Day Traders Diary


The major averages rose sharply today as tensions in Hong Kong between the government and protesters eased after the withdrawal of a controversial bill. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 237 points higher, or 0.9% at 26,355. The S&P 500 gained 1.1% to close at 2,937.78, led by a 1.7% surge in the tech sector. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.3% to 7,976.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said that she will withdraw a contentious extradition bill that has sparked months of mass protests. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong soared around 4% on reports overnight that the withdrawal of the bill was imminent. The bill's withdrawal is seen as a positive because protest escalation was seen as a potential disruptor to the global economy. Some investors feared the protests could hinder U.S.-China trade talks.

Wednesday's gains come after the major indexes posted solid losses in the previous session. The Dow dropped 285 points on Tuesday while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 slid 1.1% and 0.7%, respectively. Micron Technology was among the best-performing tech stocks, rising 4.1% after an analyst at Mizuho Securities raised his price target on the chipmaker. Intel was the best-performing stock in the Dow, rising 4.1%. Bank stocks got a boost as the U.S. yield curve uninverted, with the 10-year rate trading above its 2-year counterpart. Bank of America and Citigroup gained more than 1.3% each while J.P. Morgan Chase advanced 1.2%.

All 11 S&P 500 sectors finishing higher. Leadership came from the information technology up 1.7%, communication services up 1.6%, energy up 1.4%, industrials up 1.3%, and financials up 1.1%. A big gain in oil prices ($56.21/bbl, +2.30, +4.3%) benefited many of the oil-sensitive energy stocks.

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