Day Traders Diary


The major averages ended today's session near their opening levels. The Dow was an exception as the blue chip index finished higher by 0.3%. The 30-stock average outperformed as 19 components registered gains.

The Nasdaq trailed the broader market for the duration of the day after a disappointing earnings report from Apple (AAPL 450.50, -63.50) sent the stock lower by 12.4%. While the largest tech stock suffered its biggest percentage drop in more than four years, its suppliers held up relatively well. Cirrus Logic (CRUS 26.71, -3.24) was an exception, sinking 10.8% ahead of its earnings report scheduled for this evening.

As Apple earnings weighed on tech shares, the remainder of the market traded with a generally positive bias. Netflix (NFLX 146.86, +43.60) was a notable standout as the stock soared 42.2% after its fourth quarter results handily beat the Capital IQ earnings and revenue estimate. In addition, the video streaming service guided first quarter top and bottom line above consensus.

Even less-than-stellar results were welcomed by investors today as F5 Networks (FFIV 103.22, +4.41) gained 4.5% despite reporting in-line revenue and a bottom line miss. The results were topped off with upside second quarter earnings guidance, which contributed to the buying interest. Peer Cisco Systems (CSCO 21.02, +0.40) added 1.9%.

As the market resisted the selling pressure stemming from poor Apple earnings, the Dow Jones Transportation Average ended the session with a gain of 1.7%. The bellwether complex, which has soared over 10% since January 1, saw all-around strength, but trucking stocks outperformed. JB Hunt (JBHT 67.57, +4.11) surged 6.5% after its fourth quarter earnings beat on the bottom line. Meanwhile, peers Con-way (CNW 33.00, +1.88) and CH Robinson (CHRW 67.21, +1.46) settled with respective gains of 6.0% and 2.2%.

Looking at the S&P 500 sector breakdown, technology was the biggest laggard (-2.0%), followed by telecoms (-0.3%) and materials (+0.2%). On the upside, discretionary (+0.7%) and health care (+0.7%) stocks saw relative strength.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 12.76, +0.30) advanced 2.4% after being up as much as 8.2% intraday. However, the so-called "fear gauge" remains near its 5-year low.

Crude oil added 0.8% to settle at $96.00 despite a larger-than-expected inventory build.

The market received just two economic reports this morning. The latest weekly initial claims count totaled 330,000, which was lower than the 355,000 that had been expected by the consensus. The tally was below the revised prior week count of 335,000. As for continuing claims, they fell to 3.157 million from 3.228 million.

Elsewhere, leading indicators for December increased by 0.5%, in-line with the consensus forecast. Today's figure followed the prior month's unchanged reading.

Tomorrow's economic data will be limited to December new home sales. This report will be released at 10:00 ET. Among notable earnings, Honeywell (HON 68.24, -0.03) and Procter & Gamble (PG 70.42, -0.27) are scheduled to report prior to the opening bell.

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