Day Traders Diary
The stock market ended an upbeat week on a higher note as the major averages soared to new all-time highs. The broader market maintained its bullish posture as investors examined a hodgepodge of quarterly earnings reports. Other focal points impacting today's trade included strengthening in the dollar, weakness from the oil pit, and key sector leadership from the technology (+0.5%), consumer discretionary (+0.5%), and financial (+0.6%) sectors. The Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) finished in-line with the S&P 500 (+0.5%) and ahead of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.3%).
Equity indices began the day on a choppy note as participants eyed a relatively flat finish in global bourses. Across the pond, the first batch of post-Brexit regional PMI readings came in on a mixed note as the United Kingdom's July Manufacturing PMI (49.1; last: 52.1) and July Services PMI (47.4; expected last: 52.3) each showed noticeable contractions. On the flipside, eurozone PMI fared better, but July Manufacturing PMI (51.9; last: 52.8) and July Services PMI (52.7; last: 52.8) both declined from their June readings.
The benchmark index slipped during the first hour of trade, finding its bearings after the preliminary reading of U.S. Markit Manufacturing PMI (52.9; last: 51.3) for July came in better than expected. The major averages rallied off their opening low as heavily-weighted industrials (+0.1%) and technology (+0.5%) erased their opening losses. All ten sectors finished in the green as financials (+0.6%), telecom services (+1.3%), and utilities (+1.3%) led the pack. The remaining gainers ended with upticks between 0.1% (industrials) and 0.5% (consumer discretionary).
The financial sector (+0.6%) extended its weekly gain to 0.7%, compared to a gain of 0.6% in the benchmark index. In the group, asset management companies outperformed as they rebounded alongside Bank of New York Mellon (BK 39.19, +0.59). Additionally, Dow component American Express (AXP 64.28, +0.85) outperformed as it rebounded in sympathy with Visa (V 79.91, +1.12). The credit service name beat bottom-line estimates for the quarter and announced an additional $5 billion in share buybacks. Separately, E*TRADE (ETFC 25.81, +0.59) climbed 2.3% as investors responded to a 10.5% increase in revenue year-over-year.
The consumer discretionary space (+0.5%) outperformed as restaurant names gained alongside Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG 442.48, +24.41). The stock rallied 5.8% after reporting better-than-feared quarterly results. Elsewhere, Panera Bread (PNRA 215.54, +5.59) and Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD 140.77, +6.12) gained 2.7% and 4.6%, respectively. The two names are slated to report earnings next Tuesday. On the flipside, 21st Century Fox (FOXA 27.11, -0.07) underperformed after Fox News CEO Roger Ailes resigned from his position.
In the technology space (+0.5%), Dow component Microsoft (MSFT 56.57, +0.77) outperformed, extending its weekly advance to 5.3%. The high-beta chipmakers ended the day in-line with the broader sector as the group moved higher in sympathy with Advanced Micro (AMD 5.84, +0.62). The stock spiked 11.9% after beating estimates for the quarter and raising its third-quarter outlook. On the flipside, Skyworks (SWKS 64.81, -6.11) underperformed as inventory fears outweighed positive quarterly results.
The heavily-weighted industrial sector (+0.1%) finished above its flat line as rail names and airlines rebounded. Union Pacific (UNP 92.85, +1.92) jumped 2.1% after falling 3.4% yesterday. Dow component General Electric (GE 32.06, -0.53) rounded out the price-weighted index after reporting a 16.0% loss in organic orders. Elsewhere, Honeywell (HON 115.61, -3.05) finished lower by 2.6% after its top line failed to impress investors.
The U.S. Dollar Index (97.36, +0.36) settled higher as the yen, euro, and pound each slipped against the greenback. The dollar/yen pair finished higher by 0.2% (106.07) while the single currency ticked lower by 0.4% against the buck (1.0978). Separately, sterling fell 1.0% against the dollar (1.3098).
The Treasury complex finished on a mixed note with the yield on the 10-yr note rising one basis point to 1.56%.
Today's trading volume was below the recent average as fewer than 733 million shares changed hands on the NYSE floor.
There was no economic data of note released today. Monday's economic calendar will also be empty, but data will pick up later in the week with a Wednesday release of the FOMC's July Policy Statement.
Week in Review: Stocks Climb to Record(er) Highs
The stock market flirted with its first weekly decline in four weeks, but steady buying interest on Friday helped equities secure yet another round of weekly gains. The S&P 500 added 0.6% while the Nasdaq Composite (+1.4%) outperformed.
Quarterly earnings were in focus throughout the week, but more results will be released in coming weeks with 75.4% of S&P 500 members still due to report their earnings. So far, blended earnings for the second quarter are down 3.6% with energy (-78.2%) and materials (-10.1%) showing the largest blended declines while sectors like telecom services (+6.1%) and consumer discretionary (+8.5%) have shown blended earnings growth.
Next week will feature more quarterly reports, but central banks will be back in the spotlight, starting with a Wednesday policy statement from the Federal Reserve. The Fed will be followed by the Bank of Japan, which will announce the results of its meeting on Friday.
Investors have not shown much concern about the upcoming Fed meeting, considering the fed funds futures market implies just a 2.4% chance of a rate hike being announced on Wednesday. Rate hike expectations for the next two meetings remain subdued while the implied probability of a rate hike in December sits at 47.8%.
Russell 2000 +6.8% YTD
Dow Jones +6.6% YTD
S&P 500 +6.4 YTD
Nasdaq Composite +1.9%
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