We take this time to remember those who lost their lives in the Virginia Tech massacre on Monday, April 16, 2007. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the innocent lives lost at the hands of the merciless, cowardly murder as well as, the families and friends left behind: Ross Abdallah Alameddine age 20, sophomore from Saugus, Massachutes; Christopher James Bishop age 35, foreign-languages instructor who joined the Virginia Tech faculty in August 2005; Brian Roy Bluhm age 25, civil engineering graduate student from Stephens City, Va. who had previously lived in Iowa, Detroit and Louisville, Kentucky; Ryan Christopher Clark age 22 of Martinez, Ga. senior majoring in psychology; Austin Michelle Cloyd age 18, sophomore international studies major as well as, member of the honors program from Blacksburg, Virginia who previously lived in Champaign, Illinois; Jocelyne Couture-Nowak adjunct foreign languages instructor who lived in Blacksburg and joined the faculty in August 2001; Daniel Alejandro Perez Cueva age 21 of Peru, sophomore majoring in international studies who also had lived in Woodbridge, Virginia; Kevin P. Granata age 45, engineering science and mechanics professor who joined the Virginia Tech faculty in January 2003 and lived in Blacksburg; Matthew Gregory Gwaltney age 24, of Chester, Virginia, graduate student in civil and environmental engineering; Caitlin Millar Hammaren age 19, Sophomore majoring in international studies from Westtown, New York; Jeremy Michael Herbstritt age 27, civil engineering graduate student from Bellefonte, Pennsylvania; Rachael Elizabeth Hill age 18, freshman from Glen Allen, Virginia; Emily Jane Hilscher age 19, freshman from Woodville, Virginia majoring in animal and poultry sciences; Jarrett Lee Lane age 22, senior majoring in civil engineering from Narrows, Virginia; Matthew Joseph La Porte age 20, sophomore from Dumont, New Jersey; Henry J. Lee, also known as Henh Ly age 20, first-year student majoring in computer engineering from Roanoke, Virginia, who had enough advanced-placement credits to be considered a sophomore by Virginia Tech; Liviu Librescu age 76, engineering science and mechanics professor who joined the Virginia Tech in 1985, originally from Romania and had also lived in Israel; G.V. Loganathan age 51, civil and environmental engineering professor who joined the Virginia Tech in 1981; Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan age 34, of Indonesia, civil engineering doctoral student; Lauren Ashley McCain age 20, of Hampton, Virginia freshman international studies major; Daniel Patrick O'Neil age 22, of Lincoln, Rhode Island, first-year graduate student in environmental engineering; Juan Ramon Ortiz age 26, graduate student in civil engineering from Bayamon, Puerto Rico; Minal Hiralal Panchal age 26, of Mumbai, India graduate student in architecture; Erin Nicole Peterson age 18, of Chantilly, Virginia freshman international studies major; Michael Steven Pohle Jr. age 23, of Flemington, New Jersey, senior majoring in biology; Julia Kathleen Pryde age 23, graduate student in biological systems engineering from Middletown, New Jersey; Mary Karen Read age 19, freshman from Annandale, Virginia; Reema Joseph Samaha age 18, freshman from Centreville, Virginia; Waleed Mohammed Shaalan age 32, of Zagazig, Egypt, doctoral student in civil engineering; Leslie Geraldine Sherman, sophomore history major and member of the honors program from Springfield, Virginia; Maxine Shelly Turner age 22, senior majoring in chemical engineering and member of the honors program from Vienna, Virginia and Nicole White age 20, international studies major from Smithfield, Virginia who started at Virginia Tech in the fall 2004 but, was listed by the school as a sophomore.
The markets were higher through the session, with control steadily in the hands of the Bulls into the closing bell. At the closing bell, here is how the major indices ended the session: the DOW (Dow Jones Industrial Average) moved nicely higher with triple digit gain of 153.35 points to end the session at 12961.98; the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) posted a gain of 95.65 points to end at 9697.34; the NASDAQ moved higher by 21.04 points today for a close at 2526.39; the S&P 500 moved higher by 13.62 points to end at 1484.35 and the RUSSELL 2000 moved higher by 9.54 points to close at 828.86. 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 2.48 to close at 255.38 and the FTSE RAFI 1000 closed higher by 55.44 at 6,232.49.
Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr. commented today: China Capital market development needed; China currency reform not "quick enough"; China must implement reforms committed to; China needs market determined Yuan in medium term; China needs to rebalance domestic growth; disagreements over WTO compliance unsurprising; housing market seems at or near bottom; multifaceted U.S. - China relationship key; risks for China will grow if delay reforms; seek tangible results in dialogue with China; strong China economy in U.S. interest; sub-prime problems likely "contained"; treasury asks dealers about elevated 2007 secondary market Treasury trading; Treasury asks dealers about expectations for government finance needs; U.S. China tensions natural as relationship grows; U.S. economy very healthy, well balanced and warns of protectionist sentiment in U.S., China.
Federal Reserve Board Member Frederic S. Mishkin commented today: business investment 'noticeable downside' economic risk; Central Banks responsible for controlling inflation; core inflation to slow to 2% over next couple years; current Fed stance right for economy, inflation; cutbacks in homebuilding 'may well persist'; expects some moderation in consumer spending; Fed always watching financial market stability; Fed should preempt rising inflation; Fed will act to keep inflation under control; healthy world growth a plus for U.S. economy; inflation expectations key to good monetary policy; inflation expectations near 2%, must be monitored; labor markets 'solid,' sees moderate consumer spending; moderate economic growth should spur investment pickup; no trade off between job growth and inflation; productivity slowdown cyclical, not fundamental; reduction in inflation 'may take time'; seeing stabilization of demand in housing; sees low probability of economic recession; sees underlying productivity trend near 2.5%; sub-prime mortgage spillovers to other areas 'minimal' and yield curve economic predictive value reduced.
Economic data released for the day: N/A
On the commodities markets, the trend was mostly higher across the board today for the Energy sector: Light crude moved higher by $1.55 today to close at $63.38 a barrel; Heating Oil moved higher by $0.03 to close at $1.83 a gallon; Natural Gas closed lower by $0.011 at $7.51 per million BTU and Unleaded Gas closed higher by $0.05 today at $2.14 a gallon.
Metals Market ended the session higher across the board today: Gold moved higher by $7.50 to close at $695.80 an ounce; Silver moved higher today by $0.22 to end the session at $13.96 an ounce; Platinum moved sharply higher today by $31.40 to close at $1,341.20 an ounce and Copper ended the day higher by $0.03 again today to end at $3.62 per pound.
On the Livestock and Meat Markets, the trend was mostly lower across the board today: Lean Hogs moved lower today by 0.55 at 77.05; Pork Bellies ended the day higher by 0.13 to close at 105.00 Live Cattle moved lower by 0.45 to end the day at 92.28 and Feeder Cattle ended the day lower by 0.40 to close at 110.75.
Other Commodities: Corn moved lower today with a loss of 10.25 points to end at 372.00 and Soybeans moved higher today by 5.25 to close at 740.25.