Day Traders Diary


The major averages ended the Thursday session on a higher note with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+1.3%) spending the entire day in the lead. However, the strength among blue chips masked the underperformance of high-beta chipmaker and transport stocks. Furthermore, defensively-oriented health care (+1.8%) and utilities (+2.1%) finished in the lead, suggesting a lack of strong conviction.

Shortly before the open, the advance reading of Q3 GDP revealed growth of 3.5% while the consensus expected an increase of 3.0%. The news contributed to a rebound in the futures market, which had been pressured by early weakness in European equities. However, markets across Europe were able to erase their losses before ending for the day.

The Dow held the lead from the start thanks to a surge in its top-weighted component. Shares of Visa (V 236.65, +21.99) soared 10.2% in reaction to a bottom-line beat and news of a $5 billion buyback.

Visa's peer, MasterCard (MA 83.13, +7.14), also had a strong showing, spiking 9.4%, after it too surpassed earnings estimates. However, the two names were unable to push the technology sector (+0.2%) ahead of the broader market as other influential components like Apple (AAPL 106.98, -0.36), Facebook (FB 74.11, -1.75), and Microsoft (MSFT 46.05, -0.57) underperformed. Chipmakers also lagged with the PHLX Semiconductor Index falling 1.2%.

The high-beta group slumped after ending yesterday's session on its 50-day average (623.74). The complex widened its October loss to 3.4% with its largest componentIntel (INTC 32.58, -1.34)plunging 4.0%.

Elsewhere among cyclical sectors, the materials space (+0.7%) had the strongest showing while energy (-0.3%) spent the day in the red. Crude oil, which fell 1.4% to $81.10/bbl, contributed to the weakness, while Chevron (CVX 117.20, +0.06) and ExxonMobil (XOM 94.45, -0.14) ended little changed ahead of their quarterly reports.

Also of note, industrials (+0.4%) could not catch up to the broader market due to the weakness among transports. The Dow Jones Transportation Average slid 1.2% with Con-way (CNW 42.35, -2.81) diving 6.2% despite beating bottom-line estimates. Meanwhile, peer C.H. Robinson (CHRW 69.22, -2.88) tumbled 4.0% in reaction to a Credit Suisse downgrade to 'Underperform' from 'Neutral.'

Meanwhile on the countercyclical side, consumer staples (+0.55%) and telecom services (+0.3%) slipped behind the market in the afternoon while health care (+1.8%) and utilities (+2.1%) finished in the lead.

The health care sector was boosted by strong results from AmerisourceBergen (ABC 84.84, +5.10) and Cigna (CI 97.10, +3.10). As for biotechnology, the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 296.70, +6.07) settled higher by 2.1%.

Treasuries notched their highs right after the GDP report before spending the session in a steady retreat. The 10-yr yield slipped one basis point to 2.31%.

Today's participation was ahead of average with 730 million shares changing hands at the NYSE.

Economic data was limited to GDP and Initial Claims:
According to the advance estimate, GDP grew at an annualized rate of 3.5% during the third quarter while the consensus expected the reading to come in at 3.0%
Real final sales jumped 4.2%, which was the largest spike since Q4 2010
The export deficit narrowed to $409.90 billion from $460.40 billion, boosting GDP growth by 1.32 percentage points
Government spending surged 4.6%, representing the sharpest increase since Q2 2009
Weekly Initial Claims increased to 287,000 from a revised rate of 284,000 (from 283,000) while the consensus called for a reading of 284,000
Claims have held below the 300,000 mark for the past several weeks, suggesting payroll gains should surpass 200,000
Continuing claims increased to 2.384 million from an upwardly revised 2.355 million (from 2.351 million)
Tomorrow, September Personal Income ( consensus 0.3%), Personal Spending (consensus 0.1%), Core PCE Prices (expected 0.1%), and the Q3 Employment Cost Index (expected 0.5%) will all be released at 8:30 ET while the Chicago PMI report for October (consensus 60.0) will cross the wires at 9:45 ET. The day's data will be topped off with the final release of the Michigan Sentiment survey for October (expected 86.4).
Nasdaq Composite +9.3% YTD
S&P 500 +7.9% YTD
Dow Jones Industrial Average +3.7% YTD
Russell 2000 -0.7% YTD

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