Day Traders Diary



The S&P 500 (unch) eked out a very narrow victory on Tuesday, closing at a new record high for the third session in a row. The Nasdaq Composite (+0.2%) and the Russell 2000 (unch) also notched new records, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) finished at its best level since early February.

It was a range-bound day of trading, with the S&P 500 keeping between -0.1% and +0.2%. Seven of eleven sectors finished in the red, but losses were pretty modest. The top-weighted technology sector (+0.2%) was an advancer, helping to mitigate losses from energy (-0.5%), materials (-0.4%), and consumer staples (-0.3%).

As for individual stocks, retail earnings were in focus once again. Best Buy (BBY 77.57, -4.09) tumbled 5.0% after downbeat Q3 guidance overshadowed upbeat Q2 results. Meanwhile, DSW (DSW 32.70, +5.50) spiked 20.2% and Tiffany & Co (TIF 131.07, +1.29) added 1.0% after both companies beat top and bottom line estimates.

Looking at other markets, U.S. Treasuries moved lower, sending yields higher across the curve, with the benchmark 10-yr yield climbing four basis points to 2.88%. Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate crude futures slid 0.4% to $68.58/bbl, and the U.S. Dollar Index slipped 0.1% to 94.62, testing its August low.

In Washington, Canada came back to the NAFTA negotiating table on Tuesday after the U.S. and Mexico reached a bilateral trade agreement on Monday. President Trump has warned that he could proceed without Canada, but U.S. officials are optimistic that a deal can be reached by the end of the week.

Reviewing Tuesday's economic data, which included Advanced International Trade in Goods and Advanced Wholesale Inventories for July, the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index for June, and the Consumer Confidence Index for August:

  • The Advance report for International Trade in Goods for July showed a deficit of $72.2 billion, and the Advance report for Wholesale Inventories for July rose 0.7%.
  • The Case-Shiller 20-City Index increased 6.3% in June ( consensus +6.4%), and the May increase was left unrevised at 6.5%.
  • The consumer confidence reading for August increased to 133.4 ( consensus 126.5) from the prior month's revised reading of 127.9 (from 127.4).
    • The key takeaway from the report is that the high confidence levels should support solid consumer spending in the near term, particularly since consumers have a better outlook for their short-term income prospects.

Looking ahead, investors will receive the second estimate of Q2 GDP, July Pending Home Sales, and the weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index on Wednesday.

  • Nasdaq Composite +16.3% YTD
  • Russell 2000 +12.6% YTD
  • S&P 500 +8.4% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +5.4% YTD
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