Day Traders Diary
The U.S. equity market started the week on a positive note as all three major indices--the S&P 500 (+0.2%), the Nasdaq (+0.3%), and the Dow (+0.4%)--finished Monday's session at new record highs. Half way through the month of October, the S&P 500 holds a month-to-date gain of 1.5%.
Financial stocks within the S&P 500 climbed 0.6% on Monday, bouncing back from last Thursday's modest post-earnings decline. JPMorgan Chase (JPM 97.84, +1.98) and Bank of America (BAC 26.24, +0.41) were among the strongest financial components, climbing 2.1% and 1.6%, respectively, followed closely by Goldman Sachs (GS 242.41, +3.88), which will report earnings on Tuesday morning.
Telecoms also retraced a portion of last week's losses in the first session of the week--albeit a relatively small portion. The S&P 500's lightest sector by weight added 0.8% on Monday, but that advance barely dented the group's October loss, which currently sits at 5.0%. AT&T (T 36.17, +0.47) had a good session, climbing 1.3%.
On the flip side, the influential health care sector started the week on the back foot, dropping 0.4%. The group opened in positive territory, but eventually slid into the red after President Trump reiterated his belief that drug prices are "out of control." Allergan (AGN 198.41, -7.11) showed particular weakness, losing 3.5%, after a U.S. judge invalidated patents on the company's dry-eye medication Restasis.
Like health care, transportation stocks also tumbled, sending the Dow Jones Transportation Average lower by 0.8%. Railroad giant CSX (CSX 52.84, +0.01) finished flat, however, ahead of its Tuesday morning earnings release. The S&P 500's industrial sector, which houses transports, added 0.2%.
Retailers underperformed on Monday, evidenced by the 0.7% decline in the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 39.73, -0.27). High-end department store retailer Nordstrom (JWN 40.40, -2.25) was hit particularly hard after the Nordstrom family announced that it is suspending efforts to take the company private until after the holiday season. JWN shares lost 5.3%.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 0.8% to $51.86 per barrel amid a conflict between Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. Afternoon reports indicated that the Iraqi army has taken full control of the city. The energy sector, which typically moves in tandem with the price of crude oil, finished higher by 0.2%.
U.S. Treasuries were weak from the start of the session and extended their losses in the afternoon after Bloomberg reported President Trump was impressed with John Taylor's interview for the potential Fed Chair vacancy. Mr. Taylor is an economist at Stanford University and is thought to be more hawkish than some of the other candidates in the running.
The yield on the benchmark 10-yr Treasury note climbed three basis points to 2.31% while the 2-year yield jumped four basis points to 1.54%.
Reviewing Monday's economic data, which was limited to the October Empire State Manufacturing Survey:
The Empire Manufacturing Survey for October rose to 30.2 from the prior month's reading of 24.4. The Briefing.com consensus estimate was pegged at 21.0.
On Tuesday, investors will receive several economic reports, including September Import/Export Prices at 8:30 ET, September Industrial Production (Briefing.com consensus 0.2%) and Capacity Utilization (Briefing.com consensus 76.1%) at 9:15 ET, and the October NAHB Housing Market Index (Briefing.com consensus 64) at 10:00 ET.
Also, a host of notable companies in addition to Goldman Sachs and CSX will report their quarterly results on Tuesday morning, including UnitedHealth (UNH 192.20, +0.68), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ 136.12, -0.31), and Morgan Stanley (MS 48.94, +0.64), among several others.
Nasdaq Composite +23.1% YTD
Dow Jones Industrial Average +16.2% YTD
S&P 500 +14.2% YTD
Russell 2000 +10.7% YTD