Day Traders Diary



Equities quietly climbed to new all-time highs on Monday, with technology and energy shares pacing the advance.

The Dow and the S&P 500 added 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively, to finish at new record highs for the second session in a row. The tech-heavy Nasdaq did not rewrite its record mark, but it did outpace its peers with a gain of 0.5%. Conversely, the small-cap Russell 2000 underperformed, losing 0.1%.

Headlines were few and far between on Monday following a quiet weekend and ahead of a handful of central bank policy meetings. The Fed is expected to raise the fed funds target range by 25 basis points on Wednesday, while the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan, both of which meet on Thursday, are expected to leave their key policy rates unchanged.

Tax reform remained on investors' minds, even though there weren't any new developments of note. Republicans hope to send a finalized bill to the White House before December 22.

The top-weighted technology sector, which comprises nearly a quarter of the broader market, was among the top-performing groups on Monday, settling with a gain of 0.8%. Apple (AAPL 172.67, +3.30) and Microsoft (MSFT 85.23, +1.07) were big contributors, adding 2.0% and 1.3%, respectively.

Energy shares also outperformed, underpinned by an increase in the price of crude oil; West Texas Intermediate crude futures climbed 1.1% to $57.98 per barrel. The energy sector jumped 0.7%, with Dow components Chevron (CVX 120.42, +0.50) and Exxon Mobil (XOM 83.03, +0.37) adding 0.4% and 0.5%, respectively.

It's also worth pointing out that telecoms rallied on Monday, thanks in large part to CenturyLink (CTL 15.87, +1.20), which jumped 8.2% after numerous insiders, including CEO Glen Post, bought a total of 188,500 shares last week.

On the downside, the financials and industrials sectors finished at the bottom of the sector standings, losing 0.2% apiece. Within the financial group, lenders suffered at the hand of another curve-flattening trade in the U.S. Treasury market, which cut the 2yr-10yr spread by two basis points.

The yield on the benchmark 10-yr Treasury note finished flat at 2.39%, while the 2-yr yield climbed two basis points to 1.82%. 

Elsewhere, equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region advanced on Monday, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+1.1%) leading the charge, while the major European bourses finished mixed. The UK's FTSE showed relative strength, adding 0.8%, while France's CAC and Germany's DAX lost 0.2% apiece.

Also of note, the CBOE launched bitcoin futures trading on Sunday evening. The one-month futures contract was trading at around $18,600 at the stock market's closing bell.

Reviewing Monday's economic data, which was limited to the October Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey:

  • The October Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showed that job openings decreased to 6.0 million from a revised 6.18 million (from 6.09 million) in September.

On Tuesday, investors will receive two economic reports--the November Producer Price Index ( consensus +0.4%) and the November Treasury Budget ( consensus -$134.0 billion)--which will be released at 8:30 ET and 14:00 ET, respectively.

  • Nasdaq Composite +27.7% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +23.4% YTD
  • S&P 500 +18.8% YTD
  • Russell 2000 +12.0% YTD

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