Day Traders Diary



Stocks moved higher for the sixth session in a row on Tuesday, but trading was rather dull as the major indices largely trended sideways from start to finish. The Dow (+0.4), the S&P 500 (+0.2%), the Nasdaq (+0.2%), and the Russell 2000 (+0.2%) all finished at fresh record highs.

Automakers released their U.S. sales for the month of September on Tuesday. The numbers mostly showed solid year-over-year gains, thanks in part to hurricane-related vehicle replacement:

  • General Motors (GM 43.45, +1.30) sold 279,397 units (+12.0% YoY)
  • Ford Motor (F 12.34, +0.25) sold 222,248 units (+8.7% YoY)
  • Fiat Chrysler (FCAU 17.96, +0.01) sold 174,266 units (-10.0% YoY)
  • Toyota Motor (TM 120.34, +1.03) sold 226,632 units (+14.9% YoY)
  • Honda Motor (HMC 30.20, +0.42) sold 142,772 units (+6.8% YoY)

Outside of September, auto sales have been disappointing this year as demand cools following a seven-year run of increasing sales, which culminated in a record 17.6 million units sold in 2016.

On a related note, electric automaker Tesla (TSLA 348.14, +6.61) reported third-quarter figures, showing a year-over-year increase of 4.5% in the number of delivered vehicles (26,150). However, production of the company's new, lower-priced Model 3 sedan was just a fraction of what CEO Elon Musk projected. 

TSLA shares initially sold off following the news--holding a loss of 3.0% at their worst mark of the day--but eventually settled with a gain of 1.9%.

Airlines rallied on Tuesday, sending the U.S. Global Jets ETF (JETS 30.94, +1.22) higher by 4.1%, after Delta Air Lines (DAL 51.25, +3.18) reaffirmed its third-quarter unit revenue and margin guidance, excluding the costs associated with Hurricane Irma, which struck its Atlanta Hub last month. DAL shares added 6.6%.

In Washington, Wells Fargo (WFC 55.58, +0.11) CEO Timothy Sloan and former Equifax (EFX 110.45, +2.64) CEO Richard Smith testified before Congress on Tuesday in regards to their respective controversies; Mr. Smith answered questions regarding Equifax's recent data breach while Mr. Sloan was grilled on Wells Fargo's fake-account scandal.

Chipmakers as a whole performed roughly in line with the broader market, evidenced by the PHLX Semiconductor Index (+0.3%), but Advanced Micro (AMD 13.42, +0.71) surged 5.6% following vague M&A speculation. Dow component Intel (INTC 39.38, +0.34) also outperformed, notching its fourth-consecutive victory with a gain of 0.9%.

On the earnings front, homebuilder Lennar (LEN 55.35, +2.53) jumped 4.8% after beating bottom-line estimates. 

Elsewhere, U.S. Treasuries moved modestly higher on Tuesday, leaving yields in the red; the benchmark 10-yr yield dropped one basis point to 2.33%. Meanwhile, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 9.57, +0.12) climbed 1.3%, but still managed to settle below the historically-low 10.00 mark.

Investors did not receive any economic data on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, market participants will receive the weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index at 7:00 ET, the September ADP Employment Change Report ( consensus 160K) at 8:15 ET, and the September ISM Services Index ( consensus 55.3) at 10:00 ET.


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