Day Traders Diary


The major averages saw little change during the last session of the month. The S&P 500 shed 0.2%, while Nasdaq outperformed and ended flat.

Mixed trade unfolded amid economic data which was largely in-line with expectations. Weekly initial claims were reported at 368,000 ( consensus 345,000), which supports the notion that the lower readings over the prior two weeks were primarily the result of seasonal adjustment problems. Today's number drives initial claims right back to the 350,000-400,000 range where they have been bounded for most of the last year.

Elsewhere, the personal income report stood out as the December increase of 2.6% was well ahead of the 0.7% rise expected by the consensus. However, the notable rise in personal income was due to a surge in personal income on assets as investors chose to lock in a lower capital gains tax rate ahead of the New Year.

The fourth quarter Employment Cost Index increased by 0.5%, in-line with the consensus.

The day's final economic report saw the January Chicago PMI climb to 55.6. The reading surprised to the upside as economists surveyed by had generally expected the index to come in at 50.5.

In addition to economic data, investors received several notable earnings reports. Ryder System (R 56.78, +2.52), MasterCard (MA 518.40, +2.40), and Qualcomm (QCOM 66.02, +2.49) gained between 0.5% and 4.6% after beating on earnings.

On the downside, ConocoPhillips (COP 58.00, -3.09), Dow Chemical (DOW 32.20, -2.41), and UPS (UPS 79.29, -1.94) fell short of expectations.

With January now in the books, we would like to recap the first month of 2013.

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