Day Traders Diary
The major averages ended Tuesday's session on a mixed note. The Nasdaq (+0.4%) finished out front, followed by the S&P 500 (unch) and the Dow (-0.2%).
Today's session got off to a flat start after some retailers and restaurants issued disappointing guidance. The cautions comments were shrugged off swiftly, as buyers pushed Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG 414.48, +19.42), Papa Murphy's (FRSH 4.54, +0.29), and Express (EXPR 10.78, +0.47) higher despite their negative guidance. The three names added between 4.6% and 6.8%, while the SPDR S&P 500 Retail ETF (XRT 44.33, +0.51) added 1.2%. Consumer discretionary (+0.4%) finished in line with financials (+0.4%) and just ahead of health care (+0.3%) atop the leaderboard. However, strength in those sectors could not prevent the S&P 500 from reversing off its high in the afternoon. The index returned to its flat line after a brief appearance above Friday's record close.
Health care marked its session high alongside the broader market around noon, but maintained that level while the rest of the market faced an afternoon retreat. The health care sector had some help from biotechnology, evidenced by the 0.8% increase in the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 286.48, +2.18).
Industrials (+0.3%) also outperformed, aided by an uptick in in airlines after Alaska Air (ALK 92.00, +4.53) reported better-than-expected December traffic data. The sector also received a boost from automakers, with General Motors (GM 37.35, +1.34) adding 3.7% in reaction to upside guidance for 2017.
Materials (+0.1%), telecom services (+0.1%), and the top-weighted technology (-0.1%) sector finished the trading day flat. The tech space ended with a slight loss even though strength in chipmakers sent the PHLX Semiconductor Index higher by 0.5%. The sector couldn't overcome lackluster performances from top components like IBM (IBM 165.52, -2.13) and Oracle (ORCL 38.66, -0.37). The two names finished lower by 1.3% and 1.0%, respectively.
Energy (-1.0%) was the only other cyclical sector to finish in negative territory. The space couldn't overcome crude oil's 2.2% retreat as the commodity finished its trading day at $50.82/bbl. Real estate was the only sector to finish below the energy sector, with a loss of 1.2%. Consumer staples (-0.6%) finished slightly better, while the utilities sector (-0.3%) ended closer to its flat line.
The Treasury market remained relatively flat throughout today's session. The 2-yr yield closed unchanged at 1.19%, while the 10-yr yield finished up one basis point at 2.38%.
Today's trading volume finished above the 50-day moving average as 1.17 billion shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.
Reviewing today's economic data:
Tomorrow's lone economic report is the MBA Mortgage Applications Index, which will be released at 7:00 ET.
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