Day Traders Diary


The major averages ended the session near their best levels of the day with the Nasdaq Composite (+0.6%) finishing in the lead. The S&P 500 rose 0.3% to another record high while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) hovered near its flat line throughout the session.

Meanwhile, the benchmark index spent the day in a slow and steady advance despite a heavy batch of disappointing economic data that was reported this morning. The index did show some signs of defensive posturing as all four countercyclical sectors ended ahead of the market while cyclical sectors traded in mixed fashion.

The telecom services sector (+1.2%) finished in the lead after trending higher throughout the day, but more notably, the heavily-weighted health care sector (+0.7%) posted a solid gain with help from biotechnology. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 303.87, +4.20) settled higher by 1.4% to extend this week's gain to 3.0%. Conversely, biotechnology helped the Nasdaq spend the day in the lead.

Although biotech provided a measure of support, the Nasdaq also drew significant strength from chipmakers after Analog Devices (ADI 54.56, +2.85) reported better than expected results. The stock spiked 5.5% while the PHLX Semiconductor Index jumped 2.1% with all but one component ending in the green.

The solid gains among chipmakers helped the technology sector (+0.9%) spend the day in a steady uptrend. However, the same could not be said for the remaining cyclical groups. Financials (+0.2%) held a slim gain throughout the day while consumer discretionary (unch), energy (-1.1%), industrials (-0.2%), and materials (+0.1%) lagged.

Notably, the energy sector widened its November loss to 2.8% as crude oil took another leg down, falling 0.5% to $73.75/bbl.

Treasuries spiked following today's data, but slipped into the close. The 10-yr yield ended lower by a basis point at 2.24%.

Intraday participation was well below average, but volume spiked into the close. As a result, just under 685 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

Economic data was plentiful and almost entirely disappointing. Initial claims, durable orders ex-transportation, personal income/spending, Chicago PMI, Michigan Sentiment, and October pending/new home sales all missed expectations while headline durable orders beat:

Initial claims came in at 313,000 ( consensus 288,000), which was above the revised prior week count of 292,000 (from 291,000)
Continuing claims fell to 2.316 million from 2.330 million
Durable goods orders increased 0.4% in October following an upwardly revised 0.9% (from -1.3%) decline ( consensus -0.6%)
A 45.3% increase in defense aircraft orders helped boost total aircraft demand by 8.7%. The gains in aircraft orders drove overall transportation orders up 3.4% after declining 3.3% in September
Excluding transportation, orders fell 0.9% in October after increasing an upwardly revised 0.2% (from -0.2%) (consensus +0.5%)
Personal income increased 0.2% for a second consecutive month in October ( consensus +0.4%)
Personal spending increased 0.2% in October after an upward revision resulted in no change (from -0.2%) in September (consensus +0.3%)
The Chicago PMI for October fell to 60.8 from 66.2 (consensus 63.0)
The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report for November was revised down to 88.8 from 89.4 (consensus 90.0)
Pending home sales for October fell 1.1% (expected +0.5%)
New home sales increased 0.7% in October to 458,000 from a downwardly revised 455,000 (from 467,000) (consensus 470,000)
The weekly MBA Mortgage Index fell 4.3% to follow last week's 4.9% increase
Equity markets will be closed tomorrow and Friday's session will end early at 13:00 ET.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nasdaq Composite +14.6% YTD
S&P 500 +12.1% YTD
Dow Jones Industrial Average +7.6% YTD
Russell 2000 +2.3% YTD

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