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Market Commentary for September 18, 2007


The Federal Open Market Committee lowered interest rates today, the first time in four years. The Fed cut rates by 0.50 Basis Points to 4.75%. The move got the markets in frenzy, creating a strong rally that lasted into the closing bell of the trading session. The rate cut was a move to help prevent a further housing slump in an effort to prevent a recession. The Bulls came on strong after the Fed’s announcement. In days ahead, we’ll see how the markets adjust to the strong gains posted across the board today.

At the closing bell, here is how the major indices ended the session: the DOW (Dow Jones Industrial Average) posted a triple digit gain of 335.97 points on the day to end the session at 13,739.39; the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) posted a triple digit gain of 301.28 points to end the session at 9,909.03; the NASDAQ posted a nice gain of 70.00 points for a close at 2,651.66; the S&P 500 moved higher with a gain of 43.13 points to end at 1,519.78 and the RUSSELL 2000 moved higher by 30.82 points to close at 806.63. 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 5.12 points to close at 259.13 and the FTSE RAFI 1000 posted a triple digit gain of 174.46 points to close at 6,270.04.

Economic Data:

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. ICSC-UBS Chain Store Sales were down 1.1% in week of September 15th: The International Council of Shopping Centers-UBS Retail Chain Store Sales Index fell by 1.1% in the week ended September 15th its level in the week before on a seasonally adjusted, comparable-store basis, according to data reported Tuesday. This result followed a 0.3% increase in the prior week. "Though the weekly decline was large the less volatile year-over-year pace remained steady - which suggests one should not read too much into the weekly decline per se," said Mike Niemira, chief economist at ICSC who compiles the index. "For September, we still expect retail sales to increase by 2.5% on a year-over-year basis, as some new merchandise line introductions seemingly are helping to lift consumer interest and demand at some stores." On the year, chain store sales were up 2.9% in the week ended September 15th compared with a 2.9% rise the prior week.

Producer Price Index: A measure of the average price level for a fixed basket of consumer and capital goods paid by producers is the PPI. PPI released for today: U.S. August Producer Prices fell 1.4% versus consensus of a drop by 0.3%; U.S. August PPI Excluding-Food & Energy rose 0.2% versus consensus of an increase by 0.1%; U.S. August PPI Intermediate Goods fell 1.2%; U.S. August PPI Intermediate fell 0.5%; U.S. August PPI Crude Goods fell 3.0%; U.S. August PPI Crude Goods Core rose 1.3%; U.S. August PPI Energy Prices fell 6.6% which was largest drop since 2003; U.S. August Passenger Car Prices rose 0.5% and U.S. July PPI Unrevised at an increase of 0.6%.

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. Redbook data released today: U.S. Retail Sales rose 0.8% for 1st two weeks of September versus August. National chain store sales rose 0.8% in the first two weeks of September versus the previous month, according to Redbook Research's latest indicator of national retail sales released Tuesday. The rise in the index was in line with the target. The Johnson Redbook Index also showed seasonally adjusted sales in the two-week period rose 2.5% compared with September 2006 and relative to a revised target of a 2.6% gain. Redbook said on an unadjusted basis, sales in the week ended September 15th were up 2.3% from the same week in 2006, following a 2.8% gain the prior week. Some merchants last week "may have been negatively affected by a mismatched comparison with last year's Labor Day," Redbook said. The weather was also cited as unseasonably warm over much of the U.S., reportedly lowering demand for fall apparel, a mainstay of the current cycle. Redbook also said that back-to-school activity continued to show sporadic evidence and buyers nibbled at fall apparel but, elsewhere business was sustained by food and basic commodities. "Retailers are stocked up and ready for shoppers to buy their fall offerings," said Redbook, "however, business will probably not reach its full potential until the weather cooperates."

Treasury International Capital: The flow of financial instruments into and out of the United States is tracked by this Treasury data. Tracking is included for: Treasury Securities, agency securities, corporate bonds and corporate equities. Treasury International Capital (TIC) Data for July: Net foreign purchases of long-term securities were $19.2 billion. Net foreign purchases of long-term U.S. securities were $24.7 billion. Of this, net purchases by foreign official institutions were $4.4 billion and net purchases by private foreign investors were $20.3 billion. U.S. residents purchased a net $5.5 billion of long-term foreign securities. Net foreign acquisition of long-term securities, taking into account adjustments, is estimated to have been minus $3.0 billion. Foreign holdings of dollar-denominated short-term U.S. securities, including Treasury bills and other custody liabilities increased $66.6 billion.Foreign holdings of Treasury bills increased $18.7 billion. Banks' own net dollar-denominated liabilities to foreign residents increased $40.3 billion. Monthly net TIC flows were $103.8 billion. Of this, net foreign private flows were $65.4 billion, and net foreign official flows were $38.4 billion.

State Street Investor Confidence Index: A measure of confidence created by looking at actual levels of risk in investment portfolios. Data Released today for September 2007: State Street Investor Confidence Index came in at 92.1.

Housing Market Index: Survey created by the National Association of Home Builders for a rating on the general economy and housing market conditions. Data Released today for September 2007: Housing Market Index at 20.

FOMC Announcement: The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates today, the first time in four years. Federal Reserve Open Market Committed Cuts Rates 0.50 Basis Points to 4.75%; Cites Economic Uncertainty; Voted 10-0 For Fed Funds Rate Cut; Future Rate Moves Depend On Data, Outlook; Will Act To Foster Price Stability, Sustain Growth; Drops Reference To Capacity Use Inflation Risk; Some Inflation Risks Remain, Will Continue To Monitor; Rate Cut Intended To Forestall Broader Economic Effects; Tight Credit May Intensify Housing Woes, Slow Growth and Financial Markets Conditions Increased Economic Uncertainty.

Commodities Markets

The trend was mixed across the board today for the Energy Sector: Light crude moved higher today by $0.88 to close at $81.45 a barrel; Heating Oil closed at $2.24 a gallon; Natural Gas moved lower today by $0.18 to close at $7.14 per million BTU and Unleaded Gas moved lower today by $0.01 for the third day in a row, to close at $2.04 a gallon.

Metals Market ended the session higher across the board again today: Gold moved higher today by $0.20 to close at $724.00 an ounce; Silver moved higher by $0.03 to close at $12.93 per ounce; Platinum higher today by $4.10 to close at $1,306.70 an ounce and Copper closed higher by $0.03 again today at $3.45 per pound.

On the Livestock and Meat Markets, the trend was mixed across the board today: Lean Hogs ended the day lower by 1.15 to close at 66.00; Pork Bellies ended the day lower by 1.75 at 86.80; Live Cattle ended the day higher by 0.95 to close at 99.50 and Feeder Cattle ended the day higher by 0.88 at 116.50.

Other Commodities: Corn moved lower on the day to post a loss of 0.75 at 351.50 and Soybeans moved higher today with a gain of 2.00 points to end the session at 970.50.

The e-mini Dow ended the session today at 13,834 with a powerful gain of 331 points on the trading session. The total Dow Exchange Volume for the day came in at 188,442 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 lower, across the board today: 2 year bond closed lower by 4/32 at 99 23/32; 5 year bond closed lower by 8/32 at 99 12/32; 10 year bond moved lower by 11/32 today to close at 101 29/32 and the 30 year bond moved lower by 22/32 to close at 104 3/32 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 2,760,965; Open Interest for Futures moved higher by 44,050 points to close at 8,868,162; the Open Interest for Options moved higher by 40,575 points to close at 8,460,068 and the Cleared Only closed higher by 17 points to close at 8,481 for a total Open Interest on the day of 17,336,711 with a total Change on the day with a gain of 84,642 points.

On the NYSE today, advancers came in at 2,940; decliners totaled 333; unchanged came in at 61; new highs came in at 149 and new lows came in at 56. Gainers and losers for the day as well as active day trading stocks on the NYSE: Canadian Natural Resource Limited (CNQ) gained 3.69 points on the session with a closing price of $78.60; Lehman Brothers Holdings Incorporated (LEH) posted a nice gain on the session of 10.01% to climb higher by 5.87 points with a high on the day of $64.65, a low of $58.50 for a closing price at $64.49; Union Pacific Corporation (UNP) moved higher on the session with a gain of 5.26 points with a high on the day of $116.35, a low of $110.62 for a closing price at the bell of $116.26; CME Group Incorporated (CME) roared higher on the trading session to post a gain of 12.42 points with a high on the day of $552.52, a low of $535.58 for a final trading price at the closing bell on the high of the day of $552.52; Aluminum Corporation of China Limited (ACH) posted a gain on the day of 4.28 points with a final trading price of $64.22; Rio Tinto plc (RTP) touted a strong rebound today after the Feds announcement for a gain of 17.29 points with the high on the day at $311.99, the low at $293.34 for a final trading price of $309.80 and BlackRock Incorporated (BLK) soared higher on the day with a high of $170.00, a low of $159.00 to tack on 11.50 points with a closing price of $169.50.

On the NASDAQ today, advanced totaled 2,361; decliners totaled 649 unchanged came in at 125; new highs came in at 99 and new lows came in at 60. Gainers and losers for the day as well as, active day trading stocks on the NASDAQ: Factory Card & Party Outlet Corporation (FCPO) bolted higher on the session to post a whopping gain of 100.76% with a climb higher by 8.11 points for a final trading price of $16.16; Micrus Endovascular Corporation (MEND) fell sharply lower on the session for a loss on the day of 28.12% to shed 6.62 points to end the trading day at $16.95; CBRL Group Incorporated (CBRL) moved nicely higher on the trading day to post a gain of 14.55% to tack on 5.26 points with a high on the day of $42.00, a low of $37.16 for a closing price of $41.40; Baidu.com Incorporated (BIDU) continued it strong move into higher territory to post a gain on the day of 16.31 points with a high of $268.79, a low of $255.25 for a closing price of $269.20 and Google Incorporated (GOOG) plowed higher on the day to post a gain of 9.97 points with a high on the day of $537.25 a low of $524.27 for a closing price of $535.25.

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