Day Traders Diary



The S&P 500 finished flat on Tuesday in a lackluster trading session. Price action was relatively muted for most of the day, as investors digested a 2.2% gain for the benchmark index over the prior three sessions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.3%, weighed down by Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA 55.36, -8.13, -12.8%) after it issued disappointing earnings results and guidance. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.3%, boosted by Facebook (FB 174.20, +5.50, +3.3%) after it received some positive commentary from Deutsche Bank regarding its e-commerce potential.

The S&P 500 consumer staples (-0.8%) and energy (-0.7%) sectors were Tuesday's outright laggards. Conversely, the real estate (+0.9%), communication services (+0.4%), and materials (+0.4%) sectors outperformed.

Walgreens said it expects FY19 adjusted EPS growth to be flat, versus prior guidance of 7-12% growth, citing several industry challenges. Its negative outlook undercut the consumer staples sector and many health care stocks. The S&P 500 health care sector decreased 0.2%.

Delta Air Lines (DAL 55.33, +3.15, +6.0%) for its part reported total first quarter unit revenue growth at 2%, the top end of prior guidance, and increased its first quarter EPS guidance. Its upbeat outlook fostered buying interest in other airline stocks, which provided offsetting support for the Dow Jones Transportation Average (-0.2%).

Elsewhere, Dow, Inc. (DOW 56.25, +2.75, +5.1%) made its market debut on the NYSE and was added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, replacing DowDuPont (DWDP 36.49, -0.10, -0.3%) from which it was spun off.  Lyft (LYFT 68.97, -0.04, -0.06%), meanwhile, languished for a good chunk of the day, and although it garnered some afternoon buying interest, finished fractionally lower.

U.S. Treasuries closed on a higher note, pushing yields slightly lower. The 2-yr yield decreased one basis point to 2.31%, and the 10-yr yield decreased two basis points to 2.48%. The U.S. Dollar Index increased 0.1% to 97.33. WTI crude rose 1.6% to $62.58/bbl, hitting a new five-month high.

Reviewing Tuesday's economic data, which included Durable Orders for February:

  • New orders for durable goods declined 1.6% in February ( consensus -0.9%), pressured by a 4.8% drop in transportation equipment orders. Excluding transportation, new orders for durable goods were up 0.1% ( consensus +0.2%).
    • The key takeaway from the report is that business spending was sluggish in February, evidenced by the 0.1% decline in nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft. Shipments of those same goods were flat. This is a line item that fits a slower growth outlook.

Looking ahead, investors will receive the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index for March, the ADP Employment Change report for March, and the weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index on Wednesday.

  • Nasdaq Composite +18.3% YTD
  • Russell 2000 +15.2% YTD
  • S&P 500 +14.4% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +12.2% YTD
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