Day Traders Diary


The stock market kicked off the new trading week on an upbeat, albeit quiet, note. The Dow and S&P 500 gained 0.3% apiece while the Nasdaq Composite (+0.2%) slipped behind the broader market during afternoon action.

"Quiet" was the general theme on Monday as most global equity markets also posted gains while Japan's Nikkei and UK's FTSE were closed for holidays.

Seven of ten sectors finished in the green with financials (+1.0%) and utilities (+0.7%) ending in the lead. The countercyclical utilities sector lost the lead during the final hour while financials crept higher throughout the day, also overtaking the health care sector (+0.6%) during afternoon action.

Still, the health care space ended ahead of the broader market despite an intraday pullback in biotechnology. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 345.19, +1.19) was up more than 2.0% at the start, but narrowed its advance to 0.4% by the close. Furthermore, the ETF was pressured back below its 50-day moving average (349.00) after spiking above that level at the start.

Turning to the cyclical side, only the financial sector (+1.0%) could finish the day ahead of the S&P 500 while the other five growth-sensitive groups underperformed. The top-weighted technology sector (unch) spent the day behind the broader market with large cap names trading in mixed fashion. To that point, Google (GOOGL 552.84, +1.68) and IBM (IBM 173.97, +0.30) posted respective gains of 0.3% and 0.2% while Apple (AAPL 128.70, -0.25) and Microsoft (MSFT 48.24, -0.41) registered losses. Similarly, chipmakers lagged with the PHLX Semiconductor Index shedding 0.2%. The semiconductor index underperformed even as ON Semiconductor (ON 12.50, +0.69) spiked 5.8% following better than expected results.

On the downside, the energy sector (-0.2%) was an early leader, but the group surrendered its early gain during the opening hour and remained in negative territory until the close. Crude oil weighed, but the energy component managed to trim its loss to 0.3% by the close. WTI crude settled at $58.92/bbl, likely seeing some pressure from the second consecutive advance in the Dollar Index (95.43, +0.14).

Treasuries climbed during morning action, but reversed to lows following today's economic data with the 10-yr rising three basis points to 2.14%.

Today's participation was on the light side with fewer than 680 million shares changing hands at the NYSE floor.

Economic data was limited to the Factory Orders report for March, which increased 2.1% after declining a negatively revised 0.1% (from +0.2%) in February while the consensus expected an increase of 2.1%
  • The March gain was the first month-over-month increase since July 2014 with the bulk of the gain resulting from a 41.9% increase in March aircraft orders 
  • Durable goods orders were revised up to 4.4% from 4.0% reported in the advance estimate 
  • Excluding transportation, durable goods orders were revised up to +0.4% from -0.2% 
Tomorrow, the Trade Balance for March ( consensus -$40.00 billion) will be released at 8:30 ET while the April ISM Services report (consensus 56.4) will cross the wires at 10:00 ET.
  • Nasdaq Composite +5.9% YTD 
  • S&P 500 +2.7% YTD 
  • Russell 2000 +2.3% YTD 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +1.4% YTD


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