Day Traders Diary


The major averages ended on a mixed note as the S&P 500 rose 0.2% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed five points.

With no economic news of note and two major foreign markets closed (Japan and the United Kingdom), investors reacted to quarterly earnings.

The now-familiar pattern of anemic top-line growth remained in effect as quarterly results from Sysco (SYY 34.33, -0.33) and Tyson Foods (TSN 24.10, -0.83) missed their marks. The results weighed on the third-best performing sector of the year as the SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF (XLP 40.93, -0.30) ended lower by 0.7%.

Likewise, other defensive sectors also finished in the red with the utilities space as the weakest performer. The SPDR Utilities Select Sector ETF (XLU 40.32, -0.57) settled lower by 1.4%.

On the flip side, six cyclical sectors registered gains as financials, industrials, and technology led the broader market higher.

The financial sector displayed notable strength throughout the day as the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF (XLF 19.05, +0.20) rose 1.1%. MBIA (MBI 14.29, +4.46) surged 45.4% after the insurer reached a $1.7 billion settlement with Bank of America (BAC 12.88, +0.64). In addition, Bank of America disclosed a 5.0% stake in MBIA.

Elsewhere, the industrial sector received support from transportation-related stocks as 18 of 20 components of the Dow Jones Transportation Average settled with gains. For its part, the bellwether complex added 1.3% to end at a fresh all-time high.

Technology stocks paced the bulk of last week's gains, and the outperformance continued today. Apple (AAPL 460.71, +10.73) climbed 2.4% after Barclays hiked its price target for the stock to $525 from $465. Chipmakers also displayed strength as the PHLX Semiconductor Index added 0.6%.

Although most tech components ended in positive territory, the underperformance of IBM (IBM 202.78, -1.73) weighed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

In the Treasury market, the 10-yr note saw some intraday selling as its yield rose two basis points to 1.765%.

Today's volume was well-below average as only 620 million shares changed hands on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Tomorrow's economic data will be limited to the 15:00 ET release of March consumer credit. Among earnings of note, Fossil (FOSL 98.96, +0.70) and OfficeMax (OMX 11.74, +0.15) will report their results ahead of the opening bell.

The U.S. Treasury will auction $32 billion in 3-yr notes. 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.