Day Traders Diary


The stock market ended Tuesday on a mixed note with the Dow and S&P 500 losing 0.5% and 0.2%, respectively, while the Nasdaq Composite (+0.4%) outperformed.

Today's session was relatively quiet as equity indices diverged during the opening hour of action and maintained narrow ranges into the afternoon. The S&P 500 opened with a nine-point gain, but was back near its flat line before the opening hour ended.

For its part, the Nasdaq spent the day near its early high thanks to solid gains among biotech names after Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA 64.14, +0.85) offered to acquire Mylan (MYL 74.11, +6.06) for $82.00/share in cash and stock. The two names posted respective gains of 1.3% and 8.9% while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 364.50, +6.55) settled higher by 1.8%. Furthermore, the health care sector advanced 0.7% and was the only sector with a gain larger than 0.1%.

Meanwhile, the consumer discretionary space (+0.1%) was the second-best performer with homebuilders showing broad strength. DR Horton (DHI 28.53, +0.49) jumped 1.8% ahead of tomorrow's earnings report while the broader iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction ETF (ITB 27.87, +0.39) gained 1.4%. On the earnings front, Under Armour (UA 83.54, -4.22) tumbled 4.8% after reporting in-line results and guiding below analyst expectations.

In other earnings, four Dow components delivered bottom-line beats since yesterday, but only one—Travelers (TRV 101.88, -4.26)—showed year-over-year revenue growth while United Technologies (UTX 116.95, +0.44), DuPont (DD 70.69, -2.15), and IBM (IBM 164.26, -1.90) saw their top lines contract.

Overall, cyclical sectors were responsible for the slide from opening highs with four of six growth-sensitive groups registering larger losses than the S&P 500. The energy sector (-1.0%) finished at the bottom while crude oil fell 2.3% to $56.58/bbl. The dollar was not a big factor today as the Dollar Index (97.96, +0.02) surrendered its modest overnight gain during morning action.

Elsewhere among cyclical groups, financials (-0.5%) and industrials (-0.2%) lagged with the latter pressured by General Electric (GE 26.62, -0.40). The conglomerate surrendered 1.5% while transport stocks overcame their early weakness. The Dow Jones Transportation Average added 0.3% even though Kansas City Southern (KSU 105.17, -2.20) lost 2.1% after missing bottom-line estimates.

Treasuries ended on their lows after sliding from their overnight highs, sending the 10-yr yield up two basis points to 1.91%.

Today's participation was relatively light with fewer than 700 million shares changing hands at the NYSE floor.

Investors did not receive any economic data today, but tomorrow's session will include the 7:00 ET release of the weekly MBA Mortgage Index, February FHFA Housing Price Index at 9:00 ET, and the Existing Home Sales report for March at 10:00 ET ( consensus 5.05 million).
  • Nasdaq Composite +5.9% YTD 
  • Russell 2000 +4.9% YTD 
  • S&P 500 +1.9% YTD 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +0.7% YTD


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