Day Traders Diary


Stocks surged as the S&P 500 erased all of yesterday's losses. The benchmark average rose 0.9% while the Nasdaq outperformed with a gain of 1.3%.

In addition to earnings reaction, investors welcomed further easing from the European Central Bank as the ECB cut its key interest rate by 25 basis points to a record low of 0.50%.

The Nasdaq paced today's gains as major components displayed broad strength. Electronic payment processor Visa (V 175.40, +9.38) jumped 5.7% after beating on earnings and revenue.

In addition, social media stocks displayed significant strength after Facebook (FB 28.97, +1.54) and Yelp (YELP 32.22, +6.92) reported above-consensus top-line results.

Tech shares have spent the entire week trading ahead of the broader market. As a result, the sector has added 3.5% since Monday.

Meanwhile, the second best sector of the week, energy, finished the session right behind technology with a significant rebound in crude oil contributing to today's gains. After falling 2.7% yesterday, crude jumped 3.3% to $93.98 per barrel.

The Dow Jones Transportation Average also tried to erase its losses from yesterday's 2.3% slump. However, even as 18 of 20 components advanced, the index was limited to a gain of 1.0%.

Elsewhere, homebuilders piggybacked strong earnings from MDC Holdings (MDC 38.40, +1.43) as the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB 30.48, +0.65) rose 2.2%.

In the Treasury market, the 10-yr note ended little changed with its yield steady at 1.627%.

With equities finishing broadly higher, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 13.61, -0.88) returned to last week's lows.

Today's advance occurred on below-average volume as only 677 million shares changed hands on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

In today's economic data, the initial claims level dropped from an upwardly revised 342,000 (from 339,000) for the week ending April 20 to 324,000 for the week ending April 27. That was the lowest initial claims reading since January 2008. The consensus expected the initial claims level to increase to 346,000.

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in March, falling from an upwardly revised $43.6 billion (from $43.0 billion) to $38.8 billion. The consensus pegged the deficit at $43.0 billion.

Export levels fell $1.7 billion in March to $184.3 billion as large declines in foods (-$1.0 billion) and petroleum-based products (-$1.1 billion) outweighed gains in aircraft parts ($0.8 billion) and nonmonetary gold ($0.5 billion).

Meanwhile, imports declined by $6.5 billion to $223.1 billion with most of the drop occurring due to weaker demand for consumer goods (-$3.4 billion).

Also of note, nonfarm business labor productivity increased 0.7% in the preliminary first quarter reading after falling 1.7% (revised from -1.9%) during the fourth quarter. The consensus expected productivity to increase 1.2%. Output levels increased 2.5%, up from a 0.7% fourth quarter gain.

Tomorrow's economic data will focus on jobs as April nonfarm payrolls, nonfarm private payrolls, the unemployment rate, hourly earnings, and average workweek will all be reported at 8:30 ET. In addition, March factory orders and April ISM Services Index will be released at 10:00 ET. All comments contained herein are for informational purposes only, and should not be considered as a solicitation to buy or sell any security. The firm does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information or make any warranties regarding results from it's usage.