Day Traders Diary


The major averages snapped their four-day win streak on Wednesday as the market slipped into the red during afternoon action. It is worth noting that the late slip occurred amid reports of protesters clashing with riot gear-clad police in Syntagma Square in Athens ahead of this evening's parliamentary vote on the debt agreement with the eurozone. The S&P 500 shed 0.1% to narrow its weekly gain to 1.5%.

Equity indices started the day near their flat lines, seeing little reaction to a busy overnight session that featured the release of China's Q2 GDP (+7.0% year-over-year; consensus 6.9%) and news that the Bank of Japan lowered its GDP forecast for the fiscal year to 1.7% from 2.0%.

Stocks climbed out of the gate, but the S&P 500 could not extend too far above its flat line as most sectors displayed early losses; however, relative strength in financials (+0.8%), health care (+0.1%), and technology (+0.1%) kept the market in positive territory into the afternoon.

The financial sector held the lead throughout the session thanks to support from three large components. Specifically, Bank of America (BAC 17.68, +0.55) PNC (PNC 98.32, +0.82), and U.S. Bancorp (USB 45.53, +1.65) gained between 0.8% and 3.8% after reporting earnings. Bank of America and PNC reported better than expected results while U.S. Bancorp's report was in-line with estimates.

Unlike financials, the other two pockets of early strength could not hold gains into the afternoon. The health care sector ended right below its flat line, which masked relative strength in biotechnology. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 390.76, +2.82) added 0.7% after being up as much as 2.3% in the early going. Still, the industry group finished ahead of the broader market thanks to a 7.0% spike in Celgene (CELG 131.39, +8.54) after the company raised its guidance and announced the acquisition of Receptos (RCPT 230.08, +22.90) for $232/share in cash.

The intraday strength in biotechnology kept the Nasdaq Composite in the lead, but the index slipped behind the S&P 500 during afternoon action. The top-weighted tech sector (+0.1%) held up relatively well thanks to a 1.0% gain in the shares of Apple (AAPL 126.82, +1.21), but high-beta chipmakers struggled with the PHLX Semiconductor Index falling 0.6%. Industry heavyweight—Intel (INTC 29.70, +0.05)—fared better than its counterparts, adding 0.2% ahead of its quarterly report.

Elsewhere, the energy sector (-1.6%) spent the day behind the remaining groups, dropping to lows in late afternoon action. The growth-sensitive group was pressured by crude oil, which fell 3.1% to $51.40/bbl.

In all likelihood, greenback strength was a headwind for oil as the Dollar Index (97.15, +0.50) climbed 0.5%. The index spiked above its overnight high after the release of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's prepared remarks to the House Financial Services Committee. The testimony was largely uneventful with Ms. Yellen reiterating the Fed's intention to begin raising the fed funds rate in 2015 if economic conditions hold up.

Treasuries set their lows after the release of Chair Yellen's prepared remarks before advancing into the afternoon with the 10-yr yield falling five basis points to 2.35%.

Today's trading volume was ahead of totals observed earlier in the week as more than 750 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

Economic data included PPI, Empire Manufacturing survey, Industrial Production, and the MBA Mortgage Index:

Producer prices increased 0.4% in June after increasing 0.5% in May while the Consensus expected an increase of 0.3% 

Gasoline prices increased 4.3% in June after a 17.0% gain in May

Food prices rose 0.6% in June, down from a 0.8% increase in May

Excluding food and energy, core PPI increased 0.3% in June after increasing 0.1% in May while the consensus expected an increase of 0.1%

The Empire Manufacturing Survey for July registered a reading of 3.9, which was above the prior month's reading of -2.0 and above the consensus estimate, which was pegged at 3.0

Industrial production increased 0.3% in June after declining 0.2% in May while the consensus expected an increase of 0.2% 

That was the first increase since a 0.2% gain in March, and the largest increase since a 1.1% gain in November 2014 

The increase in industrial production came from a combination of warmer temperatures and higher energy prices, not a pickup in demand from the manufacturing sector

The weekly MBA Mortgage Index fell 1.9% to follow last week's 4.6% increase

Tomorrow, weekly Initial Claims ( consensus 283K) will be reported at 8:30 ET while the Philadelphia Fed Survey for July (consensus 12.0) and July NAHB Housing Market Index (expected 59) will both be released at 10:00 ET.


Nasdaq Composite +7.7% YTD

Russell 2000 +5.1% YTD

S&P 500 +2.4% YTD

Dow Jones Industrial Average +1.3% YTD

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