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Economic Data (USA)

Friday, December 30, 2005

All 3 Majors Down for The Day; Dow Down for The Year

All 3 Major indices were down today, the final trading day of 2005, as investors sold off stocks in order to lock in profits for 2005.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) finished down by 0.6% on the year. The NASDAQ finished up by 1.4% for 2005, and the S&P 500 ended up by 3% for 2005.

The annual numbers aren't so bad when put into perspective: it could have been much worse. Many companies restated earnings this year, thanks to The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the South was battered by some of the most powerful hurricanes on record and The Fed raised interest rates every time the FOMC met in 2005. A lackluster December was negatively punctuated by 3 days in which U.S. Treasury Bonds experienced an inverted yield curve. Considering all the economic drama that occurred in 2005, the U.S. economy has proven quite resilient.

General Motors, the Dow Industrial with the worst stock performance of 2005, gained $0.41 to close @ $19.42 per share today.

Though stock in Google performed very well in 2005, shares dropped by $5.29 to close @ $414.86 per share today. Google has recently lost favor with some investors as the company is in a legal fight over the VOIP technology in its Google Talk product.

Commodities did well in 2005. Copper, oil and especially gold performed well this year; New York Spot Gold finished the year @ $516.60 per ounce and crude oil is up by 40% for 2005. Oil finished up today on continued concern about U.S. gasoline inventories.

New York markets and exchanges will be closed on Monday, January 2, 2006 in observance of the New Year's Day holiday.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Down @ 10,717.50 (-67.32)

NASDAQ: Closed Down @ 2,205.32 (-12.84)

S&P 500: Closed Down @ 1,248.29 (-6.13)


NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $61.04/barrel
New York Spot Gold closed @ $516.60/ounce

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

All 3 Major Indices Down As Treasury Bond Yields & Slowing Home Sales Worry Investors

Yup: Looks like The Dow won't make it back to 11K this year. Tomorrow is the last trading day of 2005; it's a Friday, and many investors have been on vacation since Xmas, so a year-end rally is pretty much out of the question.

The inverted yield curve menace once again reared it's ugly head today as the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury Note (@ 4.36%) was lower than the yield on the 2-year note (currently @ 4.37%.) Slowing sales of previously owned homes also contributed to the drag on the day's numbers.

The cost of crude surpassed the $60 mark today on news that U.S. inventories of gasoline may not be strong enough to support the current and near-future demand.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) fell by $1.17 (3.7%) to close @ $30.53 per share.

Gold continues to shine, closing above the $515 mark today.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Down @ 10,784.82 (-11.44)

NASDAQ: Closed Down @ 2,218.16 (-10.78)

S&P 500: Closed Down @ 1,254.42 (-3.75)


NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently $60.32/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed @ $515.40/ounce

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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

All 3 Majors Gain As Inversion Fears Wane and Gold Surges

All 3 major indices gained today as investors responded to positive consumer confidence news and to news that the 10-year U.S. Treasury Bond yield is once again higher than the 2-year bond yield (10-year is now 4.37%, and the 2-year is now 4.36%.)

The price for gold continues to surge as demand from both investors and jewelry makers remains strong. Investors are hot for gold because the numbers don't lie: if you had invested $10,000 in gold at the beginning of 2005, your investment would have proven more profitable than most stock investments and all bond investments. Gold is also popular because many investors believe that central banks around the globe--most notably China--may purchase gold in the near future as a way of diversifying state assets. New York Spot Gold closed up @ $513.80 per once today.

Energy stocks performed well on news that OPEC may cut production levels in order to stabilize prices. Exxon-Mobil gained $0.38 to close @ $56.25 per share, while Valero Energy added $0.97 to close @ $51.87 per share, and shares of Amerada Hess rose by $3.82 to close @ $126.57. NYMEX Crude Future is currently $59.82 per barrel.

Whole Foods Market Inc., America's biggest natural foods chain, performed very well today on news that the company is to be listed on the S&P 500 Index of stocks. Stock in Whole Foods rose by $3.67 to close @ $79.10 per share. To put this news into perspective: Standard & Poor's decided not to add Google to the S&P 500.

Stock in Celgene Inc. rose by $3.37 to close @ $60.85 per share. A JMP Securities analyst predicts that sales of the anemia drug Revlimid may go as high as $700 million by 2008.

The Board of Directors @ Guidant Corp. have recommended that shareholders vote "yes" to Johnson & Johnson's proposed $21.5 billion takeover bid. Guidant rose by $0.45 on the news to close @ $65.14 per share, while Johnson & Johnson gained $0.12 to close @ $60.42.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Up @ 10,796.26 (+18.49)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,228.94 (+2.05)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,258.17 (+1.63)


NYMEX crude oil future closed @ $59.82/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed @ $513.80/ounce

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New York Stock Exchange® Floor Traders to Pay $5,000 per Year for e-Broker Handhelds

The New York Stock Exchange® will soon be charging floor traders $5,000 per year to use the e-Broker handheld computers which they currently use in conjunction with the open-outcry system of trading @ The Big Board. The new fee is one of many cost-cutting measures that The Exchange is implementing as it prepares to become a for-profit, publicly traded company.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

All 3 Majors Down On News of An Inverted Yield Curve and Falling Energy Prices

The morning numbers looked great, as investors responded to a report that Xmas 2005 holiday sales topped last year's Xmas season sales by 8.7 percent. But in the end, all 3 major indices closed down on news of lower oil and gas prices, and a significant event in the U.S. bond market: an inverted yield curve.

What the heck is an inverted yield curve (a.k.a. a "negative yield curve") you ask? Well, right now, the yield on a 10-year U.S. Treasury Note is 4.33%, while the yield on a 2-year U.S. Treasury Note is 4.34%. This really makes no sense, from an investment point of view, because a 10-year Treasury Bond investment involves more risk, and should therefore offer a better return for investors. This inverted situation causes investors to get butterflies in their collective stomachs, because statistics have shown that an inverted yield curve in the U.S. Treasury Bond market is almost certain to be followed by, at best, an economic slowdown and, at worst, a recession. The 13 consecutive interest rate hikes by The Fed contributed much to today's inverted yield curve situation.

Warm weather has been predicted for the first week of 2006 for the Northeast United States by the National Weather Service, and you know what that means--all together now: Falling oil and gas prices. Shares in Exxon-Mobil fell by $1.23 to close @ $55.87 per share. Shares in the oil refiner Valero fell by $1.93 to close @ $50.90 per share (San Antonio, Texas-based Valero Energy Corporation is America's largest independent refiner of crude oil.)

Shares in Wal-Mart fell by $0.61 (1.3%) to close @ $47.73 per share. Shares in Best Buy also fell by $0.61 to close @ $43.69 per share.

The FDA won't let Guidant Corporation export heart-rhythm devices from the company's plant in St. Paul, Minnesota as a result of a September inspection. Shares in Guidant fell by $2.29 to close @ $64.69 per share.

Mercury Interactive fell by $2.37 (7.6%) to close @ $28.99 per share.

American Express fell by $1.04 to close @ $51.27 per share.

Intel fell by $0.51 to close @ $25.46 per share.

GE fell by $0.36 to close @ $35.06 per share.

OfficeMax fell by $3.17 (12%) to close @ $24.35 per share.

Continental Airlines closed up today @ $21.56 per share.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Down @ 10,777.77 (-105.50)

NASDAQ: Closed Down @ 2,226.89 (-22.53)

S + P 500: Closed Down @ 1,256.54 (-12.12)


NYMEX crude oil future closed @ $57.92/barrel
New York Spot Gold closed @ $507.60/ounce

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Monday, December 26, 2005

Markets Closed for Xmas (Observed)

The New York markets are closed today in observance of Xmas. You can refer to last Friday's post for the most recent numbers from New York's markets.

Online retailer Amazon.com has reported record sales this holiday season, with iPods and video games topping their list of hot sellers. Amazon's best sales day for Xmas season 2005: December 12th.

It would seem that American bankers can't get enough of China's banking industry. Citigroup is set to increase its ownership stake in The Pudong Development Bank from 4.6% to just under 20%. Citibank is also bidding against American, European and Chinese rivals to get a piece of The Guangdong Development Bank (Guangdong is a relatively wealthy region of southern China.) All these banks want to profit from the boom in borrowing that is virtually inevitable as the increasingly wealthy Chinese people buy cars, homes, and all the other things that upwardly mobile consumers tend to acquire.

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Friday, December 23, 2005

The Slowest Full Trading Day of 2005

Less than 1 billion shares were traded today, which was the slowest full trading day of 2005.

If you are not Russian, and you've always wanted a sizeable stake in Gazprom, which is the world's largest producer of natural gas, you can now have it. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed documents today to allow foreign ownership of Gazprom.

The Russians had limited foreign ownership of Gazprom to Western-proxy shares as a way of ensuring state control of the company. Now, instead of using the Western-proxy shares system, the Russian government increased its ownership stake in Gazprom from 39% to 51%; after all, they only need 51% to have full control. The remaining 49% of Gazprom shares are now open to investors the world over.

The Commerce Department reported that new home sales have dropped by over 11%, which is the biggest drop since January of 1994.

Shares in Bausch & Lomb lost $7.07 (8.9%) to close @ $72.00 per share on news that the company will be restating earnings for Q1, 2000 through Q2, 2005.

U.S. stock markets will be closed on Monday, December 26, 2005, in observance of Xmas.

Today's Numbers

DJIA: Closed Down @ 10,883.27 (-6.17)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,249.42 (+2.93)

S&P 500: Closed UP @ 1,268.66 (+0.54)


NYMEX light, sweet crude oil closed @ $58.43/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed @ $502.70/ounce

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Thursday, December 22, 2005

All 3 Majors Gain; GM Continues To Slide

The fight between The MTA and The Transport Workers Union is still on, but at least the strike is over. NYC's commuters will be able to use The City's transit system after midnight tonight.

Humana, Inc. gained $6.97 (14%) to close @ $55.29 per share on news that the company is expecting a big jump in the number of individuals enrolling in their Medicare plan for the current quarter. Humana manages healthcare plans for the United States military.

A group led by the investment bank Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. has the approval of the Chinese government to buy a $3.7 billion piece (about 10%) of The Industrial & Commercial Bank of China.

A shining star on The Dow Industrials today was Caterpillar, Inc., which gained $1.37, (2.4%) to close @ $58.45 per share as investors responded to a report by a Credit Suisse First Boston analyst who predicts that the company's stock will do well in 2006.

The stock price for General Motors continues to slide; stock in GM slid another $0.41 to close @ $18.64 per share.

Stock in Albertson's, Inc. fell by $0.82 to close @ $23.28 per share on news that the company turned down a $9.6 billion takeover bid from a group that included pharmacy giant CVS.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Up @ 10,889.44 (+55.71)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,246.49 (+14.83)

S&P 500: Closed UP @ 1,268.12 (+5.33)


NYMEX light, sweet crude oil is currently $58.33/barrel

New York Spot Gold is currently $503.90/ounce

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

All 3 Majors Up; GM Continues To Lose Value

Trading today continued as usual despite the fact that the NYC transit strike is still on.

Stock in General Motors lost more value today, losing $0.80 (4%) to close @ $19.05 per share.

Both United Parcel Service (UPS) and FedEx did well today, helping The Dow Jones Transportation Average hit an all time high.

In tech news, Seagate Technology is buying #2 hard drive maker Maxtor; stock in Maxtor rose by $2.41 (53%) on the news to close @ $6.93. Stock in hard drive maker Western Digital also rose today as investors speculated on it being bought by Seagate as well. Seagate is the world's #1 computer hard drive maker.

According The Government, U.S. inventories of diesel and heating oil were lower than expected last week. This news sent the price of NYMEX crude oil for February delivery higher.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Up @ 10,833.73 (+28.18)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,231.66 (+9.24)

S&P 500: Closed UP @ 1,262.79 (+3.17)


NYMEX light, sweet crude oil is currently $58.89/barrel

New York Spot Gold is currently $494.80/ounce

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Transit Strike Had No Real Impact On Trading; All 3 Majors Down Today Regardless

Toyota and Honda are predicting a 10% increase in U.S. sales next year; the news from the Japanese auto makers contributed to GM stock losing $1.20, or 5.7%, and closing @ $19.85 per share. GM stock hasn't been priced this low since 1982. Yikes. Kirk Kerkorian sold off 12 million shares of GM for around $251 million.

Continued fears about future interest rate hikes also contributed to today's dismal numbers.

Strong fourth quarter earnings (close to $7 billion) were responsible for stock in Morgan Stanley to increase by $1.04 and close @ $57.71 per share.

Looks like we may have to wait until 2006 before The Dow climbs above the 11K mark again.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Down @ 10,805.55 (-30.98)

NASDAQ: Closed Down @ 2,222.42 (-0.32)

S&P 500: Closed Down @ 1,259.62 (-0.30)


Light, sweet Crude Oil Future is Currently $58.09/barrel
New York Spot Gold is Currently $490.00/ounce

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Trading Will Go On As Usual, Despite Crippling Transit Strike

New York City's transit workers have officially been on strike since 3 a.m. this morning; the strike is the first since 1980. Traffic has already been a problem as commuters tried to beat a 5 a.m. restriction on cars entering The City with fewer than 4 passengers. Trading @ The NYSE will go on as usual.

In other NYSE news this morning, Chevron, the nation's #2 oil company, announced that the company has struck black gold in a oil well that is reportedly the deepest in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Monday, December 19, 2005

All 3 Majors Down Today: Xmas 2005 Is Pretty Much Over

Poor performance by retail and tech-related stocks contributed to the day's dismal numbers, as many investors have come to accept that the Xmas shopping season is over for 2005; Xmas 2005 will be remembered as lackluster and disappointing.

Pfizer and Merck did well today: stock in PFizer closed up by $1.74 @ $24.32 per share on news of a recent court decision that should protect Pfizer's patent on the cholesterol drug Lipitor until the patent expires 5 years from now. Merck closed up by $2.24 @ $32.25 per share on news that an analyst @ Deutsche Bank has given the company a "buy" rating.

American auto giants GM and Ford continue to struggle: sales of GM cars haven't improved, while the Fitch ratings agency has reduced Ford's debt rating to "junk" status.

Weather forecasters predict more mild weather in the Northeast United States, and, as you might have guessed, this caused the price of oil to drop further; light & sweet crude closed @ $57.33 per barrel.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Down @ 10,836.53 (-39.06)

NASDAQ: Closed Down @ 2,222.74 (-29.74)

S&P 500: Closed Down @ 1,259.92 (-7.40)

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Friday, December 16, 2005

All 3 Majors & Oil Down

New trend: if you want to predict the price of oil, just check the weather forecast for the Northeast United States. The price of oil fell again today as--you guessed it--meteorologists predicted mild temperatures for the Northeast. Crude oil closed @ 58.06 per barrel, down by $1.93. Shares of oil-related stocks (Exxon Mobil, Chevron) closed lower as a result.

Google may pay $1 billion for a (eh hem!) 5% stake in AOL.
Looks like Google will do anything to score points against Microsoft.

Shares of Dow Industrial blue chip Johnson & Johnson did well today on news that it will purchase insulin pump maker Animas Corp. Shares of J&J closed up @ $60.86.

The cost for a seat on the New York Stock Exchange® continues to fall. Today, an NYSE membership seat sold for $3.275 million. The last membership seat sold for $3.625 million. The highest price paid for a seat on The Exchange was $4 million.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Down @ 10,875.59 (-6.08)

NASDAQ: Closed Down @ 2,252.48 (-8.15)

S&P 500: Closed Down @ 1,267.32 (-3.62)

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Thursday, December 15, 2005

All 3 Majors Down Slightly

The Illinois Supreme Court threw out a case against cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris which could have cost the company over $10 billion. The Court rejected the position of the Class which claimed that the company tricked people into thinking that light cigarettes are safer than regular ones. The stock of parent company Altria rose by $2.89 (or 3.9 percent) on the news to close @ $76.62 per share.

Light & sweet crude oil, heating oil and gasoline all got cheaper today with a barrel of the light & sweet stuff closing below the $60 mark. Analysts and investors weren't expecting this, with cold weather in the South, and because the government reported that reserves of natural gas are down.

The Charles Schwab Corporation, the San Francisco-based discount brokerage, announced today that it will no longer be listed on The New York Stock Exchange®; shares of the company will soon be traded exclusively on The NASDAQ Exchange. The company had been listed on both the NYSE and The NASDAQ Stock Exchange for two years.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Down @ 10,881.67 (-1.84)

NASDAQ: Closed Down @ 2,260.63 (-1.96)

S&P 500: Closed Down @ 1,270.94 (-1.80)

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Dow Up, NASDAQ Down; S&P 500 @ 4 Year High

The US trade deficit for October, 2005 was a record high $68.9 billion. The old record was one month previous: $66 billion. Some economists are predicting that the US trade deficit will be over $750 billion next year.

The S&P 500 hit a 4 year high today, closing at a level not seen since June of 2001.

China is now the world's 4th largest economy, surpassing the UK which previously held the #4 spot.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Up @ 10,883.51 (+59.79)

NASDAQ: Closed Down @ 2,262.59 (-2.41)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,272.74 (+5.31)

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Stocks Perform Well As The Fed Hints That Interest Rate Hikes Will Soon Come To An End

Everyone on Wall Street knew that The Fed would raise their key interest rate--The Fed Funds Rate--by 0.25 percentage points to 4.25% today, but investors still paid close attention to the press release issued by The Fed after today's FOMC meeting, because investors are very keen on knowing how high The Fed will take interest rates in the future. Well, the word "accommodative" was missing from today's press release, so investors understood this to mean that The Fed will soon go easy on raising rates, which should in turn spur much economic growth throughout the country.

Banking and other finance related stocks did well today on the positive news from The Fed.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Up @ 10,823.72 (+55.95)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,265.00 (+4.05)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,267.43 (+7.00)

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Monday, December 12, 2005

Dow Down, S&P and NASDAQ Up, with Oil Closing Above $61 Per Barrel

Merck lost 2.5% today on the news of a mistrial in the company's latest court case related to the painkiller Vioxx; investors had expected Merck to win it's latest court battle.

Apple Computer did well today on news that it will soon come out with a new computer that will have an Intel processor at it's heart; the news from Apple helped the NASDAQ to close up today.

Many Blue Chip stocks closed down today as investors brace themselves for the expected 25 basis point increase to The Fed Funds Rate that is almost certain to happen tomorrow.

Gold's charm may be waning: gold peaked @ around $540 per ounce today, but gold's price ended up falling as the day progressed; right now the price for an ounce of gold is @ $522.30.

The folks @ OPEC report that they are happy with the way things are going with oil; oil ended up closing above the $61 mark for a barrel of the light and sweet stuff. Looks like the only way the price of oil is going to get tamed is by a streak of warm weather in the US.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Down @ 10,767.77 (-10.81)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,260.95 (+4.22)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,260.43 (+1.06)

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Friday, December 09, 2005

All 3 Majors Up For The Day, But Down For The Week

What's going on with gold? Gold's price continues to climb (if you've been thinking about investing then now might be the right time) at a rate not seen since the double-digit prime interest rate days of the early 80's. Right now, the price of gold is @ $526.30 per ounce (€445.35). Some are saying that investors have lost their faith in the world's strongest currencies like The Dollar and The Euro. Others say that the gold buying spree has it's source in politics. Whatever the reason, some are predicting that the price of gold may continue to climb at the present rate for some time.

So I guess the real question is: got gold?

All 3 majors were up today but down for the week. On the week, the DJIA feel 0.91%, the S&P 500 fell 0.45% and the NASDAQ dipped by 0.73%.

Oil closed below the $60 mark @ $59.39 for a barrel of the light & sweet stuff.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Up @ 10,778.58 (+23.46)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,256.73 (+10.27)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,259.37 (+3.53)

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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Cold Snap Extends All The Way To The South; All 3 Majors Down Today

A serious cold snap which produced freezing weather as far down South as Texas had investors worried about consumer spending today: Americans probably won't be spending that much this holiday season if their energy bills are too high. Oil is back up above the $60 mark, and natural gas futures are at record high prices as well.

All 3 major indices closed down today, with Intel losing 1.7 percent and closing @ $25.70 per share. Merck was also down today, closing @ $28.88 per share (down 2.7 percent.)

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Down @ 10,755.12 (-55.79)

NASDAQ: Closed Down @ 2,246.46 (-5.55)

S&P 500: Closed Down @ 1,255.84 (-1.53)

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

All 3 Majors Down As Interest Rate Fears Continue To Worry Investors

Stocks related to finance and new home construction fell today as investors continue to worry about interest rate hikes by The Fed (The next Federal Open Market Committee [FOMC] meeting should happen on December 13, 2005.)

Oil stocks also lost some value as the cost of a barrel of the light & sweet stuff sank below the $60 mark.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Down @ 10,810.91 (-45.95)

NASDAQ: Closed Down @ 2,252.01 (-8.75)

S&P 500: Closed Down @ 1,257.37 (-6.33)

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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

NYSE Deal To Purchase Archipelago Is Approved By NYSE Members (Seatholders)

It's the end of an era.

Today, NYSE members voted and approved the purchase of Chicago-based Archipelago Holdings. The two companies are now set to merge and become the for-profit and publicly traded "NYSE Group" (The NYSE has been a not-for-profit organization since its incorporation back in 1971.) The only hurdle left in this deal is approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

This is truly the end of an era, as trading within the NYSE Group will soon be all electronic, and the NYSE membership system of ownership will change for the first time since the NYSE's beginnings back in 1792. Seats are gone; current NYSE seatholders will get stock in the newly formed NYSE Group, and cash.

Current NYSE seatholders will soon enjoy a far more efficient system for trading stocks as NYSE Group shareholders; trading stocks electronically will help the NYSE Group to compete effectively with the NASDAQ Stock Market; the NASDAQ Stock Market is currently the largest, US-based electronic stock market, and has always been electronic. NYSE Group owners will also be able to trade in stock options and derivatives; furthermore, NYSE Group shareholders will have the power to trade in stocks that are listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market. The NASDAQ Stock Market will be the newly formed NYSE Group's main competitor.

If you are interested in getting a slice of the NYSE Group pie, don't be surprised if the asking price for NYSE Group stock seems high when trading in the stock begins. You can be sure that investors around the world will be very eager to acquire a stake in a stock market that has been a very exclusive club for over 200 years.

What's going to happen to the open-outcry system of trading @ the NYSE you ask? Answer: it will still be there. Many of those traders you see on the floor have already moved from scribbling on paper to using small, hand-held computers to execute their trades. In the future, the system will be simply go from being semi-electronic to fully electronic.

The NYSE Group will trade under the "NYX" stock symbol after all is said and done.

Here's a snippet from a press release that was issued today:

"More than 95 percent of New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Members who cast ballots have approved the Exchange's proposed merger with Archipelago Holdings, Inc. (PCX: AX), whose shareholders earlier today voted in favor of the transaction. More than 90 percent of NYSE's 1,366 Members participated in the vote. Final results of the NYSE Member referendum will be released on Wednesday, Dec. 7, following vote certification by inspector of elections IVS Associates, Inc.

'This is a truly historic day for the New York Stock Exchange and an event of great importance for our future and that of our customers and America's capital markets,' said NYSE CEO John A. Thain. 'In approving the merger with Archipelago, our Members have embraced an initiative that enables the NYSE to maintain our leadership position and to advance our goal of becoming a global multi-product marketplace. This transaction gives the NYSE a strong platform for future growth, value creation, and competitive positioning on a global basis.'

The NYSE/Archipelago merger will represent the largest-ever among securities exchanges and will combine the world's leading cash equities market with the first totally open, fully electronic exchange. As merged enterprises, the NYSE and Archipelago will become wholly owned subsidiaries of NYSE Group Inc., a newly formed, for-profit Delaware corporation that will be a publicly traded company. The NYSE and Archipelago announced the merger on April 20, 2005. The transaction is expected to close in early 2006."

In related news, The folks @ NASDAQ will soon close a deal to purchase the Instinet Trading Group, Inc., for $1.88 billion.

Stay tuned for more NYSE and NYSE Group news.

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All 3 Majors Up Today

Stocks performed well today on positive news related to productivity and factory orders.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Up @ 10,856.86 (+21.85)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,260.76 (+3.12)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,263.70 (+1.61)

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Monday, December 05, 2005

All 3 Majors Down Today

Inflation fears loom as oil continues to linger at or near the $60 per barrel mark.

In other news, a judge has approved a settlement between The NYSE and the NYSE seat holders who were not too keen about the NYSE's acquisition of Archipelago. This means that tomorrow's vote on the merger will take place as planned.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Down @ 10,835.01 (-42.50)

NASDAQ: Closed Down @ 2,257.64 (-15.73)

S&P 500: Closed Down @ 1,262.09 (-2.99)

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Friday, December 02, 2005

DJIA Closes Down Despite A Very Positive November Jobs Report

The Dow closed down today despite the US Department of Labor releasing news that 215,000 jobs were added in November, 2005.

Oil closed @ $59.32 per barrel on news of an impending winter storm.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Down @ 10,877.51 (-35.06)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,273.37 (+6.20)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,265.08 (+0.41)

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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Stocks Enjoyed A Great Day On News That Inflation Is Under Control

With inflation worries waning, investors bought up Blue Chip stocks like McDonald's, 3M and Boeing; reduced fears about interest rate hikes also helped all 3 major indices to close up today.

GM, Ford and Daimler Chrysler all reported slumping sales for November 2005, while Toyota reported an increase. In the current climate of high fuel costs, SUV's are loosing their appeal while Toyota's Prius hybrid vehicle is doing great.

Gold broke the $500 mark today: at the time of this posting, gold is @ $503.50 per ounce (EUR 429.18.)

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Up @ 10,912.57 (+106.70)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,267.17 (+34.35)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,264.67 (+15.19)

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