Day Traders Diary


The major averages climbed back from intraday lows Thursday as investors digested better-than-expected August retail sales and the latest weekly jobless claims report.

The blue-chip average was little changed on the day after falling as much as 274 points earlier in the trading session. The S&P 500 traded near the flatline. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.1%.

August retail sales surprised the market and rose 0.7% from the month prior, the Census Bureau reported Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected a 0.8% month-over-month decline.

However, the retail sales beat came after the initial estimate for July was revised down sharply from a month-over-month gain of 0.5% to a decline of 1.8%.

Meanwhile, the latest unemployment insurance weekly data showed 332,000 first-time jobless claims last week. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect a total of 320,000 initial claims.

Mining names Freeport-McMoRan and Newmont were the biggest laggards on the S&P 500 throughout the day, down roughly 6% and 4%, respectively.

Energy names, which popped the day prior, edged down with the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF down about 0.6%.

On the upside, Moderna shares rose after the company released more data on breakthrough Covid cases that supports the push for the wide use of vaccine booster shots.

Despite a rebound on Wednesday, the S&P 500 and the Dow are still in the red for September. After seven straight months of gains for the S&P 500 and a near 20% rally to records this year, many on Wall Street expect bumpier trading and lower returns for the rest of the year.

History is also not on the market's side as September tends to be a typically negative month for stocks. The S&P 500 has fallen 0.56% during the month on average since 1945, according to data from CFRA.

Friday begins a historically weak period for stocks as those September losses typically come in the back half of the month.

Another reason why the back half of September could be volatile is due to so-called quadruple witching occurring at the end of the week as stock and index futures and options are set to expire on the same day.

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