Day Traders Diary


The major averages settled with modest losses as the S&P 500 shed 0.7%.

Equities slipped out of the gate as sellers drove the major averages to their lows 90 minutes into the session. This marked the return of bargain hunters, who helped the S&P return to its opening levels. However, the relative weakness of several influential groups kept the benchmark average from regaining its flat line.

Defensively-geared groups bore the brunt of today's selling as consumer staples, health care, telecom, and utilities all ended with losses larger than 1.5%.

Today's 1.5% decline in utilities ran the sector's month-to-date loss to 9.2% while the underperformance of consumer staples caused the sector to surrender all of its May gains.

While countercyclical sectors logged sharp losses, growth-sensitive groups held up generally well.

Financials and technology weathered the early selling as the relative strength of large components allowed the sectors to end little changed.

The financial space benefitted from the gains in Goldman Sachs (GS 162.87, +2.17) as the stock spent the entire day in positive territory before closing near its high.

Elsewhere, tech shares received a boost from key components like Apple (AAPL 444.95, +3.51) and Cisco Systems (CSCO 24.12, +0.23), as well as chipmakers. Intel (INTC 24.27, +0.19) settled higher by 0.8% while the PHLX Semiconductor Index rose 0.3%.

Industrials also outperformed, but the relative strength of the sector overshadowed the weakness of transportation related stocks. The Dow Jones Transportation Average fell 1.1% as 18 of 20 components ended in the red.

Also of note, homebuilders saw broad losses as the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB 31.20, -0.73) dropped 2.4%.

Today's early selling caused the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 14.86, +0.38) to jump above 15.00% for the first time in over a month as investors adjusted their near-term volatility expectations.

Although below-average volume has been a recurring theme in the market, today's decline occurred on above-average volume as 723 million shares changed hands on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Economic news of the day was limited to the weekly MBA Mortgage Index, which decreased 8.8% to follow last week's decline of 9.8%.

Tomorrow, weekly initial claims and the second estimate of first quarter GDP will be reported at 8:30 ET while April pending home sales will be announced 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.