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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

7/24/18

 

It was an erratic day of trading on Wall Street, with tech shares being the primary source of volatility. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.1% at the start of Tuesday's session, touching a new intraday record, but gave it all back, settling a tick below its flat line. The S&P 500 and the Dow also reversed course intraday, but managed to tack on 0.5% and 0.8%, respectively, nonetheless. Small caps struggled, pushing the Russell 2000 lower by 1.1%.

Investor sentiment was unmistakably bullish at the opening bell after Google's parent company Alphabet (GOOG 1248.08, +42.58) soundly beat profit estimates for the second quarter. Shares of the tech giant quickly shot up 5.0%, helping to send the top-weighted technology sector to the top of the sector standings in the process.

The tech group was up as much as 1.5% on Tuesday, but started to fade as Alphabet came off its highs and as chipmakers tumbled into negative territory. Alphabet still settled with a solid gain of 3.5%, but the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index lost 1.1% after being up as much as 1.2%.

There wasn't a news-driven catalyst behind Tuesday's tech reversal; rather, it was most likely driven by profit-taking activity amid the technology sector's continued outperformance. The tech space is up 16.6% year-to-date, piling that on top of last year's 36.9% surge.

Including technology, nine sectors advanced on Tuesday. The top-performer was the lightly-weighted telecom services space (+1.8%), followed by energy (+1.3%) and materials (+1.3%). Most other groups finished with gains between 0.2% and 0.9%. Consumer discretionary (-0.3%) and real estate (-0.3%) declined.

In addition to Alphabet, a number of companies reported their quarterly results. The reactions were mostly positive: Verizon (VZ 51.51, +0.76, +1.5%), United Tech (UTX 134.24, +4.87, +3.8%), 3M (MMM 200.68, +1.84, +0.9%), Lockheed Martin (LMT 322.57, +4.24, +1.3%), Eli Lilly (LLY 93.35, +4.47, +5.0%), Biogen (BIIB 372.84, +14.71, +4.1%), and Harley-Davidson (HOG 44.63, +3.18, +7.7%) all advanced, while Whirlpool (WHR 128.82, -21.89, -14.5% ) and JetBlue (JBLU 17.79, -2.02, -10.2%) dropped.

Elsewhere, U.S. Treasuries finished Tuesday on a mostly higher note, pushing yields lower; the yield on the benchmark 10-yr note slipped two basis points to 2.95%. The 2-yr note was lower for much of the session, but eventually rebounded to keep its yield unchanged at 2.62%. Meanwhile, the U.S. Dollar Index finished flat at 94.38.

Reviewing Tuesday's economic data, which was limited to the FHFA Housing Price Index for May:

  • The FHFA Housing Price Index rose 0.2% in May (Briefing.com consensus +0.4%), and the April increase was revised to 0.2% from 0.1%.

Looking ahead, investors will receive New Home Sales for June and the weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index on Wednesday.

  • Nasdaq Composite +13.6% YTD
  • Russell 2000 +9.4% YTD
  • S&P 500 +5.5% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +2.1% YTD
    • Headlines provided by Briefing.com
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