Day Traders Diary


Today's session opened with initial uncertainty before the major averages staged a climb to their respective highs. Overseas, Standard & Poor's lowered Greece's long term credit rating to 'Select Default' from 'CCC.' Meanwhile, Germany's DAX closed at its highest level in nearly five years. Domestically, trade was confined to a narrow range, but late-day buying lifted the S&P 500 to a slim gain of 0.3%.

The technology sector was the top performer, and the SPDR Technology Select Sector ETF (XLK 28.91, +0.16) advanced 0.6%. Apple (AAPL 547.24, +8.45) was down as much as 3.0% in early trade, but after marking its session low at $518.63, the stock reversed and finished higher by 1.6%.

Elsewhere, Akamai Technologies (AKAM 39.06, +3.56) surged 10.0% after the company announced a global strategic alliance with AT&T (T 33.65, -0.26). The newly forged partnership will allow Akamai to deploy CDN servers on the AT&T network in order to improve content routing and its delivery.

Remaining in the sector, major hard drive makers enjoyed their third strong session in a row. Seagate (STX 28.53, +0.93) and Western Digital (WDC 37.10, +1.07) both added near 3.0%.

Financials registered slim gains and the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF (XLF 15.90, +0.05) tacked on 0.3%. Citigroup (C 37.02, +0.56) was the top performer among the majors. The stock settled higher by 0.9% to extend yesterday's 6.3% rally sparked by the announcement of plans to dismiss more than 11,000 employees.

Looking at European financials, Deutsche Bank (DB 45.49, -0.58) slid 1.3% after reports from Reuters indicated the bank may have hid up to $12 billion in losses in order to avoid having to accept a government bailout.

Also of note, HSBC Holdings (HBC 51.75, -0.12) shed 0.2% after Reuters reported the company may be facing a $1.8 billion money-laundering fine. The industrial sector was the weakest performer and manufacturers of building products weighed. Lennox International (LII 51.07, -0.49) and Masco (MAS 15.78, -0.43) fell 1.0% and 2.7%, respectively.

Elsewhere, UTi Worldwide (UTIW 12.88, -1.15) slid 8.2% after reporting disappointing earnings. During the third quarter, the supply chain manager earned $0.16, which was $0.09 worse than the Capital IQ consensus estimate. Meanwhile, its revenue of $1.13 billion also missed expectations. When commenting on its past performance and the future outlook, company management said, "Macroeconomic and freight conditions remained weak throughout our fiscal 2013 third quarter, and we see no real catalysts to drive increases in the foreseeable future."

The Dow Jones Transportation Average underperformed and shed 0.1%. Most transportation stocks were on the decline and CH Robinson (CHRW 60.64, -1.27) was the biggest laggard. The freight carrier finished lower by 2.1% and other truckers registered losses as well.

With crude oil settling lower by 1.7%, airlines outperformed. Delta Air Lines (DAL 10.02, +0.31) gained 3.2% and was the best performing carrier. Earlier, the company has finalized its agreement with Bombardier Aerospace, which will allow Delta to continue renovating its domestic fleet by replacing its least efficient jets.

The latest weekly initial jobless claims count totaled 370,000, which is lower than the 382,000 that had been expected by the consensus. The tally is below the revised prior week count of 395,000. As for continuing claims, they fell to 3.205 million from 3.305 million.

November Challenger Job Cuts rose by 34.4% year-over-year after the prior month's reading pointed to an 11.6% increase.

In tomorrow's economic data, November nonfarm payrolls, nonfarm private payrolls, unemployment rate, hourly earnings, and average workweek will all be released at 8:30 ET. In addition, December Michigan Sentiment and October consumer credit will be reported at 9:55 ET and 15:00 ET, respectively.

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