Day Traders Diary


 The stock market began the trading week on a cautious note with the S&P 500 shedding 0.1%. The benchmark index surrendered its opening gain, ending in the middle of its trading range while the Dow (-0.2%) and Nasdaq (-0.1%) registered comparable losses.


Overall, the Monday session was very quiet with some market participants likely getting a head start on the Thanksgiving holiday. With that in mind, it wouldn't be surprising to see below average trading volume for the remainder of the week. As for today, roughly 820 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.


Equities climbed at the start with the early move supported by three sectors in particular. The energy sector (+0.7%) displayed some early volatility, but ended among the leaders even though crude oil slipped 0.3% to $41.78/bbl after making a brief appearance above $42.50/bbl. WTI crude briefly spiked in the morning after Saudi officials indicated their intent to stabilize the global energy market, but the energy component was back near its flat line in short order.


Elsewhere among cyclical sectors, consumer discretionary (+0.4%) and materials (+0.1%) also settled ahead of the broader market. The discretionary sector benefitted from strength among retailers with SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 44.58, +0.42) climbing 1.0% to mask a 4.2% dive in the shares of GameStop (GME 37.61, -1.65) after the company missed earnings/revenue estimates and guided below analyst expectations.


Similarly, the consumer staples sector (+0.8%) also settled well ahead of the broader market. The countercyclical group was underpinned by Tyson Foods (TSN 48.09, +4.44) after the company's better than expected revenue and upbeat earnings guidance overshadowed below-consensus earnings.


Staying on the countercyclical side, the health care sector (-0.2%) could not stay out of the red while biotechnology outperformed with iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 335.92, +2.43) climbing 0.7%. As for health care, the sector was unable to overcome losses in Allergan (AGN 301.72, -10.74) and Pfizer (PFE 31.33, -0.85) after the two agreed to a $150 billion merger.


Treasuries held modest losses during overnight action, but an intraday rally placed the 10-yr note on its high with the 10-yr yield slipping two basis points to 2.25%.


Today's economic data was limited to the October Existing Home Sales report, which fell 3.4% from September to an annualized rate of 5.36 million units while the consensus expected a reading of 5.50 million.


Notably, sales did not increase in any regions. The Northeast was unchanged, the Midwest was down 0.8%, the South was down 3.2%, and the West down 8.7%. Median sales prices, meanwhile, were up in all regions year-over-year. The West led the way there with an 8.0% gain followed by the South (+6.2%), the Midwest (+5.7%), and the Northeast (+1.3%). Overall, the median price of an existing home increased 5.8% to $219,600.


Tomorrow, the second estimate of Q3 GDP will be released at 8:30 ET ( consensus 2.0%) while September Case-Shiller 20-city Index (expected 5.2%) and November Consumer Confidence (consensus 99.6) will be reported at 9:00 ET and 10:00 ET, respectively.


Nasdaq Composite +7.7% YTD

S&P 500 +1.4% YTD

Dow Jones Industrial Average -0.2% YTD

Russell 2000 -1.9% YTD

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