Day Traders Diary


The major averages registered modest gains with the Dow Jones Industrial Average leading the way, adding 0.8%. The Nasdaq eked out a gain of 0.2% while the S&P 500 climbed 0.5%.

After showing little change in the opening minutes of today's session, the three indices jumped to their highs in the wake of the May ISM report. Although the reading missed expectations, the disappointing data point was perceived as a sign the Federal Reserve will maintain its current accommodative policy course.

The brief spike was followed by a return to session lows as the Nasdaq and S&P 500 dipped into the red, where they spent most of the afternoon.

However, the Dow never saw red as Merck (MRK 48.45, +1.75) and Intel (INTC 25.24, +0.96) boosted the price-weighted index from the opening bell. Merck rose 3.8% after the company presented the interim results of one of its trials while Intel gained 4.0% following the weekend public debut of its fourth generation processors. Other chipmakers also saw gains as the PHLX Semiconductor Index advanced 0.5%.

Although the tech sector registered a slim gain, the tech-heavy Nasdaq trailed behind the other averages as biotechnology pressured the index throughout the day. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 177.43, -2.07) fell 1.2%.

While the afternoon rally enabled most sectors to erase their early losses, financials, homebuilders, and transportation-related stocks spectated from the sidelines.

Major financials displayed mixed performance as Bank of America (BAC 13.55, -0.11) fell 0.8% while Goldman Sachs (GS 163.56, +1.48) rose 0.9%. Meanwhile, the financial sector ended little changed.

Elsewhere, the weakness in homebuilders sent the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB 30.63, -0.27) back to its early May levels as the ETF lost 0.9%.

Finally, softness among airlines and truckers pressured the Dow Jones Transportation Average as the bellwether complex ended flat.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 16.20, -0.10) ended in the red after climbing as high as 17.58% intraday.

Today's volume was well above average as 880 million shares changed hands on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Looking at today's economic data, the ISM Manufacturing Index fell to 49.0 in May from 50.7 in April. That was the first contraction in the ISM Index since November 2012, and the lowest reading since June 2009. The consensus expected the Index to increase modestly to 50.9.

Separately, construction spending increased 0.4% in April after declining an upwardly revised 0.8% (from -1.7%) in March. The consensus expected construction spending to increase 1.1%.

Residential construction, which was supposed to be a positive contributor to construction spending growth in April, fell 0.1%. The drop was the result of a sharp decline in home improvement spending (-3.2%).

Tomorrow's economic data will be limited to the 8:30 ET release of the April trade balance. The consensus expects a trade deficit of $41 billion to follow the March deficit of $38.8 billion. 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.