Day Traders Diary


The major averages closed Wednesday's session in the green with the S&P 500 adding 0.3%. The Dow outperformed the benchmark index with a 0.5% gain.


The stock market held a modest gain going into President-elect Trump's first news conference since winning the presidential election. However, the market gave back all of its gains and more after Mr. Trump expressed a desire to bring back pharmaceutical operations to the United States and voiced support for competitive drug price bidding. The biotechnology industry plunged immediately, with the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 278.04, -8.31) closing lower by 3.0%. Most sectors returned to or above their pre-conference levels in the afternoon, but health care (-1.0%) could not overcome biotechnology's sizable blow. Investors hoping to hear about President-elect's infrastructure spending plans came away empty handed.


Telecom services (-0.5%) and real estate (-0.5%) also finished in negative territory, while the remaining eight spaces closed in the green. Energy (+1.2%) topped the day's leaderboard, piggybacking on crude oil's climb. The commodity finished higher by 2.7% at 52.20/bbl amid reports that Saudi Arabia, the world's top exporter, plans to cut supply to Asia. Crude extended its gain despite a big inventory build that was revealed by the latest stockpile data.


The top-weighted technology space (+0.7%) also finished near the top of the standings after an afternoon push from some of its top components. For instance, Apple (AAPL 119.75, +0.64), Facebook (FB 126.09, +1.74), and IBM (IBM 167.75, +2.23) advanced between 0.6% and 2.2%. Chipmakers also provided a boost as the PHLX semiconductor Index closed up 0.4%.


Financials (+0.5%) erased their week-to-date loss that was carried into Wednesday's session. The sector rallied to a session high during late afternoon action.


Cyclical sectors have a commanding lead for the week, as five of the six are in positive territory. Materials and technology set the pace with week-to-date gains of 0.9% and 0.7%, respectively. Conversely, all five defensive sectors are posting week-to-date losses with real estate (-2.4%) leading the retreat.


U.S. Treasuries finished the trading day modestly higher after the Treasury's $20 billion 10-year reopening auction drew a high yield of 2.342% on a bid-to-cover of 2.58x. The 10-yr yield closed one basis point lower at 2.37%.


Wednesday's lone economic report was the MBA Mortgage Index, which increased 5.8%.


Tomorrow's economic data will include December Import/Export Prices and Initial Claims ( consensus 235k) at 8:30 am ET, followed by the Treasury Budget at 2:00 pm ET.


Russell 2000 +1.2% YTD

Dow Jones Industrial Average +1.0% YTD

S&P 500 +1.6% YTD

Nasdaq Composite +3.4% YTD

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