The Bears enjoyed day two of their majority rule of the markets. Second consecutive negative session moved the major indices into the red zone where they held firmly into the close. Trading volume was light again today with tight trading ranges as well, creating a difficult market atmosphere for day traders and investors.
At the close, here is how the major indices ended the session: the DOW (Dow Jones Industrial Average) moved lower again today by 96.93 points to end the session at 12300.36; the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) moved lower by a 70.26 points to end at 9218.53; the NASDAQ moved lower by 20.33 points today for a close at 2417.10; the S&P 500 moved lower by 11.38 points to end at 1417.23 and the RUSSELL 2000 moved lower by 4.96 points to close at 797.40. 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 4.96 to close at 243.74 and the FTSE RAFI 1000 had not change to close at 6008.57.
Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben S. Bernanke commented today: inflation expectations appear to be contained; productivity slowed, but trend still favorable; sub-prime effect on economy 'relatively small'; Fed looking for more policy flexibility; have not shifted away from inflation bias; Fed moving away from forward rate guidance; economic, inflation risks have both increased; economy outlook hasn't materially changed; don't want overshoot in credit standard tightening; current Fed stance right for growth, prices; U.S. economy to grow at 'moderate' pace, risks remain; core inflation remains 'uncomfortably high'; core inflation to moderate but risks to upside; housing prospects 'uncertain,' drag to persist; sub-prime raises additional questions for housing; broader impact of sub-prime woes likely contained; investment slow, but likely to grow moderately; consumer spending 'solid,' should support growth and economic expansions don't 'die of old age' and economic, inflation risks have both increased.
Richmond Fed: March Manufacturing Index fell 10 versus February drop by 10; March Mfg Shipments Index fell 10 versus February drop by 15; March Services Revenues Index 9 versus February reading at 12 and March Retail Revenues Index came in at no change versus February drop by 25.
Economic data released for the day:
MBA Purchase Applications: Compilation from the Mortgage Bankers’ Association of various mortgage loan indexes. This data is the leading indicator for single-family home sales as well as, housing construction. Purchase Level Index for week of March 23rd came in at 411.10.
Durable Goods Orders: Reflecting new orders with domestic manufactures for immediate and future delivery of factory hard goods. U.S. February Durable Goods Orders rose by 2.5% compared to consensus of an increase by 3.5%; February Durable Goods Orders Excluding Transportation fell by 0.1%; February Durable Goods Orders Excluding Defense rose by 2.5% and January Durable Goods Orders were revised to a decrease by 9.3% from a decrease by 8.7%.
EIA Petroleum Status Report: EIA (Energy Information Administration) provides weekly petroleum inventories in the United States whether they are produced here or abroad. Prices for petroleum products are determined by the level of inventories. Department of Energy released Petroleum Status Report today: U.S. Distillate Stockpiles fell by 700,000 Barrels in the week compared to estimates of a drop by 800,000 Barrels; U.S. Refineries ran at 87.0% capacity compared to estimates of an increase by 0.6 Pt. at 86.9%; U.S. Gasoline Stockpiles fell by 300,000 Barrels for the week compared to expectations of a drop by 1.8 Million Barrels and U.S. Crude Oil Stockpiles fell by 900,000 for the week compared to expectations of an increase by 1.1 Million Barrels.
On the commodities markets, the trend was mostly higher across the board today for the Energy sector: Light crude moved higher by $1.15 today to close at $64.08 a barrel; Heating Oil moved higher today by $0.04 to close at $1.83 a gallon; Natural Gas moved higher by $0.06 today to end at $7.61 per million BTU and Unleaded Gas closed lower by $0.02 at $2.06 a gallon.
Metals Market ended the session higher across the board today: Gold moved higher by $4.10 to close at $672.90 an ounce; Silver moved higher today by $0.18 to end the session at $13.46 an ounce; Platinum moved higher today by $5.80 to close at $1,257.80 an ounce and Copper ended the day higher by $0.01 to end at $3.06 per pound.
On the Livestock and Meat Markets, the trend was mostly higher across the board today: Lean Hogs closed higher by 0.13 at 73.90; Pork Bellies ended the day lower by 0.40 to close at 101.20; Live Cattle moved higher by 0.08 to end the day at 93.43 and Feeder Cattle ended the day higher by 0.23 to close at 107.18.
Other Commodities: Corn moved lower today by 4.00 points to end at 388.50 and Soybeans moved sharply higher today by 13.75 to close at 770.75.
Bonds were mostly lower across the board again today: 2 year bond closed with no change again today at 100 10/32; 5 year bond closed lower by 1/32 at 100 18/32; 10 year bond closed lower by 5/32 at 100 18/32 and the 30 year bond closed lower by 14/32 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 2,522,599 Open Interest for Futures moved higher by 20,411 to close at 9,528,665; the Open Interest for Options moved higher by 73,494 to close at 7,027,272 and the Open Interest for OTC closed with no change at 1,708 for a total Open Interest of 16,557,645 for a total gain on the day by 93, 905.
The mini Dow ended the session sharply lower by 103 at 12381. The total Dow Exchange Volume for the day came in at 115,298 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 1,149; decliners totaled 2,090; unchanged came in at 137; new highs came in at 123 and new lows came in at 34. New York Stock Exchange movers for the day today: Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings (CME) fell sharply today for a loss of 8.16 points to end the day at $529.25; NBTY Incorporated (NTY) moved higher on the market by 3.88 points to end the session at $52.56; Rio Tinto plc (RTP) fell 5.00 points for a closing price of $222.00; Beazer Homes USA Incorporated (BZH) fell by 2.64 points to end the day at $28.77 and H.B. Fuller Company (FUL) moved nicely higher by 11.24% for a gain of 2.87 points on the day to close at $28.40.
On the NASDAQ today, advancers came in at 982; decliners totaled 2,026; unchanged came in at 146; new highs came in at 69 and new lows came in at 48 which is exact same as yesterday. Gainers and losers for the day on the NASDAQ: AngioDynamics Incorporated (ANGO) fell sharply lower by 18.81% for a loss on the day of 4.25 points to end the session at $18.34; Wynn Resorts Limited (WYNN) lost 1.99 points to close the market session at $96.07; Sigma Designs Incorporated (SIGM) gave up 10.74% to shed 3.26 points on the day to close at $27.10; Cognizant Technology Solutions Incorporated (CTSH) moved lower by 2.58 points on the day to close at $90.36 and Apple Incorporated (AAPL) fell 2.24 points to close the stock market session at $93.22.
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