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Market Commentary for March 06, 2007

The markets staged a nice comeback from recent lows with the Bulls in control, moving the major indices into negative territory where they held, through out the session. The trading action today was rather listless as possibly, day traders and investors remained caution of the positive market trend. At the end of the trading day, here is how the major indices ended the session: the DOW
(Dow Jones Industrial Average) moved nicely higher today by a whopping 157.18 points to end the session at 12207.59, its best gain since July 24, 2006; the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) moved higher by 168.04 points to end at 9006.01; the NASDAQ moved higher by 44.46 points to close at 2385.14; the S&P 500 moved higher by 21.29 points to end at 1395.41 and the RUSSELL 2000 moved higher by 18.82 points to close at 778.88. 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 2.81 to close at 235.66 and the FTSE RAFI 1000 moved higher by 89.76 to close at 5861.10.

Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben S. Bernanke commented today: wants GSE Portfolios tied to affordable housing and that he reiterates the Fed’s concern that GSE’s pose systemic risk.

President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Charles I. Plosser commented today: housing trouble not yet spilling over into economy; productivity revisions not a big surprise; higher labor costs consistent with strong job market; financial liquidity remains robust; too early to declare victory over inflation;inflation To gradually decline over 2007; expects U.S. GDP for 2007 around 3%; U.S. economy remains on 'good path'; Fed's inflation fighting performance 'outstanding'; Stock Market declines haven't changed economic outlook; globalization hasn't blunted Fed's policy potency; setting policy goal likely most important for Fed; mild deflation may not be big problem; determining a shock is 'judgment call; Fed 'risk management' no conflict with commitment; inflation expectations are well anchored; important to weigh a price stability definition; does not comment on Monetary Policy outlook; Fed still reviewing communications strategy; Fed must work to contain inflation expectations; Fed credibility has kept inflation contained; oil surge has had little impact on inflation; Policy commitment increases flexibility; Fed should be transparent about its goals and Credible Rate Policy keeps inflation low.

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. Store Sales Week over Week change fell by 0.4% and Store Sales Year over Year change came in at 1.5%.

Productivity and Costs: A measure of labor efficiency in producing the economy’s goods and services. Labor costs are determined by unit costs of producing each unit of output. Productivity and Costs are indicators of future inflationary trends. U.S. 4th Quarter Non-Farm Productivity was revised to an increase of 1.6% from an increase of 3.0%; U.S. 4th Quarter Non-Farm Productivity consensus was an increase by 1.5%; U.S. 4th Quarter Unit Labor Costs was revised to an increase of 6.6% from an increase of 1.7%; U.S. 4th Quarter Unit Labor Costs consensus was an increase by 4.9% and Productivity was up 1.6% in 2006 which was its slowest since 1995.

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. U.S. Retail Sales were down 1.1% for the first four weeks in February versus January.

Factory Orders: Dollar level of new Factory Orders for both durable and non-durable goods. January Durable Goods was revised to a drop by 8.7% from a drop by 7.8%; U.S. Factory Orders fell by 5.6% In January versus consensus of a drop by 4.5%; January Factory Orders, Excluding Transportation fell by 2.9%; January Factory Orders, Excluding Defense fell by 5.5% and December Factory Orders was revised to an increase by 2.6% from an increase by 2.4%.

Pending Home Sales Index: Reported by the National Association of Realtors, leading indicator of housing activity. U.S. January Pending Home Sales were lower by 4.1% to 108.7.

On the commodities markets, the trend was higher across the board today for the Energy sector: Light crude moved higher by $0.62 today to close at $60.69 a barrel; Heating Oil closed higher today by $0.02 at $1.75 a gallon; Natural Gas moved higher by $0.22 today to end at $7.47 per million BTU and Unleaded Gas closed higher by $0.01 today to end the session at $1.85 a gallon.

Metals Market ended the session higher across the board today: Gold moved higher by $7.00 to close at $646.20 an ounce; Silver closed higher today by $0.24 at $12.99 an ounce; Platinum moved nicely higher today by $18.20 to close at $1,198.80 an ounce and Copper ended the day higher by $0.04 again today to close at $2.71 per pound.

On the Livestock and Meat Markets, the trend was mixed across the board today: Lean Hogs closed with no change at 65.00; Pork Bellies ended the day lower by 1.63 to close at 104.58; Live Cattle closed higher by 0.25 to end the day at 97.60 and Feeder Cattle ended the day lower by 0.20 again today to close at 106.83.

Other Commodities: Corn moved lower today by 4.75 points to end at 422.00 and Soybeans moved lower yet again today by 2.75 to close at 747.75.

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 5,143,097 Open Interest for Futures moved higher by 22,177 to close at 9,176,149 and the Open Interest for Options moved higher by 173,295 to close at 6,780,210 for a total Open Interest of 15,957,940 for a total gain on the day by 195,472.

Bonds were lower across the board today: 2 year bond closed lower by 3/32 at 100 10/32; 5 year bond closed lower by 6/32 at 100 20/32; 10 year bond closed lower by 6/32 at 100 25/32 and the 30 year bond closed lower by 10/32 at 101 15/32.

The mini Dow ended the session today with a rally of 176 to close at 12212. The total Dow Exchange Volume for the day came in at 240,292 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.

New York Stock Exchange movers for the day: RTI International Metals (RTI) climbed higher by 4.12 points to end the session at $83.68; Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings (CME) moved higher today by 10.15 points to close at $564.55 for the day; Vornado Realty Trust (VNO) gained 5.52 points on the day to close at $122.88; Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (ATI) moved higher by 4.90 points to end at $99.34 and Rio Tinto plc (RTP) gained 6.94 points to close at $210.62.

On the NASDAQ today, advancers came in at 2,472; decliners totaled 594; unchanged came in at 105; new highs came in at 27 and new lows came in at 68. Gainers and losers for the day on the NASDAQ: Sykes Enterprises Incorporated (SYKE) moved nicely higher by 23.20% for a gain of 3.67 points to end at $19.49 for the session; Incorporated (BIDU) moved higher by 4.61 points for a closing price of $104.28; InterMune Incorporated (ITMN) fell sharply by 5.90 points to shed 21.03% for a closing price at $22.15; Digene Corporation (DIGE) fell 2.75 points to end at $41.04 for the day and Google Incorporated (GOOG) rallied by 17.95 points for a close at $458.90.

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