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Market Commentary for March 08, 2007

The markets were in the hands of the Bulls today, with green across the board. Trading volume was light to moderate and trading ranges created difficult atmosphere for Day Traders and Investors. Possibly questionable as to whether the positive tone of the markets would hold. Into the close, here is how the major indices ended the session: the DOW (Dow Jones Industrial Average) moved higher today by 75.54 points to end the session at 12267.99; the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) moved higher by 79.45 points to end at 9078.65; the NASDAQ moved higher by 14.76 points to close at 2389.40; the S&P 500 moved higher by 11.51 points to end at 1403.48 and the RUSSELL 2000 moved higher by 6.70 points to close at 782.60. The FTSE All-World Index ex-US (top Large/Mid Cap aggregate from over 2,700 stocks from the FTSE Global Equity Index Series (GEIS) which covers 90% of the worlds investable market capitalization) moved higher by 1.74 to close at 238.33 and the FTSE RAFI 1000 moved higher by 47.22 to close at 5895.83.

U.S. non-financial debt grew at 7.9% annual rate in the fourth quarter and U.S. household net worth was up by 2.5% to $55.63 trillion in the fourth quarter.

Economic data released for the day:

Monster Employment Index: Job postings from 1,500 web sites create an index of job availability. This index is similar to The Conference Board’s help wanted index however; Monster Employment Index is not seasonally adjusted. For February 2007, Monster Employment Index came in at 177.

BOE Announcement: Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee which consists of nine members meets for two days each month, during the first week of the month to determine the direction of monetary policy, in the near-term. No change in monetary policy.

ECB Announcement: European Central Bank Governing Council decides on monetary policy. Interest rate was increased by 25 basis points setting the index at 3.75%. ECB statement regarding their action taken: risk reassessment has positive aspects; very, very carefully following markets; certain reassessment of risks in recent days; risks were under priced; unit labor cost trends not same across Euro area; slight moderation in household loan growth; loans to non-financial corporations "extraordinarily" dynamic; M3 growth remains "very dynamic"; current policy continues on accommodative side; do not have a concept of "neutral rate"; "we are constantly alert" on price risks; interest rates now moderate, no longer "low"; rate hike decision was unanimous; rate increase decision Thursday was unanimous; 2008 GDP Likely 1.9% to 2.9% versus 1.8% to 2.8% as seen in December; 2007 GDP Likely 2.1% to 2.9% versus 1.7% to 2.7% as seen in December; to act in "firm and timely" manner on price risks; Euro-Zone money, credit growth is "vigorous"; must look through short-term volatility in CPI; liquidity ample by all plausible measures; sees "persistent" upward trend in money supply; signs of moderation in household borrowing; to monitor wage negotiations "very carefully"; risk reassessment last week was very rapid; some re-appreciation of risks is probably welcome; must preserve financial stability in all circumstances; global economic growth continues favorable; didn't say Euro-Zone interest rates "at a peak"; no need to change M3 reference value; we never pre-committed to medium-term policy goals; Fed's diagnosis on U.S. economy is pertinent; no real discussion of 50 basis point hike Thursday; on rates, moderate does not mean appropriate; final decision on developmental phase by early 2008; public consultation on user needs by year end; next phase to define user requirements; introduces competition across national borders; convinced T2S project is feasible and approves moving to next T2S phase.

Jobless Claims: A weekly compilation of new unemployment claims to show the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time. The condition of the labor market is determined by an increase of the number of claims which suggests a deteriorating labor market. U.S. Jobless Claims fell by 10K to 328K for week of March 3rd compared to survey of a drop by 8K and U.S. Continuing Claims for week of February 24th fell by 98K to 2,526,000.

EIA Natural Gas Report: Weekly information provided by the EIA (Energy Information Administration) on natural gas stock piles in underground storage in the United States and three regions of the country. Prices for natural gas products are determined by the level of inventories. Weekly change by a drop of 102 Bcf for week of March 3rd.

On the commodities markets, the trend was mostly lower across the board today for the Energy sector: Light crude moved lower by $0.18 today to close at $61.64 a barrel; Heating Oil moved lower by $0.01 to close at $1.76 a gallon; Natural Gas moved lower by $0.12 today to end at $7.37 per million BTU and Unleaded Gas closed higher by $0.03 today to end the session at $1.93 a gallon.

Metals Market ended the session higher across the board today: Gold moved higher by $2.60 to close at $655.50 an ounce; Silver closed higher today by $0.02 at $13.12 an ounce; Platinum moved nicely higher today by $22.00 to close at $1,214.50 an ounce and Copper ended the day higher by $0.05 to close at $2.83 per pound.

On the Livestock and Meat Markets, the trend was higher across the board today: Lean Hogs moved higher by 2.08 to close at 67.6875; Pork Bellies ended the day higher by 1.05 to close at 107.70; Live Cattle moved higher by 2.48 to end the day at 101.03 and Feeder Cattle ended the day higher by 1.55 to close at 105.68.

Other Commodities: Corn moved lower today by 3.00 points to end at 421.50 and Soybeans moved higher today by 1.75 to close at 759.00.

The end of day results for the CBOT (Chicago Board of Trade) which is comprised of the total Exchange Volume for Futures and Options (EVFO) including Electronic, Open Auction and Cash Exchange ended the day at 3,720,910 Open Interest for Futures moved higher by 68,912 to close at 9,130,834 and the Open Interest for Options moved higher by 152,995 to close at 7,049,781 for a total Open Interest of 16,182,274 for a total gain on the day by 222, 009.

Bonds were lower across the board today: 2 year bond closed lower by 2/32 at 100 11/32; 5 year bond closed lower by 3/32 at 100 24/32; 10 year bond closed lower by 6/32 at 100 28/32 and the 30 year bond closed lower by 13/32 at 101 17/32.

The mini Dow ended the session today with a gain of 71 to close at 12368. The total Dow Exchange Volume for the day came in at 147,857 which are comprised of Electronic, Open Auction and Cash Exchange. Traders should review workshops available at the CBOT (Chicago Board of Trade) Educational in-person seminars schedules available on CBOT (Chicago Board of Trade) website.

New York Stock Exchange movers for the day: The Men’s Wearhouse Incorporated (MW) moved nicely higher today by 4.06 points to close at $47.36; American Eagle Outfitters Incorporated (AEO) made a nice run today by 17.57% for a gain of 4.52 points to close at $30.25; Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings (CME) gained 6.66 points on the day to end the session at $567.69; Vimpel-Communications (VIP) gained 4.19 points for the day to close at $87.97 and Belden CDT Incorporated (BDC) climbed higher by 4.28 points for a closing price of $52.30.

On the NASDAQ today, advancers came in at 1,849; decliners totaled 1,151; unchanged came in at 144; new highs came in at 44 and new lows came in at 67. Gainers and losers for the day on the NASDAQ: The Bon-Ton Stores Incorporated (BONT) rallied higher by 14.46% to tack on a gain of 6.91 points to close at $54.71; Zumiez Incorporated (ZUMZ) moved nicely higher by 12.45% for a gain on the day by 4.02 points to close at $36.31 and First Solar Incorporated (FSLR) gained 3.27 points for a closing price of $50.89.

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