Day Traders Diary
7/15/13The S&P 500 settled higher by 0.1% to mark its eight consecutive advance. The utilities sector ended atop today's leaderboard with a gain of 1.6%, but the relative strength of three influential sectors (financials, industrials, and technology) helped the S&P end at a fresh record high of 1682.50, less than five away from its May 22 all-time intraday high of 1687.18.
Financials provided the broader market with an opening boost after Citigroup (C 51.81, +1.00) reported better-than-expected earnings on above-consensus revenue. Citigroup rose 2.0% while the broader sector added 0.4%, but neither was able to close above its opening high.
Technology shares (+0.3%) also outperformed the broader market as major components provided the sector with a measure of support. Apple (AAPL 427.44, +0.93), IBM (IBM 194.00, +1.93), and Microsoft (MSFT 36.17, +0.50) all gained between 0.2% and 1.4%. However, chipmakers underperformed as the PHLX Semiconductor Index slipped 0.1%.
Industrials and materials climbed after China's second quarter GDP growth of 7.5% met expectations after some feared the reading could disappoint. In addition, the industrial sector received a boost from Dow component Boeing (BA 105.66, +3.79) after it was determined that Friday's fire aboard a 787 Dreamliner at London's Heathrow Airport was not caused by battery issues. Afternoon reports from the Wall Street Journal have suggested an emergency locator transmitter made by Honeywell (HON 82.30, -0.07) may have been the culprit.
While most cyclical sectors finished ahead of the broader market, the energy space ended lower by 0.1% and the discretionary sector shed 0.3%. Homebuilders lagged with the iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction ETF (ITB 23.11, -0.47) falling 2.0%.
With regards to countercyclical groups, the utilities sector stood out while consumer staples and health care were little changed. For its part, the telecom services sector lost 0.7% as AT&T (T 35.55, -0.26) and Verizon (VZ 49.96, -0.45) weighed. Over the weekend, AT&T offered to acquire Leap Wireless (LEAP 16.95, +8.97) for $15 per share, representing an 88.0% premium to Leap's Friday closing price.
Today's session featured below-average participation as only 567 million shares changed hands on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. This total was only 85 million above the holiday-shortened session on July 3. However, the remainder of the week should prove to be more active as second quarter earnings pour in. In addition, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will appear before Congress on Wednesday and Thursday to take part in a semi-annual testimony.
Economic data of the day pointed to a 0.4% increase in June retail sales. That was below the Briefing.com consensus estimate, which called for an increase of 0.7%. Excluding autos, retail sales were flat, which was disappointing relative to the 0.4% consensus estimate.
Separately, May business inventories ticked up 0.1% after increasing 0.2% in April. The Briefing.com consensus expected inventory levels to decline 0.1%.
Tomorrow, June CPI and core CPI will be reported at 8:30 ET; May net long-term TIC flows will be announced at 9:00 ET; while June industrial production and capacity utilization will be released at 9:15 ET. The day's economic data will be topped off by the 10:00 ET release of the July NAHB Housing Market Index. On the earnings front, Coca-Cola (KO 41.01, -0.02), Goldman Sachs (GS 163.00, +2.89), and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ 90.40, +0.41) will report their results before the opening bell. 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.