Day Traders Diary


The major averages kicked off the new trading week with modest gains as the S&P 500 added 0.4%. The Russell 2000 (+1.1%) outperformed, but its relative strength came after the small cap index struggled to keep pace with the last week's advance in the broader market.
Outside of the notable outperformance among small caps, today's session unfolded in an uneventful fashion. Overseas markets did little to upset the state of affairs as Japan's Nikkei was closed for Culture Day while China's Shanghai Composite ended flat despite its Non-Manufacturing PMI rising to a 14-month high of 56.3 from 55.4.
All ten sectors ended in the green, but only energy (+1.3%) and telecom services (+0.8%) posted gains in excess of 0.4%. Energy was responsible for pacing much of the advance as the sector rallied throughout the session. Meanwhile, crude oil ended little changed at $94.59 per barrel.
The other commodity-linked sector, materials (+0.4%), displayed relative strength as steelmakers rallied in reaction to a Goldman Sachs upgrade of AK Steel (AKS 5.00, +0.40) and U.S. Steel (X 26.91, +1.13). The broader Market Vectors Steel ETF (SLX 49.68, +1.18) ended higher by 2.4%.
Elsewhere, industrials (+0.3%) settled essentially in-line with the broader market, but the underperformance of top sector components like Boeing (BA 132.79, -0.24) and General Electric (GE 26.43, -0.11) overshadowed the strength of transports. The Dow Jones Transportation Average rose 1.2% as 19 of 20 components registered gains. Norfolk Southern (NSC 86.84, -0.16) was the lone decliner, shedding 0.2%.
Although the S&P was able to finish at its session high, it did so without the participation of financials as the sector ended near its flat line.
Three of four countercyclical groups (consumer staples, health care, and utilities) trailed the broader market with staples lagging even after Kellogg (K 62.72, +0.43) reported a bottom-line beat on in-line revenue. In addition, the company announced plans to cut 7.0% of its workforce to reflect a challenging environment.
Treasuries held modest gains throughout the session as the 10-yr yield shed two basis points to 2.60%.
Trading volume was well below average as less than 600 million shares changed hands on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Due to the partial government shutdown, the Census Bureau released the factory orders reports for August and September at the same time. Orders increased 1.7% in September after declining 0.1% in August. July factory orders were revised down from -2.4% to -2.8%. The consensus expected factory orders to increase 1.8% in September and 0.3% in August.
The recent volatility in factory orders was a result of significant, up-and-down monthly moves in aircraft orders. Nondefense aircraft orders increased 57.7% in September after a 5.4% increase in August and a 58.9% decrease in July.
Tomorrow, the October ISM Services report will be released at 10:00 ET.

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