Day Traders Diary



Equities got off to a good start this morning, climbing to fresh record highs right off the bat, but have since squandered much of their opening gains. The S&P 500 and the Dow are currently up 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively, but held gains of 0.4% apiece at their best marks of the day. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq underperforms, showing a loss of 0.1%.

Only three of the S&P 500's eleven sectors hold losses this afternoon, however, the three laggards are relatively influential groups and have largely mitigated the gains of the eight advancers. The technology sector is the heaviest of the S&P 500's eleven groups and holds the widest decline in today's session, showing a loss of 0.3%.

Meanwhile, the health care and consumer discretionary sectors are down 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively. Health insurers are among the weakest health care components after President Trump tweeted that he will soon be signing an executive order on health care. Amazon (AMZN 983.95, -7.04) weighs on the consumer discretionary sector, due in part to Wal-Mart's (WMT 84.39, +3.85) latest announcement. 

Wal-Mart is up 4.7%, hovering at its best level since February 2015, after forecasting that its U.S. online sales would rise by about 40.0% in the next fiscal year. Today's news was preceded by Monday's announcement that the big-box retailer is launching a simplified in-store return service for its customers--an attempt to leverage its brick-and-mortar locations as a competitive advantage.

In other corporate news, Procter & Gamble (PG 91.00, -1.12) shareholders voted against giving activist investor Nelson Peltz, who is seeking to reorganize P&G, a seat on the company's board. P&G shares were up 0.7% ahead of the announcement and now trade lower by 1.2%.

The consumer staples space (+0.8%), which houses both P&G and Wal-Mart, hovers with the utilities group (+0.9%) at the top of today's sector standings. The energy space is also trading comfortably ahead of the broader market, sporting a gain of 0.6%.

Energy stocks have benefited from an increase in the price of crude oil, which is up 2.9% at $51.00 per barrel following news that Saudi Arabia plans to cut its monthly exports in November by 7.0% compared with the same period last year. 

In the bond market, U.S. Treasuries are higher across the curve, sending the benchmark 10-yr yield three basis points lower to 2.34%.

Investors did not receive any economic data of note on Tuesday.

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