Day Traders Diary


 The stock market rebounded from six days of consecutive losses on Wednesday with the S&P 500 spiking 3.9%. The benchmark index narrowed its weekly loss to 1.5% while the Nasdaq gained 4.2%, trimming this week's decline to 0.2%.

Equity indices began the day on a higher note after index futures rallied during overnight action. That advance occurred even as China's Shanghai Composite lost 1.3%, seeing little response to yesterday's rate cut from the People's Bank of China.

Once the trading day begun, the key indices spent the first three hours of action in a slow slide from their highs. The market saw little immediate reaction to comments from FOMC vice Chair William Dudley, who said that a case for a rate hike in September seems less compelling than it was a few weeks ago.

Despite the comments from Mr. Dudley, the market continued dripping from highs, but the S&P 500 was able to reverse course upon hitting the 1,880 level. Although there was nothing special about that mark, it is worth noting that the turn occurred as the dollar began rallying against the euro and yen, suggesting the return of carry flows. The greenback continued climbing alongside equities into the late afternoon, pushing the Dollar Index higher by 0.7%.

On a related note, Treasuries retreated during morning action and saw a second slide in the afternoon that sent the benchmark 10-yr yield higher by 12 basis points to 2.19%.

The considerable spike in yields kept the utilities sector (+1.7%) behind the broader market while the remaining nine groups gained between 2.8% and 5.3%.

The technology sector (+5.3%) finished in the lead after showing relative strength throughout the trading day. Large cap names like Apple (AAPL 109.62, +5.89), Facebook (FB 87.19, +4.19), and Google (GOOGL 659.74, +47.27) spiked between 5.1% and 7.7% while high-beta chipmakers also outperformed. The PHLX Semiconductor Index jumped 5.1% with all 30 components posting gains. Thanks to today's surge, the SOX index is now up 1.6% for the week.

Elsewhere, the health care sector (+4.3%) finished in second place, thanks in part to the relative strength in biotechnology. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 341.75, +16.49) spiked 5.1%, turning this week's loss into a 0.6% week-to-date gain.

Also of note, the energy sector (+3.5%) settled not far behind the broader market even though crude oil surrendered 1.6%, falling to $38.68/bbl. There was some M&A activity in the sector that may have been lost in the shuffle as Cameron (CAM 59.93, +17.46) surged 41.1% after agreeing to be acquired by Schlumberger (SLB 70.09, -2.43) for $14.80 billion in cash and stock, which translates to roughly $66.36/share.

Today's participation was well above average with more than 1.25 billion shares changing hands at the NYSE floor.

Economic data was limited to Durable Orders and MBA Mortgage Index:

Durable goods orders increased 2.0% in July after increasing an upwardly revised 4.1% (from 3.4%) in June while the consensus expected a decline of 0.6%

A big reason for the upside surprise came from the automotive sector as orders for motor vehicles and parts products rose 4.0% in July after increasing 0.8% in June.

Aircraft orders, which were expected to push overall durable goods orders into negative territory, declined a relatively modest 7.8%. That drop was easily offset by the aforementioned increase in motor vehicle orders

Excluding transportation, durable goods orders increased 0.6% in July after increasing an upwardly revised 1.0% (from 0.6%) in June while the consensus expected an increase of 0.4%

The weekly MBA Mortgage Index ticked up 0.2% to follow last week's 3.6% increase

Tomorrow, weekly Initial Claims ( consensus 275K) and the second estimate of Q2 GDP (consensus 3.1%) will be released at 8:30 ET while the Pending Home Sales report for July (expected 1.0%) will cross the wires at 10:00 ET.


Nasdaq Composite -0.8% YTD

S&P 500 -5.8% YTD

Russell 2000 -6.0% YTD

Dow Jones Industrial Average -8.6% YTD

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