Day Traders Diary



The S&P 500 added 0.6% for a second consecutive day on Tuesday, as investors awaited results from the U.S. congressional midterm elections. It was a largely broad-based performance, as all 11 S&P sectors finished in positive territory.

Also, the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.6%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.7%, and the Russell 2000 gained 0.6%.

The stock market opened flat but perhaps found strength from reports indicating that the market has performed well in midterm election years that resulted in a divided Congress. Though results will not be made clear until the early hours, most polls show the Democrats regaining control of the House, while Republicans are expected to retain majority control of the Senate. 

Positive trade chatter from China also contributed to Tuesday's gains, with China's Vice President Wang Qishan reiterating China's readiness to discuss a trade resolution with the United States. Likewise, the trade-sensitive materials (+1.5%) and industrial (+1.1%) sectors led the broader market higher. 

In earnings, results were mostly positive with CVS (CVS 77.90, +4.21) climbing 5.7% after it reported above-consensus profits. Eli Lilly (LLY 105.90, -4.24) also beat earnings estimates but lost 3.9%, while Booking Holdings (BKNG 1949.46, +78.34) gained 4.2% despite missing earnings estimates. Booking's results were above its prior guidance, though. Also, an honorable mention goes to health care company Mylan N.V. (MYL 36.43, +5.06) after it surged 16.1% after it reported better-than-expected earnings.

Separately, WTI crude dropped 1.5% to settle at $62.19/bbl after U.S. President Donald Trump granted temporary waivers on Monday to eight countries that import oil from Iran. The decision fueled an already weakening oil market that has seen crude prices decline nearly 20.0% from its recent four-year high in October. Despite the drop in crude, the oil-sensitive energy sector ticked higher by 0.3%, although it was down as much as 0.8% intraday.

In the bond market, U.S. Treasury yields inched higher with the 2-yr yield adding two basis points to 2.92% and the 10-yr yield increasing one basis point to 3.21%. Yields have been gradually reascending to multi-year highs after declining at the end of October. Also, the U.S. Dollar Index remained unchanged at 96.30.

In Europe, the major indices closed on a lower note with the Euro Stoxx 50 losing 0.3%. UK's FTSE led the decline with a loss of 0.9%.

Reviewing Tuesday's sole economic report, the Jobs Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for September:

  • The September Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showed that job openings decreased to 7.009 million from a revised 7.293 million (from 7.136 million) in August.

Looking ahead, investors will receive the weekly MBA Mortgage Application Index and the Consumer Credit report for September on Wednesday.

  • Nasdaq Composite +6.9% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +3.7% YTD
  • S&P 500 +3.1% YTD
  • Russell 2000 +1.3% YTD

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