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Market Commentary for March 21, 2007


Through out the session until the FOMC announced their decision on short term interest rates, trading ranges held snuggly in a very tight range. The major indices teetered in the red and green zone until, the Fed announced their decision. The markets rallied higher for last hour and half of trading, closing at or near the session highs. At the close, here is how the major indices ended the session: the DOW (Dow Jones Industrial Average) rallied higher today by 159.42 points to end the session at 12447.52; the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) soared higher by 159.46 points to end at 9317.73; the NASDAQ moved higher by 47.71 points to close at 2455.92; the S&P 500 moved higher by 24.10 points to end at 1435.04 and the RUSSELL 2000 moved higher by 13.87 points to close at 807.47. 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 2.84 to close at 243.53 and the FTSE RAFI 1000 moved higher by 93.80 to close at 6026.73.

The Federal Reserve released their decision on short term interest rates after their two day meeting: Fed Leaves Rates At 5.25; softens tightening bias; predominant risk is inflation won't fall as expected; any future rate changes would depend on data, outlook; housing market adjustment is "ongoing"; recent economic indicators have been mixed; economy likely to continue to expand at a moderate pace; Core Inflation readings somewhat elevated; high "resource utilization" poses inflation risk; inflation pressures likely to moderate over time and voted unanimously for unchanged Federal Funds rate.

Economic data released for the day:

MBA Purchase Applications: Compilation from the Mortgage Bankers’ Association of various mortgage loan indexes. This data is the leading indicator for single-family home sales as well as, housing construction. For week of March 16th, Purchase Index Level cam in at 410.6.

EIA Petroleum Status Report: EIA (Energy Information Administration) provides weekly petroleum inventories in the United States whether they are produced here or abroad. Prices for petroleum products are determined by the level of inventories. Department of Energy reported today that U.S. Distillate Stockpiles were down by 1.7 Million Barrels for the week as compared to expectations of a drop by 1.1 Million Barrels; U.S. Refineries Ran at 86.3% capacity compared to expectations of an increase by 0.6% at 86.2%; U.S. Gasoline Stockpiles were lower by 3.4 Million Barrels for the week compared to expectation of a drop by 1.6 Million Barrels and U.S. Crude Oil Stockpiles were higher by 4.0 Million Barrels for the week as compared to expectations of and increase by 1.4 Million Barrels.

On the commodities markets, the trend was mostly higher across the board today for the Energy sector: Light crude moved higher by $0.36 today to close at $59.61 a barrel; Heating Oil had no change today to close at $1.67 a gallon; Natural Gas moved higher by $0.25 today to end at $7.27 per million BTU and Unleaded Gas closed lower by $0.01 at $1.93 a gallon.

Metals Market ended the session mostly lower across the board today: Gold moved higher by $1.00 to close at $660.00 an ounce; Silver closed the day lower by $0.05 to end the session at $13.32 an ounce; Platinum moved lower today by $5.30 to close at $1,230.00 an ounce and Copper ended the day lower by $0.02 to close at $3.02 per pound.

On the Livestock and Meat Markets, the trend was lower across the board today: Lean Hogs closed lower by 0.80 at 73.3555 Pork Bellies ended the day lower by 0.68 today to close at 102.88; Live Cattle moved lower by 0.03 to end the day at 94.93 and Feeder Cattle ended the day lower by 0.68 to close at 106.93.

Other Commodities: Corn moved higher again today by 4.50 points to end at 409.75 and Soybeans moved higher again today by 1.75 to close at 766.50.

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 2,663,903 Open Interest for Futures moved higher by 51,274 to close at 9,281,764 and the Open Interest for Options moved higher by 66,150 to close at 7,903,495 for a total Open Interest of 17,186,937 for a total gain on the day by 117, 424.

Bonds were mostly higher across the board today: 2 year bond closed lo higher by 4/32 at 100 12/32; 5 year bond closed higher by 6/32 at 100 27/32; 10 year bond closed higher by 3/32 at 100 21/32 and the 30 year bond closed lower by 2/32 at 100 17/32.

The mini Dow ended the session nicely higher by 149 at 12534. The total Dow Exchange Volume for the day came in at 105,397 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.

On the NYSE today, advancers came in at 2,665; decliners totaled 590; unchanged came in at 130; new highs came in at 257 and new lows came in at 16. New York Stock Exchange movers for the day today: Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings (CME) rallied 8.05 points to end at $549.50 for the day; Rio Tinto plc (RTP) made a nice run higher by 7.09 points for a closing price at $223.94; Morgan Stanley (MS) climbed higher by 5.22 points to close the session at $81.33; BlackRock Incorporated (BLK) rebounded by 4.10 points to close at $158.43 and Potash Corporation/Saskatchewan (POT) climbed higher again today by 4.63 points to end at $163.88.

On the NASDAQ today, advancers came in at 2,259; decliners totaled 766; unchanged came in at 145; new highs came in at 109 and new lows came in at 42. Gainers and losers for the day on the NASDAQ: ICF International Incorporated (ICFI) gained 2.48 points on the day to tack on 15.30% for an ending price of $18.69; GSI Commerce Incorporated (GSIC) climbed higher by 2.22 points to end the session at $21.96 at the close; U.S. Auto Parts Network Incorporated (PRTS) fell sharply by 42.10% to shed 4.66 points on the day to end at $6.41 and Cintas Corporation (CTAS) gave up 3.33 points to close the session at $37.18.

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Millennium-Traders