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Economic Data (USA)

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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