Trading volume was moderate to heavy today with the major indices moving in opposite directions through out most of the trading session. Trading activity was extremely strange for day traders and overall market action questionable as to definite direction for all involved in the markets through out the days trading session. At the closing bell, here is how the major indices ended the session: the DOW (Dow Jones Industrial Average) moved higher by 37.06 points to end the session at 13,383.84; the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) shed 0.65 points to end at 9,764.73; the NASDAQ posted a loss of 21.15 points today for a close at 2,525.29; the S&P 500 moved lower by 1.96 points to end at 1,501.19 and the RUSSELL 2000 moved lower by 8.15 points to close at 814.18. 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 0.15 to close at 257.38 and the FTSE RAFI 1000 closed with no change 6,310.06.
Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke commented today that regulations should be consistent, not ad hoc and derivative rules should be principles-based.
President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Cathy E. Minehan commented today: inflation still challenging, trending down and derivatives help strengthen financial system.
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. For week of May 12, 2007, Store Sales week over week change came in at 0.8% and Store Sales year over year change came in at 2.6%.
Consumer Price Index (CPI): The measure of the average price level of a fixed basket of goods and services purchased by consumers; monthly changes represent the rate of inflation. U.S. Real Average Weekly Earnings fell by 0.5% in April; U.S. April CPI Energy Prices rose by 2.4%; U.S. April CPI Food Prices rose by 0.4% U.S. April Core CPI rose by 2.3% on the year for the slowest rise since April 2006; U.S. April CPI Unrounded at an increase of 0.416%; U.S. April CPI Core Unrounded rose by 0.177%; U.S. April CPI Excluding Food & Energy rose by 0.2% compared to consensus of an increase by 0.2%; U.S. April Consumer Prices rose by 0.4%; compared to consensus of an increase by 0.5% and U.S. March CPI rose by 0.6%.
Empire State Manufacturing Survey Index: A survey conducted by the New York Fed of manufacturers in the state of New York. The participants are from a variety of industries across the state and give their view of the likely direction of certain indicators, throughout the upcoming next six months. New York Fed May Employment came in at 9.67 versus 5.42 in April; New York Fed May New Orders came in at 8.02 versus 3.94 in April; New York Fed's May Manufacturing Index came in at 8.03 versus 3.80 in April and New York Fed May Prices and Received came in at 15.56 versus 7.14 in April.
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. Released for today: U.S. Retail Sales rose by 2.5% for the first week of May versus April.
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. Released for March, Foreign demand for Long-Term U.S. Securities came in at $67.6 Billion.
Housing Market Index: Survey created by the National Association of Home Builders for a rating on the general economy and housing market conditions. U.S. NAHB May Housing Index came in at 30 versus 33 in April and NAR reported that U.S. Existing Home Sales fell in the first quarter from year earlier.
The trend was mostly higher across the board today for the Energy Sector: Light crude moved higher by $0.71 today to close at $63.17 a barrel; Heating Oil moved higher by $0.03 today to close at $1.90 a gallon; Natural Gas moved lower by $0.08 to close at $8.02 per million BTU and Unleaded Gas closed with no change at $2.30 a gallon.
Metals Market ended the session higher across the board today: Gold moved higher by $4.40 to close at $674.50 an ounce; Silver moved higher by $0.08 to close at $13.32 an ounce; Platinum moved higher today by $10.30 to close at $1,339.60 an ounce and Copper ended the day higher by $0.04 today to end at $3.54 per pound.
On the Livestock and Meat Markets, the trend was mixed across the board again today: Lean Hogs closed with no change at 73.60; Pork Bellies ended the day lower by 0.20 to close at 104.28; Live Cattle moved higher by 0.05 to end the day at 93.03 and Feeder Cattle ended the day lower by 0.38 again today to close at 112.85.
Other Commodities: Corn moved higher today for a gain of 8.25 points to end at 371.50 and Soybeans posted another gain today of 7.50 to close at 778.00.
The e-mini Dow ended the session lower by 8 points to close at 13430. The total Dow Exchange Volume for the day came in at 134,449 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 mostly lower across the board today: 2 year bond closed with no change at 99 18/32; 5 year bond closed lower by 1/32 at 99 15/32; 10 year bond closed lower by 3/32 at 98 12/32 and the 30 year bond closed lower by 5/32 at 98 1/32.
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 2,418,235; Open Interest for Futures moved higher by 54,602 points to close at 10,161,371; the Open Interest for Options moved higher by 29,020 points to close at 7,447,431 and the Open Interest for OTC had no change to close at 4,934 for a total Open Interest of 17,613,736 for a total gain on the day by 83,622.
On the NYSE today, advancers came in at 1,180; decliners totaled 2,002; unchanged came in at 170; new highs came in at 303 and new lows came in at 35. Gainers and losers for the day on the NYSE: Terra Nitrogen Company L.P. (TNH) fell on the Big Board today by 7.76 points to close at $77.90; Rio Tinto plc (RTP) moved lower on the trading session by 3.80 points for a closing price of $276.25; Potash Corporation Saskatchewan USA (POT) moved higher by 3.89 points to end the trading day at $197.75; Hanson PLC (HAN) climbed higher on the trading day by 4.94 points to close at $109.26 and Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings (CME) gave up 6.09 points on the trading day to close at $523.40.
On the NASDAQ today, advanced totaled 884 decliners totaled 2,139; unchanged came in at 158, new highs came in at 161 and new lows came in at 152. Gainers and losers for the day on the NASDAQ: ICF International Incorporated (ICFI) shed 15.05% on the trading day for a loss of 3.57 points to end the session at $20.15; Kaiser Aluminum Corporation (KALU) shed 8.43 points to end the trading session at $79.52 and Winn-Dixie Stores Incorporated (WINN) rallied higher with a gain of 39.18% to tack on 7.84 points to end the trading day at $27.85.
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