Day Traders Diary
The stock market looked like it might reclaim yesterday's downtick late on Tuesday afternoon, but a sell-off in the final minutes pulled the major U.S. indices off their best marks of the day, leaving the S&P 500 with a loss of 0.3%. The Nasdaq (-0.3%) and the Dow (-0.2%) settled roughly in line with the benchmark index.
A risk-off tone was present even before Tuesday's opening bell as investors eyed several upcoming macro events, including the UK general election, the European Central Bank meeting, and former FBI director James Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. All three events will take place on Thursday.
With these concerns lingering in the background, equities opened the session modestly lower while 'safe-haven' assets like the Japanese yen (109.50, +0.9%), gold ($1,297.30/ozt, +1.1%), and U.S. Treasuries showed strength. The benchmark 10-yr yield, which moves inversely to the price of the 10-yr Treasury note, slipped four basis points to 2.14%.
However, despite investors' caution, the equity market kept its loss to a minimum throughout most of Tuesday's session. The technology sector (-0.2%) played a huge role in keeping the broader market afloat for most of the day, thanks in large part to influential names like Apple (AAPL 154.45, +0.52), Microsoft (MSFT 72.52, +0.24), Alphabet (GOOGL 996.68, -7.20), and Facebook (FB 152.81, -0.82). Unfortunately, however, the aforementioned companies faded into the closing bell.
Without the tech sector propping up the broader market, the bears took control in the final stretch, dragging the major averages from their flat lines to fresh session lows. The consumer discretionary sector (-0.8%) led the retreat amid broad weakness. Like the previously mentioned tech companies, the consumer discretionary group's most influential component, Amazon (AMZN 1003.00, -8.34), rolled over on its early gain, settling with a loss of 0.8%.
Retailers also made things difficult for the consumer discretionary space, evidenced by the 2.2% decline in the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 40.39, -0.90). Another largely disappointing batch of earnings reports weighed on the retail industry from the jump, and things only got worse after Macy's (M 21.90, -1.96) warned that its gross margins for the fiscal year could be below its prior forecast.
Like consumer discretionary, the industrial sector (-0.6%) also underperformed amid broad weakness. The financial sector (-0.4%) was on track for a notable loss in early action, but eventually pulled itself together to finish just a step below the broader market. Most of the remaining laggards, including health care (-0.3%), consumer staples (-0.3%), utilities (-0.2%) and real estate (-0.4%), also finished roughly in line with the broader market.
On a positive note, the energy sector (+1.2%) registered a solid gain amid a positive performance from crude oil. The commodity held a modest loss throughout much of the morning session as concerns surrounding tensions in the Middle East continued to weigh. However, those concerns waned later in the day as investors turned their attention to tonight's inventory report from the American Petroleum Institute (API), which will be released at 16:30 ET. WTI crude finished higher by 1.5% at $48.13/bbl.
Investors received only one economic report--April JOLTS--on Tuesday:
The April Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showed that job openings increased to 6.044 million from a revised 5.785 million (from 5.743 million) in March.
Tomorrow, investors will receive the weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index and April Consumer Credit (Briefing.com consensus $15.0 billion). The two reports will cross the wires at 7:00 ET and 15:00 ET, respectively.
Nasdaq Composite +16.6% YTD
S&P 500 +8.5% YTD
Dow Jones Industrial Average +7.0% YTD
Russell 2000 +2.8% YTD