Day Traders Diary


The stock market began the week on a lower note with the S&P 500 surrendering 0.4% while the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) outperformed slightly.


Overall, the Monday affair was very quiet with many investors sticking to the sidelines ahead of Thursday's FOMC policy announcement, which could feature a fed funds rate hike. To that point, fewer than 800 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor versus a 20-day average of 984 million.


A cautious tone was set during overnight action after China and Japan both released disappointing industrial production reports. Equity bulls attempted to turn the tide during European action, but their efforts were not successful with the selling spilling into the U.S. session.


The key indices hit their lows shortly after 13:00 ET and remained near those levels until the close. Nine sectors registered losses while the utilities space (+0.3%) eked out a slim gain, which was aided by strength in Treasuries that sent the 10-yr yield lower by two basis points to 2.17%.


On the downside, energy (-0.8%) and materials (-1.3%) spent the day behind the remaining sectors, responding to general weakness in the commodity market. To that point, crude oil gave up 1.5%, sliding to $44.07/bbl while copper (-1.6% to $2.41/lb) and silver (-1.0% to $14.36/ozt) also posted losses. Gold was an outlier, climbing 0.4% to $1107.70/ozt. Mining stocks saw some intraday strength in response, but the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX 13.12, -0.09) lost 0.7%.


Elsewhere among influential sectors, financials (-0.3%), health care (-0.4%), and technology (-0.3%) settled near the broader market.


The top-weighted tech sector spent the day just ahead of the benchmark index thanks to a 1.0% spike in the shares of Apple (AAPL 115.30, +1.09) after the company's spokesman said iPhone pre-orders are on pace to top last year's weekend sales record. However, it is worth noting that the forecast presented by Apple includes sales from China while last year's iPhone release was not available in China during the first weekend.


Unlike Apple, most of the remaining large cap tech components registered losses while high-beta chipmakers outperformed. The PHLX Semiconductor Index added 0.3% with roughly 2/3 of its components ending in the green.


On a separate note, Solera (SLH 53.66, +4.21) spiked 8.5% after agreeing to be acquired by Vista Equity Partners for $55.85/share in cash, which translates to roughly $6.50 billion. Investors did not receive any economic data today.


Tomorrow, August Retail Sales ( consensus 0.3%) and the September Empire Manufacturing Index (consensus 0.3) will be reported at 8:30 ET while August Industrial Production (consensus -0.2%) and Capacity Utilization (expected 77.8%) will cross the wires at 9:15 ET. The day's data will be topped off with the 10:00 ET release of the Business Inventories report for July (expected 0.1%).


Nasdaq Composite +1.5% YTD

Russell 2000 -4.3% YTD

S&P 500 -5.1% YTD

Dow Jones Industrial Average -8.2% YTD

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