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Market Commentary for March 22, 2007


We had a mixed session today with the Bulls and Bears both getting a piece of the pie amidst moderate trading volume and tight trading ranges. Does the market have spring fever? A majority of market action occurs in the morning session with trading slowing up substantially during the afternoon hours. At the close, here is how the major indices ended the session: the DOW (Dow Jones Industrial Average) crept higher today by 13.62 points to end the session at 12461.14; the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) moved lower by 3.91 points to end at 9313.82; the NASDAQ moved lower by 4.16 points as it was unable to see the light of the green zone today for a close at 2451.74; the S&P 500 moved lower by 0.50 points to end at 1434.54 and the RUSSELL 2000 moved higher by 0.58 points to close at 808.05.
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 0.74 to close at 244.88 and the FTSE RAFI 1000 moved lower by 0.10 to close at 6027.11.

Member of the Board of Governors,Randall S. Kroszner commented today: counterparty risk key issue for credit markets; banks should mind counterparty collateral and market discipline may be better than bank regulation.

Economic data released for the day:

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 4,000 to 316K for Week of March 17th compared to survey of an increase by 2,000; U.S. Continuing Claims for week of March 10th fell by 69K to 2,501,000 and U.S. Jobless Claims for week of March 10th Mar 10 was revised to 320K from 318K.

Leading Indicators: Ten economic indicators are compiled by the Conference Board that should lead overall economic activity. In the past 30 years the data has been revised many times especially when it has not done a good job of predicting turning points in the economy. U.S. Conference Board February Lagging Index rose by 0.2%; U.S. Conference Board February Coincident Index rose by 0.3% and U.S. Conference Board February Leading Index fell by 0.5%.

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. For week of March 17th, weekly change came in at 17 Bcf.

On the commodities markets, the trend was higher across the board today for the Energy sector: Light crude moved higher by $2.08 today to close at $61.69 a barrel; Heating Oil moved higher today by $0.05 to close at $1.72 a gallon; Natural Gas moved higher by $0.17 today to end at $7.44 per million BTU and Unleaded Gas closed higher by $0.02 at $1.96 a gallon.

Metals Market ended the session higher across the board today: Gold moved higher by $4.20 to close at $664.20 an ounce; Silver closed the day higher by $0.16 to end the session at $13.48 an ounce; Platinum moved nicely higher today by $11.00 to close at $1,241.00 an ounce and Copper ended the day higher by $0.05 to close at $3.07 per pound.

On the Livestock and Meat Markets, the trend was higher across the board today: Lean Hogs closed higher by 0.78 at 74.33; Pork Bellies ended the day higher by 1.33 to close at 104.20; Live Cattle moved higher by 0.43 to end the day at 95.35 and Feeder Cattle ended the day higher by 0.25 to close at 107.18.

Other Commodities: Corn moved lower today by 0.25 points to end at 409.50 and Soybeans moved higher yet again today by 5.25 to close at 771.75.

Bonds were lower across the board today: 2 year bond closed lower by 3/32 at 100 9/32; 5 year bond closed lower by 7/32 at 100 20/32; 10 year bond closed lower by 11/32 at 100 10/32 and the 30 year bond closed lower by 26/32 at 99 20/32.

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 3,820,740 Open Interest for Futures moved higher by 147,493 to close at 9,429,257 and the Open Interest for Options moved higher by 85,099 to close at 7,988,594 for a total Open Interest of 17,419,529 for a total gain on the day by 232, 592.

The mini Dow ended the session higher by 22 at 12545. The total Dow Exchange Volume for the day came in at 163,018 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 1,651; decliners totaled 1,580; unchanged came in at 141; new highs came in at 239 and new lows came in at 12. New York Stock Exchange movers for the day today: Potash Corporation/Saskatchewan (POT) shed 4.38 points for a closing price at $159.50; Orient-Express Hotels Limited (OEH) climbed higher by 3.55 points to end the day at $58.60; IPSCO Incorporated (IPS) moved higher by 4.91 points to end the session at $112.56; Modine Manufacturing Company (MOD) gave up 2.46 points to end at $23.96 and CLARCOR Incorporated (CLC) shed 2.87 points to end the session at $30.63.

On the NASDAQ today, advancers came in at 1,576; decliners totaled 1,445; unchanged came in at 151; new highs came in at 134 and new lows came in at 23. Gainers and losers for the day on the NASDAQ: Scholastic Corporation (SCHL) fell by 4.48 points to shed 12.60% to close at $31.08; Osiris Therapeutics Incorporated (OSIR) gained 2.35 points to tack on 15.67% for a closing price at $17.35; Adams Respiratory Therapeutics Incorporated (ARXT) made a nice run higher by 14.90% for a gain of 4.59 points to end at $35.43 and Herman Miller Incorporated (MLHR) fell 3.68 points to end the session at $34.15.

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Millennium-Traders