Day Traders Diary


Equities began today's session on a slightly higher note. However, the bullish bias was dispelled during the opening hour. After marking its session high at 1,401, the S&P 500 reversed and slid to its 200-day moving average near the 1,380 area. The index followed the move with a seven point bounce, before late-day selling drove the index back below the 200-day moving average. As a result, the benchmark average settled lower by 1.2%.

Crude oil gained 0.6%, but the energy sector was the biggest laggard of the day. The SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF (XLE 69.57, -1.28) lost 1.8%. Among oil and gas stocks, Carrizo (CRZO 21.71, -1.77) dropped 7.5%. Meanwhile, providers of energy equipment also saw broad weakness. Ensco (ESV 55.12, -2.61) slid 4.5% and Diamond Offshore (DO 65.37, -2.41) lost 3.6%.

Yesterday's sell-off in coal stocks saw the Market Vectors Coal ETF (KOL 24.29, -0.16) drop 5.5%. Today, the ETF shed 0.7%. Among individual coal producers, James River Coal (JRCC 3.36, +0.07) outperformed, and settled higher by 2.1%. On the downside, Alpha Natural Resources (ANR 8.15, -0.30) lost 3.6%.

Looking at technology stocks, Apple (AAPL 537.75, -20.25) continued its recent weakness. The biggest tech component ended lower by 3.6%.

In tech earnings, QUALCOMM (QCOM 60.67, +2.54) advanced 4.4% after beating on earnings and revenue. The company's bottom line of $0.89 beat the Capital IQ consensus estimate by $0.07. Meanwhile, the revenue of $4.87 billion was also ahead of expectations. It should be noted that the company guided first quarter and full-year 2013 earnings and revenue above consensus.

Universal Display (PANL 23.12, -5.05) fell 18.0% after reporting disappointing earnings. During the third quarter, the manufacturer of organic LEDs lost $0.12 on $12.5 million in revenue. The company's earnings were $0.17 below expectations, while its revenue also fell short of estimates. In addition, PANL issued downside full-year 2012 revenue guidance.

Utility stocks which have seen considerable weakness since Hurricane Sandy, saw relative strength. PPL (PPL 28.73, +0.43) was the top performer among electricity providers. The stock added 1.5% after the company reported earnings of $0.72, which was $0.05 better than the Capital IQ consensus estimate. However, the revenue of $2.4 billion was below expectations. In addition, the company issued in-line guidance.

Meanwhile, FirstEnergy (FE 42.91, +0.61) advanced 1.4% after beating on earnings. In addition, the company lowered its full-year 2012 earnings guidance in-line with expectations and also guided full-year 2013 earnings in-line with estimates.

Elsewhere, Southern Company (SO 43.26, +0.46) slid 1.1% after RBC Capital Markets upgraded the stock to 'outperform' from 'sector perform.'

Looking at the retail industry, the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 61.24, -1.36) underperformed the broader market and ended lower by 2.2%. Among individual retailers, Kohl's (KSS 51.55, -2.77) lost 5.1% after reporting third quarter earnings of $0.91 on $4.49 billion in revenue. The company's bottom line was $0.04 ahead of Capital IQ estimates, while the revenue was reported in-line with the November 1 preannouncement. However, the company's outlook was a point of concern as the retailer issued downside fourth quarter earnings guidance.

Elsewhere, American Eagle Outfitters (AEO 19.69, -0.90) finished lower by 4.4% and Aeropostale (ARO 12.69, -0.88) dropped 6.5% after Detweiler made cautious comments about the apparel retailer.

Also of note, McDonald's (MCD 85.13, -1.73) stumbled 2.0% after reporting a 1.8% decline in global same-store sales. The figure was below the expected decrease of 1.0%. In addition, this was the first time the fast food giant saw a monthly decline since 2003.

In today's economic data, the latest weekly initial jobless claims count totaled 355,000, which was lower than the 370,000 that had been expected. The tally was below the unrevised prior week count of 363,000. As for continuing claims, they fell to 3.127 million from 3.262 million.

The trade deficit narrowed to $41.5 billion during September after a downwardly revised prior month deficit of $43.8 billion. Economists polled by had expected that the deficit would come in at $45.4 billion.

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