Day Traders Diary
Stocks were restricted to a pretty narrow range on Thursday as investors continued to chew on the GOP's tax reform outline--which was released in the prior session. The Dow (+0.2%), the Nasdaq (unch), and the S&P 500 (+0.1%) all settled with slim gains, but only the S&P 500 managed close at a new all-time high (2,510.06).
The benchmark index was not alone in finishing at a new record high, however, as the Dow Jones Transportation Average (+0.5%), the Russell 2000 (+0.3%), and the S&P MidCap 400 (+0.2%) also rewrote their respective record-high closing marks.
Conviction was weak at the macro level on Thursday, but there were several individual movers of note. For instance, Dow component McDonald's (MCD 157.49, +3.44) climbed 2.2% after Longbow Research upgraded the company's shares to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' on Thursday morning.
Health care giants AbbVie (ABBV 88.96, +4.21) and Abbott Labs (ABT 53.64, +1.49) touched new record highs, ending the day with gains of 5.0% and 2.9%, respectively. AbbVie rallied after reaching a settlement with Amgen (AMGN 185.46, +0.58) regarding the intellectual property rights of AbbVie's blockbuster drug Humira.
Meanwhile, ABT shares climbed after the FDA approved a new Abbott device that is able to monitor blood sugar levels without drawing blood.
On the flip side, Gilead Sciences (GILD 80.91, -2.95) dropped 3.5% after COO Kevin Young announced his plan to retire on Wednesday evening and RBC said that the consensus HCV estimate likely needs to come down. Mr. Young will remain with the company through the first quarter of 2018 and in an advisory capacity thereafter.
Roku (ROKU 23.50, +9.50) had a solid first day trading on the Nasdaq exchange, settling 67.9% above its IPO price of $14.00 per share. The company makes devices that allow its customers to stream media from the internet to their TVs--similar to Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick, and Google Chromecast.
On the earnings front, BlackBerry (BBRY 10.47, +1.24) surged 13.4% after beating both top and bottom line estimates and issuing above-consensus guidance for fiscal year 2018. Conversely, Rite Aid (RAD 2.03, -0.25) plunged 11.0%, hitting its lowest level in more than four years, after missing revenue estimates.
Out of the S&P 500's 11 sectors, only two finished in negative territory--consumer discretionary (unch) and industrials (-0.1%). As for the rest, seven finished with gains of no more than 0.3% while the lightly-weighted materials (+0.7%) and real estate (+0.6%) groups exhibited relative strength.
In the bond market, shorter-dated issues finished Thursday in the green, overcoming early weakness; the yield on the 2-yr Treasury note slipped two basis points to 1.45%, but traded around 1.48% in the early morning. Meanwhile, the benchmark 10-yr yield settled flat at 2.31% after hovering around 2.33% at the opening bell.
Reviewing Thursday's batch of economic data, which included the third estimate of second quarter GDP, weekly Initial Claims, and Advance International Trade in Goods for August:
On Friday, investors will receive several pieces of economic data, including August Personal Income (Briefing.com consensus +0.2), Personal Spending (Briefing.com consensus +0.1%), and core PCE Prices (Briefing.com consensus +0.2%) at 8:30 ET, September Chicago PMI (Briefing.com consensus 58.0) at 9:45 ET, and the final reading of the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for September (Briefing.com consensus 95.4) at 10:00 ET.
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