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Market Commentary for May 17, 2007

The trading session was mostly controlled by the Bears, with the DOW moving into the positive zone only for a short period of time during the late afternoon session. We saw light trading volume and overall, a rather listless trading session. At the closing bell, here is how the major indices ended the session: the DOW (Dow Jones Industrial Average) moved lower by 10.81 points to end the session at 13,476.72; the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) shed 6.45 points to end at 9,818.98; the NASDAQ posted a loss of 8.04 points today for a close at 2,539.38; the S&P 500 moved lower by 1.39 points to end at 1,512.75 and the RUSSELL 2000 moved lower by 4.56 points to close at 815.64. 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 lower by 0.35 to close at 257.88 and the FTSE RAFI 1000 moved lower by 3.94 to close at 6,351.91.

Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Open Market Committee Ben S. Bernanke commented today: housing an 'important source' of economic slowdown; no big sub-prime spillover seen into economy; latest housing data suggest further step down in 1st quarter; regulators must walk `fine line' on sub-prime; sees delinquencies, foreclosures up in 2007, 2008; sub-prime will be `some restraint' on home buying; fighting bad lending may take more than disclosures; fed considering `all its options' on sub-prime; any new sub-prime policy should be `sharply drawn'; some originators have contributed to sub-prime woes; growth in sub-prime market `has been dramatic'; financial system can absorb losses from sub-prime; significant risks related to private equity financing; accounting rules may complicate loan work-out deals and we expect Basel II to be implemented in 2008.

Economic data released for the day:

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. Continuing Claims for week of May 5th fell by 78K to 2,473,000; U.S. Jobless Claims fell by 5,000 to 293K for week of May 12th compared to survey of an increase by 18K and Jobless Claims were down for the 5th Straight Week being lowest since January 13th.

Leading Indicators: Ten economic indicators are compiled by the Conference Board that should lead overall economic activity. In the past 30 years the data has been revised many times especially when it has not done a good job of predicting turning points in the economy. U.S. Conference Board released data today: April Lagging Index rose by 0.2%; April Coincident Index rose by 0.2% and April Leading Index fell by 0.5%.

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. EIA released supply data today for week of May 12th at 95 Bcf.

Philadelphia Fed Survey: Philadelphia Federal Reserve district releases general conditions index from the business outlook survey which is a diffusion index of manufacturing conditions in the district. Philadelphia Fed May Price Received came in at 2.2 versus April reading at 5.2; Philadelphia Fed May Employment came in at 12.9 versus April reading at 2.5; Philadelphia Fed May New Orders came in at 8.7 versus April reading at 2.8; Philadelphia Fed May Price paid came in at 32.3 versus April reading at 24.3; Philadelphia Fed May Business Index expected to come in at 3.0 and Philadelphia Fed May Business Index came in at 4.2 versus April reading at 0.2.

Commodities Markets

The trend was higher across the board today for the Energy Sector: Light crude moved higher by $2.00 today to close at $64.55 a barrel; Heating Oil moved higher by $0.05 again today to close at $1.93 a gallon; Natural Gas moved higher by $0.14 at $8.19 per million BTU and Unleaded Gas moved higher by $0.09 to close at $2.43 a gallon.

Metals Market ended the session lower across the board again today: Gold moved lower by $4.30 to close at $657.20 an ounce; Silver moved lower by $0.05 to close at $12.88 an ounce; Platinum moved lower today by $7.90 to close at $1,317.90 an ounce and Copper ended the day lower by $0.12 today to end at $3.31 per pound.

On the Livestock and Meat Markets, the trend was mostly lower across the board today: Lean Hogs closed higher by 0.10 to close at 74.98; Pork Bellies ended the day lower by 0.35 to close at 103.25; Live Cattle moved lower by 0.93 to end the day at 91.85 and Feeder Cattle ended the day lower by 0.15 today to close at 112.95.

Other Commodities: Corn moved lower today for a loss of 2.50 points to end at 373.50 and Soybeans closed with no change at 792.75.

The e-mini Dow ended the session lower by 24 points to close at 13,514. The total Dow Exchange Volume for the day came in at 170,682 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 2/32 at 99 15/32; 5 year bond closed lower by 7/32 at 99 7/32; 10 year bond closed lower by 11/32 at 97 31/32 and the 30 year bond closed lower by 15/32 at 97 14/32.

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 3,023,289; Open Interest for Futures moved higher by 14,000 points to close at 10,350,273; the Open Interest for Options moved higher by 75,316 points to close at 7,595,995 and the Open Interest for OTC had no change to close at 4,934 for a total Open Interest of 17,951,202 for a total gain on the day by 89,316.

On the NYSE today, advancers came in at 1,263; decliners totaled 1,969; unchanged came in at 156; new highs came in at 215 and new lows came in at 38. Gainers and losers for the day on the NYSE: Rio Tinto plc (RTP) moved lower on the trading day for a loss of 5.77 points to close at $278.05; Terra Nitrogen Company L.P. (TNH) moved higher on the trading session by 5.76 points to close at $88.50; J.C. Penney Company Incorporated (JCP) posted a favorable gain on the Big Board today of 4.02 points to end the trading day at $79.74; Alliance Data Systems Corporation (ADS) rallied higher on the day for a gain of 15.50 points to tack on 24.62% to end the trading day at $78.46 and Potash Corporation Saskatchewan (POT) climbed higher by 4.41 points to end at $205.08.

On the NASDAQ today, advanced totaled 1,132 decliners totaled 1,906; unchanged came in at 157, new highs came in at 94 and new lows came in at 99. Gainers and losers for the day on the NASDAQ: Acxiom Corporation (ACXM) moved higher on the trading day for a gain of 18.08% to tack on a gain of 4.28 points to end the trading session at $27.95; International Limited (CTRP) moved higher by 5.89 points to close at $78.10; Crocs Incorporated (CROX) moved higher by 3.24 points to end the day at $76.22 and Huron Consulting Group Incorporated (HURN) gave up 2.39 points to close the trading day at $62.61.

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