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Economic Data (USA)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

All 3 Majors Advance As Crude Oil for Future Delivery Drops Below $59

Investors understood Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's remarks before Congress today to mean that at least one more interest rate hike is coming at the end of next month. But this development was countered by crude oil dropping below the $59 mark, which contributed to all 3 major indices gaining ground today; an estimated 1.73 billion shares were traded on The Big Board.

Equities from Merrill Lynch will be merged with specialty bonds from BlackRock to form a new BlackRock investment firm with an estimated $1 trillion (that's right: trillion) in assets.

Shares of BlackRock gained $5.29 (3.62%) to close @ $151.25.

Shares of Merrill Lynch gained $0.14 (0.19%) to close @ $75.30.

Shares of PNC Financial Services Group gained $2.10 to close @ $69.07; PNC's ownership stake in BlackRock will drop from 70% to 34% as a result of the above deal. PNC is Pennsylvania's biggest bank.

Shares of Bear Stearns Cos. gained $2.07 (1.6%) to close @ a record high $131.61.

Shares of Lehman Brothers gained $3.47 (2.44%) to close @ $145.40.

Shares of Goldman Sachs gained $3.36 (2.37%) to close @ $145.14.

Shares of Home Depot gained $0.40 to close @ $41.53.

Shares of Wal-Mart gained $0.44 to close @ $46.89.

Shares of Kohl's Corp gained $1.28 to close @ $46.80.

Shares of oilfield services giant Schlumberger Ltd. lost $2.22 to close @ $112.65.

Shares of Halliburton fell by $2.00 to close @ $68.61.

Shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold fell by $2.21 to close @ $50.27.

Shares of Newmont Mining fell by $0.34 to close @ $54.82.

Shares of Carnival Corp. gained $1.13 (2.17%) to close @ $53.30.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,058.97 (+30.58)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,276.43 (+14.26)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,280.00 (+4.47)


NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $58.20/barrel

The U.S. Prime Rate (WSJ Prime Rate) is 7.5%

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