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Market Commentary for August 30, 2007


We saw a mixed trading session at the close after we saw attempts into positive territory by the major indices fail and settle quietly in the red zone. Trading volume once again today was light, ahead of the upcoming Labor Day holiday. Trading ranges provided a weak trading session for day traders as it appears that most investors sat on the sidelines, waiting for a catalyst, to move the markets.

At the closing bell, here is how the major indices ended the session: the DOW (Dow Jones Industrial Average) posted a loss of 50.56 points on the day to end the session at 13,238.73; the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) posted a loss of 52.28 points to end the session at 9,456.84; the NASDAQ posted a gain of 2.14 points for a close at 2,565.30; the S&P 500 moved lower by 6.12 points to end at 1,457.64 and the RUSSELL 2000 moved lower by 4.21 points to close at 783.11. 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 world’s investable market capitalization) posted a gain of 1.74 points to close at 251.40 and the FTSE RAFI 1000 posted a loss of 27.93 points to close at 6,027.04.

Economic Data:

Corporate Profits: Reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), a summary of the income of organizations treated as corporations in the national income and products accounts. Report contains profits from current production known as operating or economic profits; corporate profits with inventory valuations and capital consumption adjustment. Differences in depreciation allowances used for accounting and income tax purposes are part of Capital Consumption. IVA (inventory valuation adjustment) deals with the difference in measuring the cost of inventory replacement. Book profits amount to operating profits and subtracting inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments. After tax profits are book profits after taxes are deducted. Bureau of Economic Analysis released Corporate Profits today: Second Quarter Corporate Profits rose 5.4% versus an increase by 1.5% in first quarter.

GDP (advance): Gross Domestic Product (GDP) encompasses every sector of the economy and is the broadest measure of aggregate economic activity. Gross Domestic Product data released today: U.S. Second Quarter GDP Consensus rose 4.1%; U.S. Second Quarter GDP was revised to an increase by 4.0% rate from increase by 3.4%; Second Quarter Chain-Weighted Price Index was left unchanged at an increase of 2.7%; Second Quarter Purchases Price Index was revised to an increase of 3.8% rate from an increase of 3.9%; Second Quarter PCE Price Index was revised to +4.2% rate from an increase of 4.3% and Second Quarter Real Final Sales were revised to +3.7% rate from an increase of 3.2%.

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. Data released today: U.S. Jobless Claims rose 9K to 334K for week of August 25th compared to consensus of a drop by 2K; Week of August 18th U.S. Continuing Claims rose 13K to 2,579,000 and Week of August 18th U.S. Jobless Claims were revised to 325K from 322K.

Help Wanted Index: From 51 major newspapers across the country, the Help Wanted Index is a monthly index of the number of lines of help-wanted advertising. The index indicates the strength or weakness in the labor market. U.S. Conference Board July Help-Wanted Index came in at 25 versus reading at 26 in June. The help-wanted advertising index which is a measure of job offerings slipped one point to a reading of 25 in July from an unrevised reading of 26 in June, per the Conference Board today. In a news release, the Conference Board said that in the last three months, help-wanted advertising declined in all nine U.S. regions, with the largest decrease of 17.4% in the West North Central region. "Despite housing problems, higher gas prices, higher grocery prices, even higher property taxes for some households, the consumer sector has been holding up all year because the labor market has held up," said Ken Goldstein, an economist at the Conference Board. "Job but not wage growth has slowed a little since the Spring and could slow a little more. That is the indication in the latest count in the number of print help-wanted ads. "Online ad volume has also slowed a little this summer. This reflects an economy that is slower in the third quarter than it was in the second. Both the economy and the job market could be growing a little more slowly in the fourth quarter but, not slowing dramatically. To date, the data show no suggestion that the economy is in danger of slipping into recession before the year is out." The Conference Board survey tracks help-wanted advertising volume in 51 major U.S. newspapers monthly. The volume of newspaper want ads is one indication of demand for labor, although many employers also now advertise for help through on-line services.

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. As reported today by the EIA, Weekly change for week of August 25th came in at 43 Bcf.

Commodities Markets

The trend was mixed across the board today for the Energy Sector: Light crude moved lower today by $0.26 to close at $73.25 a barrel; Heating Oil ended the session with no change at $2.06 a gallon; Natural Gas moved higher today by $0.04 to close at $5.62 per million BTU and Unleaded Gas closed at $1.91 a gallon.

Metals Market ended the session mostly lower across the board today: Gold moved lower today by $1.50 to close at $673.90 an ounce; Silver moved lower by $0.05 to close at $11.96 per ounce; Platinum moved lower today by $6.70 to close at $1,260.10 an ounce and Copper closed at $3.35 per pound.

On the Livestock and Meat Markets, the trend was mixed across the board today: Lean Hogs ended the day higher by 0.41 to close at 67.85; Pork Bellies ended the day higher by 0.43 at 92.00; Live Cattle moved lower by 0.98 to close at 97.08 and Feeder Cattle ended the day lower by 0.83 at 118.15.

Other Commodities: Corn moved lower yet again on the day with a loss of 1.00 at 339.25 and Soybeans moved nicely higher today for a gain of 10.25 points to end the session at 885.00.

The e-mini Dow ended the session today at 13,261 with a loss of 50 points on the trading session. The total Dow Exchange Volume for the day came in at 167,800 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.

Bonds were mostly higher across the board today: 2 year bond moved lower by 1 today to close at 99 26/32; 5 year bond closed higher by 10/32 at 101 23/32; 10 year bond moved higher by 13/32 today to close at 101 28/32 and the 30 year bond moved higher by 23/32 to close at 102 17/32 for the day.

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 7,557,613; Open Interest for Futures moved lower by 41,618 points to close at 9,387,687; the Open Interest for Options moved higher by 200,550 points to close at 6,794,851 and the Cleared Only moved lower by 6 points to close at 8,093 for a total Open Interest on the day of 16,190,631 with a total Change on the day of a gain of 158,926 points.

On the NYSE today, advancers came in at 1,299; decliners totaled 1,886; unchanged came in at 97; new highs came in at 39 and new lows came in at 71. Gainers and losers for the day as well as active day trading stocks on the NYSE: ENSCO International Incorporation (ESV) moved lower on the session to post a loss on the day of 3.02 points to end the trading session at $54.97; Aluminum Corporation of China Limited (ACH) was active on the trading day once again as it has been, over past few days, to post a loss of 3.48 points with a closing price on the day of $63.89; Precision Castparts Corporation (PCP) moved lower on the trading session to post a loss of 2.61 points with a high on the trading session of $132.83, a low of $128.67 for a closing price on the big board of $130.68; PetroChina Company Limited (PTR) continued its trend into lower territory with a loss of 3.10 points with a closing price of $143.10 and Terra Nitrogen Company L.P. (TNH) posted a gain on the session of 6.61 points with a high of $99.59, a low of $90.00 with a final trading price of $99.04.

On the NASDAQ today, advanced totaled 1,257; decliners totaled 1,717; unchanged came in at 151; new highs came in at 70 and new lows came in at 114. Gainers and losers for the day as well as, active day trading stocks on the NASDAQ: Sigma Designs Incorporated (SIGM) moved nicely higher on the trading day to post a gain of 10.77% to rise higher by 4.16 points for a closing price on the day at $42.79; Coldwater Creek Incorporated (CWTR) plummeted on the trading session with a loss on the day of 25.76% to shed 4.48 points with a final trading price of $12.91 and Echelon Corporation (ELON) posted a gain on the session of 2.47 points with a final trading price of $28.47.

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