Day Traders Diary

8/17/21

The major averages took a hit today as July retail sales declined and concerns about slowing global economic growth intensified. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 282 points, or 0.8%, to 35,343. The S&P 500 shed 0.7% to 4,448 while the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.9% to 14,656.

The Dow and the S&P 500 each snapped 5-day winning streaks. Tuesday's losses came after the two indexes closed at record highs in the prior session.

Retail sales declined 1.1% in July, a steeper drop than the 0.3% dip expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones and a reversal from June's 0.7% increase.

Home Depot fell more than 4% after reporting second-quarter results, weighing on the Dow. While quarterly earnings topped estimates, same-store sales rose 4.5% in the period, below the 5% consensus estimate of analysts polled by StreetAccount. U.S. same store sales increased by just 3.4%.

Walmart shares were flat after second-quarter earnings topped estimates. The retailer gained ground in groceries and reported a strong start to the back-to-school season.

Disappointing economic data from China on Monday intensified concerns about a slowdown in global growth. Chip stocks tumbled for a second day on Tuesday with the iShares Semiconductor ETF down roughly 2% and Nvidia 2.5% lower. Shares of Tesla and Boeing, both also heavily reliant on China as a growth market, declined.

Meanwhile, technology names trended lower. Big Tech shares, including Google-parent Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook, traded in the red.

Elsewhere, health care shares saw strength with the S&P 500 Health Care Sector hitting a record at one point. United Health, Merck and Johnson & Johnson all traded in the green.

On Monday, the S&P 500 reached a milestone as the benchmark index doubled from its pandemic closing low on March 23, 2020. That marks the fastest bull-market doubling since World War II, according to calculations from CNBC.

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