipped 0.3%.

Overall producer prices rose during September by 1.1%, which was hotter than the 0.8% increase that had been widely forecast. Core producer prices were unchanged which was lower than the consensus call of a 0.2% increase.

The September Treasury Budget showed a $75 billion surplus, which was in-line with expectations.

Next week, the earnings season enters full force as more than 230 companies are scheduled to report their third quarter results

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