Day Traders Diary
[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended its Wednesday affair on a mixed note as the major indices moved higher following the March policy statement from the Federal Open Market Committee. Other contributing factors to today's trade included below-consensus quarterly results from Apple (AAPL 97.82, -6.53), the underperformance of the technology sector (-0.8%), and a rally in crude oil. The Nasdaq Composite (-0.5%) ended its day behind the S&P 500 (+0.2%) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.3%).
The stock market opened its day on a lower note as disappointing results and guidance from the likes of Apple (AAPL 97.82, -6.53) and Twitter (TWTR 14.86, -2.89) pressured the heavily-weighted technology sector (-0.8%) and the tech-heavy Nasdaq. However, the major averages were able to lift from their opening levels as investors eyed an uptick in oil and the impending rate decision from the FOMC.
The stock market carved out session lows mid-morning as participants weighed the latest stockpile data from the Department of Energy. The weekly inventory report showed a smaller-than-expected build in crude inventories (1.99 million barrels; est. 2.36 million), but a larger-than-expected build in gasoline stockpiles (1.60 million barrels; est. -0.40 million). WTI crude initially tumbled following the data, but reversed off its low ($43.88/bbl). The energy component ended its day higher by 2.9% at $45.21/bbl.
The latest policy directive from the FOMC struck a dovish tone and in turn helped the averages continue their advance off their lows. The FOMC voted 9-1 to leave its key interest rate unchanged. Furthermore, the committee voiced its concern for slowing economic conditions and diminishing inflation expectations in the near term.
Seven sectors ended above their flat lines as countercyclical telecom services (+1.9%) led energy (+1.7%) and utilities (+1.4%). Conversely, heavily-weighted technology (-0.8%), consumer discretionary (-0.1%) and health care (-0.1%) rounded out the board.
The energy space (+1.7%) demonstrated broad-based strength as pipeline companies, oilfield services names, and independent oil and gas companies gained. Conversely, ConocoPhillips (COP 48.11, +0.03) underperformed the broader market ahead of tomorrow morning's quarterly report. Meanwhile, Baker Hughes (BHI 46.94, +1.14) jumped 2.5% after reporting below-consensus results for the first quarter. In its report, Baker Hughes also estimated that its U.S. rig count would not stabilize until the second half 2016.
Influential technology (-0.8%) ended well off its low as the high-beta chipmakers outperformed. To that point, the PHLX Semiconductor Index ended higher by 1.0%. Meanwhile, Apple (AAPL 97.82, -6.53) finished off its lows as investors weighed a 10.0% increase to the stock's dividend and a $175 billion addition to the company's share buyback program. Separately, Facebook (FB 108.89, +0.13) ended higher by 0.1% ahead of this evening's quarterly earnings report.
In the health care space (-0.1%), Anthem (ANTM 144.76, -2.31) displayed relative weakness after disappointing investors with its 2016 guidance. However, the company did beat top- and bottom-line estimates for the first quarter. Elsewhere, biotechnology underperformed, evidenced by the 1.4% decline in the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 277.49, -3.91).
The U.S. Dollar Index (94.50, -0.07) ended near its flat line as participants look ahead to the latest policy statement from the Bank of Japan. The euro/dollar pairs ended at 1.1313 (+0.2%) while the dollar finished higher by 0.2% against the yen (111.52).
The Treasury complex ended its day near its high with the yield on the 10-yr note falling seven basis point to 1.86%.
Today's participation was above the recent average with more than 971 million shares changing hands on the NYSE floor.
Today's economic data included March Pending Home Sales:
Tomorrow's economic data will include the advance reading of Q1 GDP (Briefing.com consensus +0.9%) and weekly initial claims (Briefing.com consensus 259k), which will each cross the wires at 8:30 ET.
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