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Leigh Baldwin & Co.

112 Albany Street, Cazenovia, NY 13035 | Phone: (315) 655-2964 Toll Free: 1-800-659-8044

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Day Traders Diary

5/16/18

 

U.S. equities have rebounded today, reclaiming a good chunk of their Tuesday declines. A recent spike has taken the major averages to new session highs, with the Dow up 0.3%, the S&P 500 up 0.5%, and the Nasdaq up 0.8% at midday. The small-cap Russell 2000 is also higher, sporting a gain of 1.0%.

Today's rally has occurred even in the face of heightened Treasury yields, which are still hovering near the multi-year highs they hit on Tuesday. The benchmark 10-yr yield, for instance, is unchanged at 3.08%, which marks its highest level since July 2011. The U.S. Dollar Index has rallied in tandem -- although it has come off its session high -- climbing 0.1% to 93.25.

The rate-sensitive utilities (-1.1%) and real estate (-0.4%) sectors are the only S&P groups in the red this afternoon, while the other nine spaces sport gains between 0.3% and 1.2%. Materials is the top-performing group, up 1.2%, with chemical giant LyondellBasell (LYB 115.84, +3.67) leading the charge following an upgrade at Jefferies this morning; LYB shares are up 3.2%.

The consumer discretionary space (+0.9%) is also outperforming, thanks in part to retailers, which have rallied around Macy's (M 33.07, +3.11) upbeat first quarter results. Shares of the department store are up 9.9%, hovering at a more than one-year high, after the company reported better-than-expected earnings and revenues for Q1 and raised its guidance for the fiscal year.

Chipmakers are also higher, pushing the PHLX Semiconductor Index up 1.2% and helping the top-weighted technology space (+0.5%) keep in line with the broader market. Micron (MU 56.41, +2.40) and Advanced Micro (AMD 12.86, +0.41) are especially strong -- up 4.5% and 3.4%, respectively. Micron was initiated with an 'Outperform' rating at RBC Capital Markets this morning, while AMD was upgraded to 'Neutral' from 'Negative' at Susquehanna.

Tech names Cisco Systems (CSCO 45.30, -0.18) and Take-Two (TTWO 112.65, -0.82) are set to deliver their quarterly results following today's closing bell.

Reviewing today's economic data, which included April Housing Starts and Building Permits, April Capacity Utilization and Industrial Production, and the weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index:

  • Housing starts decreased to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1.287 million units in April (Briefing.com consensus 1.325 million), down from a revised 1.336 million units in March (from 1.319 million). Building permits slipped to a seasonally adjusted 1.352 million in April (Briefing.com consensus 1.350 million) from a revised 1.377 million in March (from 1.354 million).
    • The key takeaway from the report is that single-family activity remained fairly muted. Bad weather will get some blame for the torpid activity overall, yet nothing in this report suggests prospective homeowners can expect supply-driven price relief in the near future.
  • Industrial Production increased 0.7% in April (Briefing.com consensus +0.6%), while the March reading was revised to +0.7% (from +0.5%). Meanwhile, Capacity Utilization ticked up to 78.0% (Briefing.com consensus 78.4%) from a revised reading of 77.6% in March (from 78.0%).
    • The key takeaway from the report is that the April increase was fueled by increased output across all three major industry groups.
  • The weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index decreased 2.7% following last week's downtick of 0.4%.
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  • Headlines provided by Briefing.com
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