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Market Commentary for April 17, 2007


As we moved forward on the day following the worst massacre in U.S. history, the markets provided whipotile action, with little definite direction for any of the major indices. Trading volume was moderate and trading ranges were tight.

At the closing bell, here is how the major indices ended the session: the DOW (Dow Jones Industrial Average) moved higher today by 52.58 points to end the session at 12773.04; the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) posted a minimal gain today of 6.16 points to end at 9631.69; the NASDAQ moved lower by 1.38 points today for a close at 2516.95; the S&P 500 moved higher by 3.01 points to end at 1471.48 and the RUSSELL 2000 moved lower by 2.48 points to close at 828.96. 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 0.64 to close at 254.01 and the FTSE RAFI 1000 closed higher by 7.31 at 6180.85.

President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Timothy F. Geithner commented today: warns of public skepticism over free trade; political free trade support now 'more fragile'; globalization best way to grow economy, incomes; best economic policies promote flexibility; best policy boosts monetary, fiscal credibility; important to boost financial sector resilience; flexible exchange rates raise economic flexibility; global growth unusually prolonged, widespread and does not comment on Fed rate outlook.

President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Charles I. Plosser commented today: Still substantial uncertainties for U.S. economy; outlook for U.S. inflation still uncertain; U.S. consumer is doing 'just fine'; housing market continues to create economic uncertainty; inflation is uncomfortably high; sub-prime market playing out as expected and sub-prime won't spill over to overall consumption.

U.S. Fed Discount Minutes: housing activity slow on inventories.

Economic data released for the day:

ICSC-UBS Store Sales: Weekly measure of comparable store sales at major retail chains which is related to the general merchandise portion of retail sales, as reported by the International Council of Shopping Centers. This date accounts for approximately 10% of total retail sales. For week of April 14th, Store Sales week over week change fell by 0.6% and Store Sales year over year came in at 2.3%.

Consumer Price Index (CPI): The measure of the average price level of a fixed basket of goods and services purchased by consumers; monthly changes represent the rate of inflation. U.S. March Consumer Prices rose by 0.6% compared to consensus of an increase by 0.6%; U.S. Real Average Weekly Earnings fell by 0.1% in March; U.S. March CPI Excluding Food and Energy rose by 0.1% compared to consensus of an increase by 0.2%; U.S. March CPI rose by 0.608% unrounded; U.S. March Core CPI rose by 0.061% unrounded; U.S. March CPI Energy Prices rose by 5.9% and U.S. March CPI Food Prices rose by 0.3%.

Housing Starts: A monthly measure of initial construction of new homes, single family residential units and multi family units as released by the Commerce Department. A rising trend indicates an increase in demand for home furnishings, appliances and furniture. U.S. March Housing Starts rose by 0.8% to 1.518 Million compared to consensus of a drop by 1.6%; Building Permits rose by 0.8% to 1.544 Million rate in March and February Housing Starts revised to an increase by 7.6% from an increase by 9.0%.

Redbook: General merchandise portion of retail sales covering only approximately 10% of total retail sales, this data is a weekly measure of sales at department stores, chain stores and discounters. For week of April 14th, Store Sales year over year change came in at 0.2%.

Industrial Production: The physical output of the nation’s factories, utilities and mines. The Industrial sector accounts for less than one fifth of the economy with a mostly cyclical variation. The usage of available resources amount utilities, mines and factories is the capacity utilization rate. A warning sign of inflationary pressure is detected by an increase operating rate. U.S. March Industrial Production fell by 0.2% compared to consensus of an increase by 0.1%; U.S. March Capacity Utilization fell by 0.2% at 81.4% compared to consensus of 81.9%; U.S. February Industrial Production was revised to an increase by 0.8% from an increase by 1.0% and February Capacity Use was revised to 81.6% from 82.0%.

State Street Investor Confidence Index: A measure of confidence created by looking at actual levels of risk in investment portfolios. For the month of April, State Street Investor Confidence Index came in at 99.3.

On the commodities markets, the trend was lower across the board yet again today for the Energy sector: Light crude moved lower by $0.51 today to close at $63.10 a barrel; Heating Oil moved lower by $0.06 to close at $1.81 a gallon; Natural Gas moved lower by $0.13 today to end at $7.54 per million BTU and Unleaded Gas closed lower by $0.06 again today at $2.06 a gallon.

Metals Market ended the session mostly lower across the board today: Gold moved lower by $2.00 to close at $692.50 an ounce; Silver moved lower today by $0.06 to end the session at $14.02 an ounce; Platinum moved sharply lower today by $8.60 to close at $1,280.90 an ounce and Copper ended the day higher by $0.14 to end at $3.68 per pound.

On the Livestock and Meat Markets, the trend was mostly higher across the board today: Lean Hogs moved lower today by 0.40 at 77.45; Pork Bellies ended the day higher by 0.03 to close at 103.15 Live Cattle moved higher by 0.38 to end the day at 93.28 and Feeder Cattle ended the day higher by 1.15 to close at 111.93.

Other Commodities: Corn moved sharply lower today by 10.75 points to end at 365.25 and Soybeans moved sharply lower today by 12.00 to close at 741.25.

Bonds were higher across the board again today: 2 year bond closed higher by 4/32 at 99 21/32; 5 year bond closed higher by 9/32 at 99 17/32; 10 year bond closed higher by 13/32 at 99 17/32 and the 30 year bond closed higher by 23/32 at 98 23/32.

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 2,929,410; Open Interest for Futures moved higher by 60,748 to close at 9,872,750; the Open Interest for Options moved higher by 44,680 to close at 7,885,760 and the Open Interest for OTC had no change at 4,491 for a total Open Interest of 17,763,001 for a total gain on the day by 105,428.

The e-mini Dow ended the session higher by 56 at 12825. The total Dow Exchange Volume for the day came in at 101,229 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 1,577; decliners totaled 1,669; unchanged came in at 134; new highs came in at 358 and new lows came in at 13 New York Stock Exchange movers for the day today: Commerce Group Incorporated (CGI) gained 2.75 points to end the session at $34.01; Ternium S.A. (TX) gave up 11.07% for a loss on the day by 3.31 points to end at $26.60; Trina Solar Limited (TSL) fell sharply by 6.63 points on the Big Board to close at $61.97; The Black & Decker Corporation (BDK) moved higher by 3.65 points to end the day at $87.37 and Fair Isaac Corporation (FIC) fell by 3.47 points to close at $37.08.

On the NASDAQ today, advancers came in at 1,279; decliners totaled 1,749; unchanged came in at 151 new highs came in at 178 and new lows came in at 37. Gainers and losers for the day on the NASDAQ: InsWeb Corporation (INSW) rallied higher by 118.43% for a point gain of 3.92 points to close at $7.23; Span-America Medical Systems Incorporated (SPAN) rallied by 16.49% for a gain on the day of 2.69 points for a closing price at $19; Joseph A. Bank Clothiers Incorporated (JOSB) bolted higher by 13.89% for a gain of 4.67 points to end the day at $38.30; Jones Soda Company (JSDA) fell sharply by 12.68% for a loss on the day of 4 points for a closing price at $27.54 and East West Bancorp Incorporated (EWBC) moved higher by 11.13% for a gain on the day by 3.99 points to end the session at $39.85.

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Millennium-Traders