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Market Commentary for April 02, 2007

Hello April! April leads the way toward the Spring season which all of us yearn for, through out the blustery cold days of winter. The markets were mixed through most of the session with the DOW totally confused as to which direction it should go and the NASDAQ struggled to gain any ground, holding in the red zone through most of the market session. Trading ranges were firm and trading volume moderate. With the week being a Holiday shortened week, trading volume is expected to lighten up, as the week moves forward, with many traders heading out early for a jump on the Easter Holiday weekend. At the close, here is how the major indices ended the session: the DOW (Dow Jones Industrial Average) moved higher today by 27.95 points to end the session at 12382.30; the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) moved higher by 43.73 points to end at 9305.55; the NASDAQ moved higher by 0.62 points today for a close at 2422.26; the S&P 500 moved higher by 3.69 points to end at 1424.55 and the RUSSELL 2000 moved higher by 2.51 points to close at 803.22. 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 0.02 to close at 243.80 and the FTSE RAFI 1000 closed at 5981.34.

President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, William Poole commented today: U.S. growth rate trend likely around 3%; Bernanke wants literal reading of FOMC statement; sub-prime risks to economy 'relatively limited'; recession risk is 'slightly elevated,' but not high; Fed has faced more difficult policy environments; challenging for Fed to communicate outlook; still expects U.S. inflation to moderate; inflation is still Fed's chief concern; dollar is the 'one global currency'; Fed rarely needs to react to short-term disturbances; markets see Fed as reasonably predictable with policy; Fed not yet ready for formal policy goal; reluctant to cut rates if inflation won't fall; inflation levels could require more rate hikes; inflation is still 'major concern'; U.S. recession chance remains conceivable; lower capital spending levels are puzzling; U.S. economy at 'full employment'; productivity prospects are 'excellent'; future productivity rates likely between 2%-2.5%; Central Bank should agree on inflation goal; price stability has fostered productivity; business cycle slowdowns have become milder; Fed must focus on improving policy rule; Fed communication key to managing inflation and favors Core PCE inflation around 1.5%.

Economic data released for the day:

ISM Non-Manufacturing Survey: Compiled from approximately 400 non-manufacturing firms from 60 sectors across the United States. Included in the survey are retail trade, construction, agriculture, mining, transportation, wholesale trade and communications. Institute for Supply Management released data today for the United States: March Inventories came in at 47.5 versus February reading at 44.6; March Production Index came in at 53.0 versus February reading at 54.1; March New Orders Index came in at 51.6 versus February reading at 54.9; March Employment Index came in at 48.7 versus February reading at 51.1; March Prices Index came in at 65.5 versus February reading at 59.0; March Manufacturing Business Index was expected at 52.0 and March Manufacturing Business Index came in at 50.9 versus February reading at 52.3.

On the commodities markets, the trend was mostly lower across the board today for the Energy sector: Light crude moved higher by $0.07 today to close at $65.94 a barrel; Heating Oil closed lower by $0.01 at $1.86 a gallon; Natural Gas moved lower by $0.06 today to end at $7.67 per million BTU and Unleaded Gas closed lower by $0.01 at $2.03 a gallon.

Metals Market ended the session mixed across the board today: Gold moved higher by $2.50 to close at $671.50 an ounce; Silver moved lower today by $0.10 to end the session at $13.39 an ounce; Platinum moved lower today by $5.80 to close at $1,249.00 an ounce and Copper ended the day higher by $0.03 to end at $3.18 per pound.

On the Livestock and Meat Markets, the trend was higher across the board today: Lean Hogs closed higher by 0.13 at 75.53; Pork Bellies ended the day higher by 0.95 to close at 101.35; Live Cattle moved higher by 1.53 to end the day at 96.40 and Feeder Cattle ended the day higher by 1.25 to close at 111.23.

Other Commodities: Corn moved sharply lower again today by 19.75 points to end at 354.75 and Soybeans moved sharply higher today by 17.75 to close at 779.00.

Bonds were mixed across the board today: 2 year bond closed lower by 1/32 at 99 26/32; 5 year bond closed with no change at 99 26/32; 10 year bond closed with no change at 99 26/32 and the 30 year bond closed higher by 3/32 at 98 19/32.

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 5,215,990 Open Interest for Futures moved higher by 86,230 to close at 9,755,690; the Open Interest for Options moved higher by 69,079 to close at 7,362,620 and the Open Interest for OTC moved higher by 864 at 2,740 for a total Open Interest of 17,121,050 for a total gain on the day by 156, 173.

The mini Dow ended the session higher by 9 at 12449. The total Dow Exchange Volume for the day came in at 170,375 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 2,021; decliners totaled 1,220; unchanged came in at 123; new highs came in at 224 and new lows came in at 31. New York Stock Exchange movers for the day today: First Data Corporation (FDC) plowed higher by 20.63% on the listed board to move higher by 5.55 points to end at $32.45; Altria Group (MO) plummeted by 22.31% for a loss on the day of 19.59 points to end the day at $68.22; Telecom Italia S.P.A. (TI) gained 2.66 points for an end of day price at $31.32; M&T Bank Corporation (MTB) fell sharply 9.88 points to close at $105.95 and Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings (CME) made a nice run higher by 11.42 points to end the day at $543.88.

On the NASDAQ today, advancers came in at 1,520; decliners totaled 1,518; unchanged came in at 140; new highs came in at 95 and new lows came in at 63. Gainers and losers for the day on the NASDAQ: Global Imaging Systems Incorporated (GISX) rallied higher by a whopping 46.87% for a gain of 9.14 points to end the market session at $28.64; Books-A-Million Incorporated (BAMM) made a nice run higher by 23.46% to tack on 3.34 points for a market close at $17.58; International Assets Holding Corporation (IAAC) gave up 3.08 points to shed 11.03% to end at $24.85; Cephalon Incorporated (CEPH) gained 4.75 points to end the market session at $75.96 and Jones Soda Company (JSDA) moved higher by 10.53% to gain 2.13 points on the day for a closing price at $22.35.

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