Day Traders Diary
10/20/14Equity indices finished the first session of the week near their highs with the Nasdaq Composite (+1.4%) leading the way. The S&P 500 (+0.9%) settled a bit behind the tech-heavy index while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) struggled to turn positive.
The price-weighted Dow spent the bulk of the session in the red as IBM (IBM 169.10, -12.95) weighed. The stock fell 7.1% and surrendered its standing as the second-largest Dow component after reporting disappointing results that featured revenue declines across all key segments and all geographic regions in which the company operates.
Despite IBM's miss, the technology sector kept pace with the broader market, thanks in part to the relative strength of Apple (AAPL 99.76, +2.09). The top-weighted sector component jumped 2.1% ahead of its earnings report. Similarly, chipmakers also contributed to the advance with the PHLX Semiconductor Index climbing 1.5%.
The outperformance of microchip manufacturers gave a boost to the Nasdaq Composite, which also benefited from strength in the biotech space. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 269.57, +4.20) spiked 1.6% while the health care sector (+1.2%) finished among the outperformers. Similarly, two other countercyclical sectorsconsumer staples (+1.4%) and utilities (+1.4%)displayed relative strength, while the telecom services space (+0.8%) ended a bit behind the S&P 500.
Also of note, the energy sector (+0.8%) was able to settle in the green even as crude oil slipped 0.1% to $81.97/bbl. Halliburton (HAL 52.92, +0.32) underpinned the sector, climbing 0.6%, in reaction to better than expected earnings and revenue.
Elsewhere, industrials (+0.3%) registered a slim gain, but the sector was weighed down by defense contractors with the PHLX Defense Index shedding 0.1%. Meanwhile, transport stocks fared well with the Dow Jones Transportation Average rising 1.0%. Airlines led the way with United Continental (UAL 47.29, +2.61) spiking 5.8%.
Treasuries registered modest gains with the 10-yr yield slipping one basis point to 2.18%.
Today's participation was largely in-line with average as 723 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.
Investors did not receive any economic news today and tomorrow's data will be limited to the Existing Home Sales report for September (Briefing.com consensus 5.11 million), which will be released at 10:00 ET.
Nasdaq Composite +3.3% YTD
S&P 500 +3.0% YTD
Dow Jones Industrial Average -1.1% YTD
Russell 2000 -5.8% YTD
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