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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

All 3 Major Indices Down Today As The Fed Raises The Fed Funds Rate

All 3 major indices retreated today as The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised The Fed Funds Rate by 25 basis points: borrowing just got a bit more expensive in The United States. An estimated 1.98 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.

The best performer on The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) today was Alcoa; shares of Alcoa gained $0.97 (3.2%) to close @ $31.50. Alcoa is the global #1 aluminum producer.

The worst performer on The DJIA today was Altria; shares of Altria fell by $1.57 (2.1%) to close @ $72.34. Altria is a conglomerate of companies and is the global #1 cigarette producer.

Disappointing Q4 2005 earnings caused shares of Google to lose $51.56 (11.92%) in after-hours trading this evening and end up @ $381.10. Shares of Google had gained $5.04 in regular trading earlier today.

Shares of Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM) gained $2.76 (9.6%) in regular trading today to close @ $31.50; the stock gained an additional $0.18 in after-hours trading this evening. ADM is the global #1 grain processing company.

Shares of Wyeth fell by $0.68 to close @ $46.25. Wyeth makes the Prevnar® meningitis vaccine and the Enbrel® arthritis drug.

Crude oil for future delivery got cheaper today and continues to get cheaper as the evening progresses; Energy stocks declined in response.

Shares of Exxon-Mobil fell by $0.36 to close @ $62.75.

Shares of Sunoco lost $1.01 (1.05%) to close @ $95.20 in regular trading; the stock lost an additional $0.21 in after-hours action.

Shares of Valero Energy lost $0.77 (1.22%) to close @ $62.43 in regular trading; the stock lost an additional $0.44 in after-hours trading.

Shares of ConocoPhillips fell by $0.55 to close @ $64.70 in regular trading; the stock lost an additional $0.30 in after-hours trading.


Shares of Cisco Systems fell by $0.32 to close @ $18.57 in regular trading; the stock lost an additional $0.12 in after-hours action.

Shares of Goodyear Tire & Rubber fell by $3.12 (16.63%) to close @ $15.64 in regular trading; the stock recovered $0.06 in after-hours trading. Goodyear is the U.S. #1 tire manufacturer.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Down @ 10,864.86 (-35.06)

NASDAQ: Closed Down @ 2,305.82 (-0.96)

S&P 500: Closed Down @ 1,280.08 (-5.12)

----------------------------------------------------------

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $67.52/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Up @ $570.70/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8227 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.2156 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate rose today, and is now 7.5%


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Monthly Consumer Confidence Numbers

The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for this month (January, 2006):

Consensus: 105.0
Actual: 106.3

The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the actual or real figure.

Every month, 5,000 consumers are asked how they feel about the current U.S. economy and about their feelings regarding the future of the U.S. economy. The Consumer Confidence Index is produced by The Conference Board.

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Weekly Redbook Numbers

The Redbook numbers for the week of January 28, 2006 are out:

Actual: 4.1%

The Redbook measures the weekly sales @ chain stores, discount stores, and department stores. The above figure represents the year-to-year change in the Redbook sales figures, so sales are up 4.1% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in January of 2005.


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Monday, January 30, 2006

NASDAQ Up, S&P 500 Up, DJIA Down

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was down for the day as The NASDAQ Composite and The S + P 500 indices made modest gains. An estimated 1.7 billion shares were traded on The Big Board.

The shining star on the DJIA today was Exxon-Mobil. The company reported Q4 2005 earnings of $10.7 billion, which is most likely the highest quarterly profit in U.S. history. Exxon-Mobil's profits for all of 2005 was a record breaker as well: $36 billion, the most profit earned in a year by any American company.

And crude oil has been climbing lately; crude for future delivery is currently @ $68.30 per barrel.

Shares of Exxon-Mobil gained $1.82 (2.97%) in regular trading to close @ $63.11; the stock lost $0.21 in after-hours action.

Shares of Sunoco gained $4.76 (5.21%) in regular trading to close @ $96.21; the stock lost $0.21 in after-hours trading.

Shares of Chevron gained $0.37 to close @ $60.75.

Shares of Valero Energy gained $3.15 (5.25%) to close @ $63.20.


Shares of Apple Computer gained $2.97 (4.12%) to close @ $75.00; the stock gained another $0.30 in after-hours action this evening.

The folks @ Google will release their earnings report tomorrow. Shares of Google fell by $6.67 (1.54%) to close @ $426.82; the stock lost an additional $1.02 in after-hours trading this evening.

The value of certain banking stocks slumped today in anticipation of the likely fed funds target and prime rate increase coming after the FOMC meets tomorrow.

Shares of Bank of America fell by $0.32 to close @ $44.48 in regular trading, then recovered $0.22 in after-hours action.

Shares of Washington Mutual fell by $0.60 to close @ $42.27; Washington Mutual is the #1 savings and loan in the U.S.


Shares of General Motors gained $0.54 (2.27%) to close @ $24.34 in regular trading; the stock lost $0.08 in after-hours action.

Shares of Schering-Plough fell by $0.51 (2.54%) to close @ $19.57; the stock recovered $0.09 in after-hours trading this evening.

Shares of Merck lost $0.24 to close @ $34.46 in regular trading, but then bounced back and gained $0.53 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of Sysco added $1.90 to close @ $32.47; Sysco is the #1 distributor of food to restaurants in the U.S.

Shares of Mattel gained $1.02 (6.9%) to close @ $15.80 in regular trading; the stock gained an additional $0.18 in after-hours action this evening. Mattel is the global #1 toy manufacturer.

Shares of Tyson Foods slid $1.10 (7.16%) to close @ $14.27.

Shares of Eastman Kodak fell by $0.62 (2.35%) to close @ $25.75. Kodak is the global #1 maker of film.

Shares of American International Group (AIG) fell by $0.58 to close @ $66.07.

Shares of European steel giant Mittal gained $1.44 (4.2%) to close @ $35.70.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Down @ 10,899.92 (-7.29)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,306.78 (+2.55)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,285.20 (+1.48)

----------------------------------------------------------

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $68.35/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Up @ $565.90/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8266 EurosCurrently, The Euro buys 1.2098 U.S. Dollars

The United States Prime Rate is currently 7.25%


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Consumer Spending Numbers for December 2005

The U.S. Commerce Department released consumer spending numbers for December, 2005 today:

Consensus: 0.8 %
Actual : 0.9 %

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in consumer spending for the entire United States. The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, and the "actual" is the actual or real figure.


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Friday, January 27, 2006

All 3 Majors Gain Despite Weak GDP Numbers

A report that showed weak GDP numbers for Q4 2005 was balanced out by a stronger-than-expected New Home Sales report from The Commerce Department, as all 3 major indices enjoyed gains today. An estimated 1.95 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.

For the week, The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) gained 2.3%, The NASDAQ gained 2.5% and The S&P 500 Index gained 1.8%.

Microsoft had the honor of being the best performer on The DJIA today. Shares of Microsoft gained $1.29 (4.9%) to close @ $27.79. Microsoft is the global #1 software maker (as if you didn't know) and has done well recently with server software and Xbox 360 related products.

Shares of household products conglomerate Procter & Gamble gained $0.92 to close @ $59.74. The list of Procter & Gamble-owned brands is almost overwhelming: Gillette, Zest, Tide, Duracell, Pampers, Tampax, Mr. Clean, Pringles...

Pfizer announced that the company has FDA approval for a new, inhaled diabetes drug called Exubera®. Inhaled insulin: could be very popular for diabetes patients who have heretofore only had one option for insulin delivery: needles! Shares of Pfizer added $0.94 to close @ $25.99. Pfizer is the global #1 pharmaceutical company.

European steel giant Mittal is trying for a hostile takeover of its #1 competitor Arcelor. If successful, the new combined company would have annual revenue of $69 billion and would be 3 times bigger than The Nippon Steel Corporation of Japan, and that is very big. 100 million metric tons big. U.S. steel companies gained today on the news, as investors are predicting more takeover action in the industry.

Shares of Mittal gained $1.96 to close @ $34.26 in regular trading, then gained another $0.34 in after-hours action.

Shares of #1 American steelmaker U.S. Steel gained $2.46 to close @ $58.73 in regular trading, then added an additional $0.21 in after-hours trading.

Shares of #2 American steelmaker Nucor gained $5.08 to close @ $85.50 in regular trading, then lost $0.69 in after-hours action.

Shares of Broadcom gained an impressive $11.15 (19%) to close @ $69.87 in regular trading, then lost $0.12 in after-hours trading this evening. The company announced a 3-for-2 stock split.

Shares of global #1 flash memory card manufacturer SanDisk lost $7.30 to close @ $63.38 in regular trading, then lost an additional $0.04 in after-hours trading. The company announced price cuts as part of a strategy to boost demand for new products.

Shares of semiconductor manufacturer Marvell Technology Group gained $4.54 to close @ $70.64.

Shares of Avid Technology fell by $5.43 to close @ $48.40.

Shares of Emulex fell by $2.41 to close @ $18.50.

Halliburton announced plans to spin-off the engineering unit of Kellogg, Brown and Root in Q2, 2006. Shares of Halliburton gained $3.78 in regular trading to close @ $78.93; the stock gained another $0.57 in after-hours trading. Halliburton is the global #1 energy services company.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Up @ 10,907.21 (+97.74)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,304.23 (+21.23)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,283.72 (+9.89)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $67.76/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Down @ $558.50/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8269 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.2094 U.S. Dollars

The Prime Rate is currently 7.25%


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Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Advance Released Today for Q4 2005

U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers for Q4a of 2005 were released today:

Consensus: 2.8 %
Actual: 1.1 %

The above percentages represent the quarter-to-quarter change in the Gross Domestic Product for the United States. The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the actual or real figure.

The GDP is a very broad measure of economic activity for the entire United States, covering all sectors of the economy.

Economists weren't expecting the 13% drop in defense spending for the quarter.


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New Home Sales for December 2005

The December, 2005 New Home Sales report has been released:

Consensus: 1,250,000
Actual: 1,269,000

Compiled by the U.S. Commerce Department, the monthly New Home Sales report measures the number of newly-built homes with committed buyers for a given month. The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the actual or real figure.

The New Home Sales report is watched by economists and investors because it offers insight into the state of the U.S. housing market, and also provides data that can be used to predict sales of large household furniture and appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners and cooking ranges.


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Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Positive Durable Goods Report & Numerous Reports of Strong Earnings Contributed to All 3 Majors Gaining Today

Strong earnings reports from a broad range of companies, coupled with a positive Durable Goods Orders report from the Commerce Department, contributed to all 3 majors gaining ground today. An estimated 2.07 billion shares were traded on The Big Board.

Today's shining stars on The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) were Caterpillar and Honeywell.

Shares of Caterpillar gained $3.10 to close @ $65.17 per share. Caterpillar is the global #1 producer of those big earth-moving machines.

Shares of Honeywell gained $1.35 to close @ $37.41 per share. Honeywell is the global #1 manufacturer of aviation cockpit controls.

The worst performance on The DJIA came from General Motors; shares of GM lost $0.80 (3.4%) in regular trading to close @ $23.05 per share; the stock lost another $0.15 in after-hours trading this evening. GM reported a loss of $4.78 billion for Q4 2005.

The fast-growing, McDonald's-owned restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill debut on The New York Stock Exchange® today in an IPO of $22 per share. Chipotle Mexican Grill is trading on The New York Stock Exchange® under the stock symbol "CMG."

The Chipotle Mexican Grill had 14 Denver-area locations in 1998. There are now 480 Chipotle restaurant locations across the country, and there are plans for 90 more restaurants this year (A wise investment of all that IPO cash, eh?)

Shares of Chipotle gained $22.00 (100%) in regular trading today to close @ $44.00 per share; the stock gained another $0.84 in after-hours trading this evening.

Shares of McDonald's fell by $0.22 to close @ $34.94 per share.

Shares of Cephalon gained $5.05 (7.56%) to close @ $71.88 per share in regular trading; the stock lost $0.13 in after-hours action.
Shares of Lockheed added $1.98 to close @ $66.99 per share in regular trading; the stock added another $0.18 in after-hours trading. Lockheed is the global #1 defense company.

Shares of Microsoft gained $0.10 to close @ $26.50 in regular trading; the stock gained another $0.60 in after-hours action.

Shares of AT&T gained $0.30 to close @ $25.51 per share.

Shares of Verizon gained $0.30 as well to close @ $31.68 per share.

Shares of Sony gained $5.28 (12.20%) in regular trading to close @ $48.57 per share, then gained another $1.43 in after-hours trading this evening.

Disappointing sales of Aranesp®, a drug that treats chemotherapy-induced anemia, contributed to shares of Amgen losing $3.57 (4.73%) to close @ $71.90 per share in regular trading; the stock recovered $0.10 in after-hours trading.

Shares of Juniper fell by $4.46 to close @ $17.06 per share in regular trading; the stock recovered $0.06 in after-hours action.

Shares of Novellus Systems gained $1.96 in regular trading to close @ $29.88 per share; the stock added an additional $0.38 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of the telephone-network equipment maker Tellabs gained $2.06 (20%) to close @ $12.57 per share in regular trading; the stock gained another $0.04 in after-hours trading.

Shares of Google gained $1.26 to close @ $434.26 in regular trading, then gained an additional $4.63 in after-hours action.

The NASDAQ Stock Market® CEO Robert Greifeld said that the company won't pursue the acquisition of The London Stock Exchange (LSE) and will instead focus the company's energies on merging The NASDAQ with the INET trading system. The company also has a 4 year plan to reduce its debt.

Shares of The NASDAQ Stock Market® gained $4.43 in regular trading today to close @ $43.20 per share; the stock gained another $0.29 in after-hours trading.

First Data has announced plans to spin-off Western Union. As a standalone company, Western Union would have revenue of about $4 billion per year.

Shares of First Data climbed $2.30 to close @ $45.30 per share in regular trading; the stock lost $0.08 in after-hours trading.

Shares of Citigroup gained $0.78 to close @ $47.01 per share.

Shares of JP Morgan Chase rose by $1.11 to close @ $39.59 per share; the stock gained another $0.03 in after-hours trading.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Up @ 10,809.47 (+99.73)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,283.00 (+22.35)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,273.83 (+9.15)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently $66.65/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Down @ $559.70/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8189 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.2212 U.S. Dollars

The Prime Rate is currently 7.25%


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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of January 21, 2006

The numbers are out for new unemployment insurance claims for the week of January 21, 2006:

Consensus: 305,000
Actual: 283,000

The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, and the "actual" is the actual or real figure.


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Durable Goods Orders Report for December 2005 Released Today

The Durable Goods Orders report for December of 2005 has been released:

Consensus: 1.5%
Actual: 1.3%

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in orders for durable or hard goods for immediate or future delivery from U.S. manufacturers. Examples of durable goods: cars, washing machines, computers--items that are built to last 3+ years.

The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the actual or real figure. The Durable Goods Orders report is produced by the U.S. Commerce Department.


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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

All 3 Majors Closed Slightly Lower Today

All 3 major indices lost some ground today; homebuilding related stocks dipped as a result of a disappointing existing home sales report released today, and cheaper crude oil prices sent the stock price of some big oil companies lower. An estimated 1.93 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.

Shares of General Motors added $0.80 to close @ $23.85 in regular trading, then gained another $0.15 in after-hours action. Tracinda Corporation, which is headed by Kirk Kerkorian, bought 12 million shares of GM for an estimated $263 million, which raises Tracinda’s stake in GM to 9.9%.

Ford Motor announced that the company is developing a new version of the Escape Hybrid that will be powered by an advanced hybrid electric / ethanol engine. But even though the starting material for the production of the ethanol--corn--would come from American corn fields, the process by which the ethanol is made still requires the use of fossil fuels, and therefore wouldn’t do much to curtail America’s dependence on crude.

Shares of Ford Motor gained $0.22 to close @ $8.62 per share.

Shares of Exxon-Mobil lost $0.75 to close @ $60.21 per share.

Shares of Sunoco fell by $0.68 in regular trading to close @ $87.91 per share, then fell an additional $0.91 in after-hours trading.

Shares of ConocoPhillips lost $0.94 to close @ $63.54 per share.

Shares of Chevron fell by $0.79 to close @ $61.26 per share in regular trading, then recovered $0.11 in after-hours action.

Shares of Amerada Hess added $1.86 to close @ $148.47 per share on news of strong Q4 earnings.


Shares of Ryland fell by $4.82 to close @ $70.35 per share.

Shares of Home Depot lost $0.47 to close @ $39.98 per share in regular trading, then lost an additional $0.48 in after-hours trading.

Shares of homebuilder D.R. Horton lost $0.78 to close @ $37.20 per share.

Shares of luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers fell by $0.59 to close @ $34.02 per share.


Shares of Procter & Gamble gained $0.60 to close @ $58.47 per share.

Shares of toothpaste king Colgate-Palmolive gained $1.90 to close @ $55.65 per share.

Shares of McDonald's lost $0.69 to close @ $35.16 per share.

Shares of BellSouth added $0.52 to close @ $27.44 per share.


Shares of Abbott Laboratories gained $2.11 (5.3%) to close @ $42.17 per share. Sales of Abbott’s arthritis drug Humira could top $1.9 billion this year.

News that the launch of the new ADHD drug Sparlon will be delayed again contributed to shares of Cephalon losing $5.94 (8.16%) and closing @ $66.83 in regular trading today; the stock recovered $2.27 in after-hours trading.

The bidding war between Johnson & Johnson and Boston Scientific for Guidant is over: Guidant has accepted an $80 per share offer from Boston Scientific.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson lost $0.86 in regular trading today to close @ $58.50 per share; the stock recovered $0.18 in after-hours trading.

Shares of Boston Scientific lost $0.46 in regular trading to close @ $23.54 per share; the stock recovered $0.16 in after-hours action.

Shares of Guidant lost $1.59 in regular trading to close @ $75.19 per share; the stock recovered $0.56 in after-hours trading.

Google is launching a new Chinese language web search site in China @ www.Google.cn. Some search terms @ Google.cn will be blocked in order to comply with Chinese government regulations.

Shares of Google fell by $10.03 (2.06%) to close @ $433.00 in regular trading today; the stock recovered $0.75 in after-hours trading.

Shares of Lexmark fell by $1.15 (2.25%) today to close @ $49.93 per share.

In a move designed to dodge daily antitrust fines imposed by the EU, the folks @ Microsoft have offered to license some of the company's Windows source code. The European Commission is studying the Microsoft offer.

Shares of Microsoft gained $0.12 today to close @ $26.40 per share.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Down @ 10,709.74 (-2.48)

NASDAQ: Closed Down @ 2,260.65 (-4.60)

S&P 500: Closed Down @ 1,264.68 (-2.18)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently $65.59/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Up @ $563.10/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8162 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.2252 U.S. Dollars

The Prime Rate is currently 7.25%


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The Weekly Crude Oil Inventories Report

The crude oil inventories report for the week of January 20, 2006 has been released:

Actual: -2,300,000 Barrels

The weekly crude oil inventories report is produced by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).


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The December 2005 Existing Home Sales Report Is Out

The existing home sales report for December, 2005 was released today:

Consensus: 6,900,000
Actual: 6,600,000

The U.S. existing home sales report is a sales count of existing homes, co-ops and condominiums for a given month. The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, and the "actual" is -- as you might have guessed -- the actual figure.


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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

All 3 Major Indices Enjoy A Second Day of Gains

All 3 major indices closed up today for the second day in a row. An estimated 1.88 billion shares were traded on The Big Board.

The best performance on The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) today came from United Technologies; shares of United Technologies gained $1.98 to close @ $56.45 per share. United Technologies is the global #1 manufacturer of elevators and air conditioners.

The worst performance on the DJIA came from Johnson + Johnson; shares of J + J lost $1.83 today to close @ $59.36 per share.

Cingular Wireless, which is the #1 U.S. cell phone service provider and is co-owned by AT&T and BellSouth, has reported Q4 profit of $204 million after adding a healthy 1.82 million new customers. Shares of AT&T added $0.21 to close @ $24.66 per share, while shares of BellSouth gained $0.11 to close @ $26.92 per share.

General Motors added $1.20 to close @ $23.05 per share.

Shares of Wal-Mart gained $0.47 to close @ $45.72 per share.

Shares of Coca-Cola added $0.40 to close @ $40.90 per share.

Shares of DuPont lost $0.29 today to close @ $39.26 per share.

Shares of McDonald's gained $0.14 to close @ $35.85 per share.

Shares of Google gained $15.53 to close @ $443.03 per share; the stock gained another $0.62 in after-hours trading.

Shares of Lexmark added $5.18 (11%) to close @ $51.08 per share. Lexmark has plans to cut jobs and will also freeze its employee pension plan. Lexmark is the #2 U.S. printer maker.

Shares of EMC Corporation gained $0.39 to close @ $13.65 per share. EMC is the global #1 manufacturer of data storage computers and software.

Shares of Coach Inc. added $2.82 to close @ $34.89 per share. Coach is the #1 U.S. seller of upscale leather goods.

There's still some violence in Nigeria but NYMEX crude for future delivery continues to get cheaper (currently @ $66.79 per barrel.) Investors are less worried about Iran and current inventories should be sufficient to meet current and near-future demand.

Disney is buying animated movie hitmaker Pixar in a deal worth $7.4 billion. Steve Jobs will sit on Disney's board and will become one of Disney's largest shareholders. Disney is paying a premium in this deal, and the Pixar people will end up having complete creative control of Disney's animation studio, but the investment may be a sound one, as Pixar is well known for their hit animation feature films like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc. and The Incredibles.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs bought the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm Ltd. back in 1986 and created the company that we now know as Pixar. Jobs paid $10 million for the Lucasfilm spin-off, and when the Disney buyout is completed, Jobs will have a stake in Disney that's worth an estimated $3.7 billion. Not a bad investment, eh?

Shares of Disney gained $0.47 to close @ $25.99 per share in regular trading today, then lost $0.09 in after-hours trading. Shares of Pixar fell by $0.70 to close @ $57.57 in regular trading, then gained $1.51 in after-hours action.

The best programs from The WB and UPN television networks are moving to a new CW television network later this year. The new network will be co-owned by CBS and Warner Brothers; The WB and UPN will cease to exist.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Up @ 10,712.22 (+23.45)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,265.25 (+16.78)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,266.86 (+3.04)

----------------------------------------------------------

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently $66.79/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Down @ $557.90/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8155 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.2262 U.S. Dollars

The National Prime Rate is currently 7.25%


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Redbook Numbers Are Out

The Redbook numbers for the week of January 21, 2006 are out:

Actual 3.6 %

The Redbook measures the weekly sales @ chain stores, discount stores, and department stores. The above figure represents the year-to-year change in the Redbook sales figures, so sales are up 3.6% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in January of 2005.


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Monday, January 23, 2006

All 3 Major Indices Rose Today

All 3 major indices rose today as an estimated 1.66 billion shares were traded on The Big Board.

Ford Motor announced a restructuring plan today that includes closing 14 plants and eliminating 34,000 U.S. jobs over the next 6 years. Shares of Ford rose by $0.42 (5.3%) to close @ $8.32 per share.

Shares of General Motors added $1.80 to close @ $21.85 per share.

Shares of Google gained $28.04 to close @ $427.50 per share in regular trading, then added another $2.50 in after-hours trading. Many analysts are of the opinion that last week's decline in Google's stock price has created a great "buy" opportunity.

The worst performance on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) today came from Intel; shares of Intel fell by $0.41 to close @ $21.35 per share.

Shares of Research In Motion fell by $2.37 to close @ $64.25 per share. The U.S. Supreme Court has kicked the BlackBerry patent infringement case back down to a lower court, and now a Virginia judge may order the shutdown of BlackBerry's popular email system.

Shares of Texas Instruments fell by $1.06 to close @ $30.64 per share in after-hours trading. Texas Instruments is the global #3 chipmaker.

NYMEX crude oil for future delivery got cheaper today, but energy companies still enjoyed gains. Shares of Exxon-Mobil added $0.67 to close @ $61.20 per share, and shares of Chevron rose by $1.09 to close @ $62.21 per share.

New York spot gold gained $4.80 to close @ $558.40 per ounce. Shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold rose by $0.92 to close @ $58.30 per share, and shares of Goldcorp added $0.46 to close @ $25.22 per share.

Shares of Wal-Mart gained $0.25 to close @ $45.25 per share.

A group led by CVS and Supervalu are buying Albertson's (Albertson's owns supermarket and drug store chains including Acme, Savon, OscoDrug and Shaw's.) Shares of Albertson's gained $1.31 to close @ $25.42 per share, while shares of Supervalu added $0.91 to close @ $32.76 per share.

A group led by Leonard Green & Partners is purchasing The Sports Authority in a deal worth about $1.3 billion; shares of The Sports Authority gained a healthy $5.65 (18%) to close @ $36.70 per share.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Up @ 10,688.77 (+21.38)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,248.47 (+0.77)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,263.82 (+2.33)

----------------------------------------------------------

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently $67.74/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Up @ $558.40/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8141 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.2283 U.S. Dollars

The United States Prime Rate is 7.25%


>  SITEMAP  <

Leading Economic Indicators for December 2005

The numbers for The Leading Economic Indicators for December 2005 are out:

Consensus: 0.2 %
Actual: 0.1 %

The above numbers represent the month-to-month change for the nation's leading economic indicators. The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, and the "actual" is--you guessed it--the actual figure.

The Leading Economic Indicators Index is a composite of 10 of the nation's economic data releases that's put together by The Conference Board. Statistically, the components listed below have shown a significant increase or decrease before national economic upturns or downturns, respectively:

  1. The Money Supply (M2)
  2. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
  3. The interest rate spread between 10-year Treasury Bonds and Fed Funds Target Rate
  4. Manufacturer's new orders for consumer goods or materials
  5. Manufacturer's new orders for non-defense capital goods
  6. Average weekly claims for unemployment insurance
  7. Average weekly manufacturing hours
  8. The Index of Consumer Expectations
  9. Vendor performance
  10. Building permits for new private housing


>  SITEMAP  <

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Consumer Sentiment(p) for January 2006

The Consumer Sentiment(p) numbers for January 2006 are out:

Consensus: 92.5
Actual: 93.4

The Consumer Sentiment Index is compiled on a monthly basis by the University of Michigan; 500 U.S. households are queried about their own financial circumstances and about the economy in general. The Consumer Sentiment Index is similar to the Consumer Confidence Index in that they both measure consumer attitudes and offer insight into consumer spending.

Here are the numbers from last month (December 2005):

Consensus: 89.5
Actual: 91.5


>  SITEMAP  <

Housing Starts in December 2005

The numbers for December, 2005 Housing Starts are out:

Consensus: 2,050,000
Actual: 1,933,000

The above is a measure of initial construction of single and multi-family residential units in The United States. The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the actual figure.

When housing starts are up, demand for the stuff that a consumer would buy for a new home (large appliances, furniture, etc.) also rises.


>  SITEMAP  <

Saturday, January 21, 2006

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of January 14, 2006

The numbers are out for new unemployment insurance claims for the week of January 14, 2006:

Consensus: 315,000
Actual: 271,000

The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, and the "actual" is the actual or real figure.


>  SITEMAP  <

Crude Oil Inventories for The Week of January 13, 2006

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has released U.S. crude oil inventory numbers for the week of January 13, 2006:

Actual: 2,700,000 Barrels


>  SITEMAP  <

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for December 2005

The Consumer Price Index numbers for December 2005 are out:

Consensus: 0.1%
Actual: -0.1%

Here are the numbers when food and energy are subtracted from the equation:

Consensus: 0.2%
Actual: 0.2%

The above numbers represent the month-to-month change in prices for a specific group of goods and services that consumers buy, and is, therefore, a very important part of the overall inflation picture for the country. The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, and the "actual" is...well...the actual figure. General categories are:

  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Clothing
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Transportation
  • Food & Beverages
  • Recreation
  • Miscellaneous Goods & Services (grooming expenses, etc.)


>  SITEMAP  <

Friday, January 20, 2006

The DJIA Lost 213.32 Points Today; All 3 Majors Are Down for The Day & Down for The Week

Stocks on the New York exchanges appear to be correcting as earnings @ many companies have been falling short of analysts' estimates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell by 213.32 points today, basically nullifying the gains made so far in 2006. An estimates 2.13 billion shares were traded on The Big Board.

For the week, The DJIA lost 2.7%, The NASDAQ lost 3% and The S + P 500 Index lost 2%.

The worst performance on the DJIA today came from Citigroup which lost $2.25 to close @ $45.69 per share. Earnings fell short of analyst expectations.

General Electric, which is no longer in the insurance business, lost $1.31 to close @ $33.37.

Shares of Google lost $36.99 to close @ $399.46 per share. There is continued concern about the company's refusal to submit search and domain name data to the Justice Department.

Motorola fell by $1.87 to close @ $22.48 per share.

The Ford Motor Company may eliminate 25,000 jobs over the next 4 years; shares of Ford fell by $0.32 to close @ $7.90 per share.

There's a rumor that Morgan Stanley may spend around $8 billion to obtain a controlling interest in the money managing firm BlackRock, Inc. Shares of BlackRock gained $7.65 to close @ $127.00 per share.

PNC Financial Group is the majority owner of BlackRock; shares of PNC Financial Group gained $2.33 to close @ $66.00 per share.

Shares of Xilinx fell by $2.40 to close @ $27.39 per share. Xilinx is the global #1 producer of programmable computer chips.

Shares of Schlumberger Ltd. added $7.38 to close @ $122.25 per share (Schlumberger is the world's #1 provider of oilfield services.)

Shares of car seat maker Johnson Controls fell by $5.67 to close @ $67.88 per share.

Problems in Nigeria and continued nervousness about Iran has resulted in crude oil for February delivery reaching $68.48 per barrel today.

More earnings reports are due out next week, including reports from DJIA components McDonald's, Johnson & Johnson and American Express.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Down @ 10,667.39 (-213.32)

NASDAQ: Closed Down @ 2,247.70 (-54.11)

S&P 500: Closed Down @ 1,261.49 (-23.55)

----------------------------------------------------------

NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $68.48/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed down @ $553.60/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8241 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.2134 U.S. Dollars

The Current Prime Rate is 7.25%


>  SITEMAP  <

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Crude Oil, Gold and All 3 Majors Up Today

Threats of more terrorist attacks against the Unites States made by Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden had no apparent effect on the New York markets today as all 3 majors finished up; An estimated 1.78 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.

A computer glitch @ The NASDAQ Stock Market® caused errors in the reporting of changes to stock prices today. The problem has been fixed, but you may want to double check the price of stocks that matter to you.

The U.S. Justice Department wants Google to hand over a list of all searches queries made for a randomly selected week; the Bush administration also wants one million randomly selected Internet addresses from Google's databases. Google is not complying with the Justice Department subpoena.

Shares of Google lost $8.47 to close @ $436.44 per share in regular trading; in after-hours trading, Google's stock price gained $1.59 and reached $438.03 per share this evening.

In after-hours trading, shares of Motorola fell by $1.10 to $23.25 per share.

Apple Computer fell by $3.46 to close @ $79.04 per share.

Disney gained $1.04 to close @ $26.24 per share on rumors that the company may be buying a piece or all of Pixar.

Shares of Pixar added $1.61 to close @ $58.87 per share.

Intel rival AMD gained $2.98 (8.7%) to close @ $37.13 per share.

Fairchild Semiconductor International added $1.76 to close @ $19.64 per share (they make computer chips that regulate power in cellular phones.)

The world's leading hard drive maker Seagate Technology gained $0.99 to close @ $25.59 per share.

eBay added $2.33 to close @ $46.77 per share.

Shares of home builder D.R. Horton declined by $1.14 to close @ $38.86 per share.

Gold enjoyed strong gains today in New York; NY Spot Gold rose by $14.60 to close @ $558.20 per ounce.
The world's biggest gold producer Newmont Mining added $0.57 to close @ $58.05 per share.

Nervousness about Iran's nuclear ambitions continues to have an effect on crude oil prices despite warm weather in the Northeast U.S. and healthy stockpiles. NYMEX crude for future delivery is currently @ $66.93 per barrel.
U.S. crude refining king Valero Energy gained $1.16 to close @ $60.22 per share.

Exxon-Mobil added $0.82 to close @ $61.50 per share.

Merrill gained $2.44 to close @ $72.05 per share.

Global #1 drug producer Pfizer added $0.97 to close @ $24.97 per share.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Up @ 10,880.71 (+25.85)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,301.81 (+22.17)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,285.04 (+7.11)

----------------------------------------------------------

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently $66.93/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed up @ $558.20/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8278 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.208 U.S. Dollars

The United States Prime Rate is currently 7.25%


>  SITEMAP  <

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

All 3 Majors Decline for the Second Day In A Row

All 3 majors dipped again today; trading on The Big Board was healthy with close to 1.7 billion shares changing hands.

Stocks in Europe and Japan experienced some sharp declines today; excessive "sell" orders @ The Tokyo Stock Exchange overloaded the exchange's computer system, which led to the exchange closing early.

Citigroup, the biggest bank in the United States, announced that the company has plans to launch its own electronic trading network which will compete with the already electronic NASDAQ® Stock Market and The New York Stock Exchange®, which will be transformed into an electronic stock market later this year. This strategic move by Citigroup may save the company money in the long term if the other major exchanges raise the cost of trading in the future.

IBM gained $0.80 to close @ $83.80 per share.

Google's stock fell by $22.20 (4.8%) to close @ $444.91 per share. Standard & Poor's changed the rating of Google's stock from "hold" to "sell."

Yahoo fell by $4.93 (12%) to close @ $35.18 per share.

Stock in eBay lost $1.69 in after-hours trading this evening to close @ $42.75 per share.

Shares in Apple ended up losing $4.11 in after-hours trading to close @ $78.38 per share.

The biggest decline in stock value in The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) today came from Intel, which dipped by $2.92 (11%) to close @ $22.60 per share.

Stock in Exxon-Mobil fell by $0.86 to close @ $60.68 per share.

Shares of Sunoco lost $1.25 to close @ $87.81 per share.

Shares of JPMorgan Chase lost $0.43 to close @ $39.28 per share.

Stock in McDonald's gained $0.40 to close @ $34.99 per share.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Down @ 10,854.86 (-41.46)

NASDAQ: Closed Down @ 2,279.64 (-23.05)

S&P 500: Closed Down @ 1,277.93 (-5.00)

----------------------------------------------------------

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently $65.78/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed down @ $543.60/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8271 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.209 U.S. Dollars

The Prime Rate is currently 7.25%


>  SITEMAP  <

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

All 3 Majors Dipped; Earnings Reports Hurt A Diverse Range of Stocks

Technology and banking stocks led the charge downward today as earnings reports from a diverse group of companies hurt stock values. An estimated and healthy 1.65 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.

Continuing worries about OPEC members Iran and Nigeria sent oil prices up; NYMEX Crude Future is currently @ $66.74 per barrel. Energy companies gained as a result of the day's surging oil prices. Exxon-Mobil added $0.57 to close @ $61.54 per share, while ConocoPhillips added $3.53 to close @ $64.29 per share.

The worst performer in The Dow Jones Industrial Average today was AIG, which fell by $1.01 to close @ $69.04 per share. The clouds appear to be getting darker in the skies above AIG: a possible $1 billion settlement is still in the works, and now an Insurance Information Institute report predicts that an outbreak of avian flu would probably cost the insurance industry as much as $133 billion.

The bidding war between Johnson & Johnson and Boston Scientific for Guidant rages on. Boston Scientific has countered a $71 per share offer made by Johnson & Johnson with an offer of $80 per share. Guidant gained a healthy $5.38 today to close @ $76.22 per share, while shares in Johnson & Johnson lost $0.54 to close @ $61.28, and Boston Scientific fell by $1.30 to close @ $23.90.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals added $3.37 to close @ $22.41 per share. The company's experimental flu drug has been given fast track status by the FDA; the new flu drug may be effective against numerous strains of the flu, including--you guessed it--the bird flu that's now causing serious problems in Asia.

Shares in Yahoo! fell by $4.91 (12%) to @ $35.20 per share in after-hours trading this evening.

After-hours trading also led to Intel losing $2.35 to $23.17 per share.

IBM fell by $0.80 to close @ $82.20 per share.

U.S. Bancorp fell by $0.56 to close @ $30.03 per share.

Wells Fargo fell by $0.65 to close @ $62.60 per share.

Axle manufacturer Dana Corporation fell by $1.40 (21%) to close @ $5.40 per share.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Down @ 10,896.32 (-63.55)

NASDAQ: Closed Down @ 2,302.69 (-14.35)

S + P 500: Closed Down @ 1,282.93 (-4.68)

----------------------------------------------------------

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently $66.78/barrel
New York Spot Gold closed down @ $553.00/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8266 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.2098 U.S. Dollars


>  SITEMAP  <

Monday, January 16, 2006

New York Exchanges Are Closed Today

The New York exchanges, including:

The New York Stock Exchange®
The NASDAQ Stock Market®
The American Stock Exchange®
The New York Mercantile Exchange

are closed today in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.

Many workers here in the U.S. have the day off today to celebrate the birthday of the civil right leader Martin Luther King, Jr., who would have been 77 years old yesterday.

Do me a small favor: take a minute to think about why you have this day off. The way I see it, it's about the many levels of freedom that all Americans have the right to enjoy, and the right of all Americans--not some--to pursue happiness and prosperity in this land of limitless skies and infinite opportunities. God bless civil rights, and God bless America.

All New York exchanges will reopen tomorrow.


>  SITEMAP  <

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The New York Exchanges Will Be Closed On Monday

The New York exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange®, The NASDAQ® Stock Market, The American Stock Exchange® and The New York Mercantile Exchange, will be closed on Monday, January 16, 2006 for The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.

All exchanges will reopen on Tuesday, January 17, 2006.


>  SITEMAP  <

Friday, January 13, 2006

The NASDAQ and The S&P 500 Gain A Bit, As The DJIA Retreats Further From The 11K Mark

The NASDAQ and The S&P 500 Index both enjoyed a modest gain today, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up losing a few points to end the week @ 10,959.87.

Shares in Tyco lost $3.19 to close @ $27.12. The house that Dennis Kozlowski built is set to split into 3 separate companies in early 2007.

Insurance giant American International Group (AIG) may pay $1 billion to settle a fraud lawsuit related to "funny" accounting at the very highest level of management. AIG lost $0.21 to close @ $70.05 per share.

General Motors lost $0.59 to close @ $20.37 per share.

Home Depot lost $0.64 to close @ $41.91 per share today.

Google added $2.62 to close @ $466.25 per share. Hot! (I don't write "hot" here as a recommendation. By "hot" I mean that investors are very bullish on Google at the moment; could be hot air, or it could be that Google will fulfill investor expectations down the road. Google is a great company, but no one really knows for sure how the stock will perform in the future, of course, so it's best to do your research--new product/service announcements, news about the management @ Google, price to earning ratio, earnings forecasts and that kind of stuff.)

Yahoo! lost $0.99 to close @ $39.90 per share.

Apple Computer added $1.30 to close @ $85.59 per share.

Microsoft gained $0.05 to close @ $27.19 per share.

Hewlett-Packard added $0.88 to close @ $31.90 per share.

IBM lost $0.40 to close @ $83.17 per share.

Lucent lost $0.06 to close @ $2.65 per share.

Exxon-Mobil gained $1.33 to close @ $60.97 per share.

Linn Energy LLC has the honor of being the first IPO of 2006. The company raised $247 million, adding $1 to its share price and closing @ $22.00 per share.

Gold enjoyed a nice gain today; NY Spot Gold closed @ $556.50 per ounce. #1 gold producer Newmont Mining gained $1.91 to close @ $59.87 per share today, as Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold gained $1.60 to close @ $60.75 per share (Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold owns the world's biggest gold mine.)

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Down @ 10,959.87 (-2.49)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,317.04 (+0.35)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,287.61 (+1.55)

----------------------------------------------------------

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently $63.92/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed up @ $556.50/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8236 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2142 U.S. Dollars


>  SITEMAP  <

Thursday, January 12, 2006

All 3 Majors Down As The DJIA Falls Below The 11K Mark

Shares in Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) components Coca-Cola, JPMorgan Chase and General Motors all lost some value today, contributing to the DJIA falling back down below the 11,000 mark.

JPMorgan Chase lost $0.75 to close @ $39.95 per share.

Stock in General Motors fell by $0.90 to close @ $20.96 per share. Drive train maker American Axle fell by $1.45 (7.3%) to close @ $18.40 per share (80% of American Axle's revenue comes from General Motors.)

Shares in Lear (they manufacture automotive interiors) fell by $1.13 (4.4%) to close @ $24.58 per share.

Shares in BorgWarner (they make parts for automatic transmissions) lost $2.30 to close @ $56.00 per share.

Shares in Network Appliance gained $2.23 (7.3%) to close @ $32.67 per share on rumors that IBM may be interested in buying the company.

Shares in Forest Laboratories added $2.74 (6.8%) to close @ $42.89 per share.

Unseasonably warm weather in the Northeast U.S. hasn't been enough to tame crude oil prices, as nervousness related to Iran's nuclear ambitions continues to keep the price of crude above $63.

Shares in Exxon-Mobil lost $0.63 to close @ $59.64 per share.

Shares in Halliburton fell by $1.12 to close @ $68.97 per share.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Down @ 10,962.36 (-81.08)

NASDAQ: Closed Down @ 2,316.69 (-14.67)

S&P 500: Closed Down @ 1,286.06 (-8.12)

----------------------------------------------------------

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently $63.95/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed down @ $547.90/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8306 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.204 U.S. Dollars


>  SITEMAP  <

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

All 3 Majors Up Today As The Dow Holds Firm In 11K Territory

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is still holding firm in 11K territory, despite a 3.3% drop in the share price of DJIA component Dupont. An earnings warning contributed to Dupont losing $1.41 to close @ $41.14 per share today.

A Merrill Lynch analyst demoted Yahoo! from a "buy" to a "neutral" rating today; shares in Yahoo! dropped by $1.11 to close @ $41.87 per share as a result.

Apple continues to shine, gaining $3.04 to close @ a (split-adjusted) record high $83.90 per share (shares in Apple went as high as $84.80 today.)

Broadcom, the company that makes semiconductors for Apple's iPod media players, added $2.86 to close @ $58.59 per share today.

Rambus gained $3.89 (14%) to close @ $32.20 per share.

Boeing gained $1.00 to close @ $70.10 per share on news that Air India will purchase 68 passenger jets @ $11 billion in a unique deal where Boeing will spend $100 million for a repair center and $75 million for a pilot training center.

Shares in Genentech fell by $4.12 to close @ $89.22 per share. Though Q4 (U.S.) sales of the colon cancer drug Avastin rose by 89% to $359.1 million, sales of Avastin still didn't measure up to expectations set by a SG Cowen analyst. Genentech also makes the breast cancer drug Herceptin and is the world's #2 biotech company.

The bidding war between Johnson & Johnson and Boston Scientific for Guidant is heating up. Boston Scientific's offer is currently $25 billion, while Johnson & Johnson has bid $21.5 billion so far. Shares in Guidant added $1.05 to close @ $70.44 per share, while Johnson & Johnson fell by $0.60 to close @ $62.50, and Boston Scientific lost $1.07 to close @ $25.41.

Compuware fell by $1.24 (13%) today to close @ $8.25 per share.

Crude Oil climbed higher on worries that Iran may face economic sanctions related to the nation's resumption of research into nuclear technology. Iran is OPEC's #2 crude oil producer.

Gold finished higher as well; a weakening dollar contributed to gold's price increase today.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Up @ 11,043.44 (+31.86)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,331.36 (+11.04)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,294.18 (+4.49)

----------------------------------------------------------

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently $64.35/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed up @ $548.50/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8235 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2144 U.S. Dollars


>  SITEMAP  <

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The S&P 500 and The DJIA Dipped A Bit, While The NASDAQ Closed Up Slightly

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), which has closed up on every trading day since the advent of the new year, dipped a bit today, losing less than one point, but still managed to stay in 11K territory. The S&P 500 also lost less than a point today as the NASDAQ Composite Index gained.

Home Depot is buying Hughes Supply in a $3.19 billion cash deal. Shares in Hughes Supply jumped by $7.06 (18%) on the news to close @ $45.61. Shares in Home Depot added $0.98 (2.4%) to close @ $41.80, which was the best performance on the DJIA today.

The worst performance on the DJIA today was Alcoa; the aluminum producing giant fell by $0.97 (3.2%) to close @ $29.60 per share.

The world's #2 Copper producer Phelps Dodge lost $7.97 (5.2%) to close @ $146.58 per share, which was the biggest dip on the S&P 500 index today.

The world's #2 toy company Hasbro added $1.37 (6.8%) to close @ $21.56 per share.

Shares in General Motors lost $0.35 (1.6%) to close @ $22.06.

Restaurant chain Red Robin lost $13.69 (26%) to close @ $38.29 per share.

LifePoint Hospitals lost $6.87 to close @ $29.54 per share (LifePoint, which focuses on non-urban healthcare, was spun-off from HCA back in 1999.)

A shining star on The NASDAQ Composite Index today was Apple Computer which gained $4.81 (6.3%) to close @ $80.86 per share. At the annual Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs boasted about great sales numbers thanks in no small part to the iPod, and that new Intel-powered (speed!) iMac computer that we told you about was introduced.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Down @ 11,011.58 (-0.32)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,320.32 (+1.63)

S&P 500: Closed Down @ 1,289.69 (-0.46)

----------------------------------------------------------

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently $63.35/barrel
New York Spot Gold closed down @ $543.90/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.829 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.2062 U.S. Dollars


>  SITEMAP  <

Monday, January 09, 2006

All 3 Majors Gain Again As The DJIA Breaks The 11K Mark

On Friday, we predicted that The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) would break the 11,000 mark this week, but we didn't expect it to happen so early in the week. Today, the DJIA crossed the 11K threshold for the first time since the summer of 2001, helped by a 7.7% gain by General Motors and continued good feelings about interest rates. Hallelujah.

GM added $1.61 to close @ $22.41 per share, helped by positive news from within the company and from a Goldman Sachs analyst. The Detroit Auto Show may also have played a part in GM's positive numbers today.

Google's up again, closing @ $466.90 per share today.

Homebuilders did well today. Luxury home builder Toll Brothers added $0.81 to close @ $29.26 per share, Pulte added $2.46 to close @ $44.08 per share and D.R. Horton gained $2.70 to close @ $39.95.

Tyco International gained $1.06 to close @ $31.04 per share as investors responded to an unconfirmed report that the company's board may be planning on slicing Tyco into 3 parts.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Up @ 11,011.90 (+52.59)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,318.69 (+13.07)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,290.15 (+4.07)

----------------------------------------------------------

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently $63.27/barrel
New York Spot Gold closed @ $548.80/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8285 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.207 U.S. Dollars


>  SITEMAP  <

The New York Stock Exchange® Chooses Floor Specialist

The New York Stock Exchange® has chosen Bear Wagner Specialists L.L.C. as the floor specialist that will handle the exchange's own stock when The Big Board completes its merger with Archipelago and becomes a for-profit, publicly traded company. Bear Wagner Specialists L.L.C. is a unit of the investment banking and securities trading firm Bear Stearns Cos. Stock in The NYSE Group should begin trading with stock symbol NYX by the end of March, 2006.


>  SITEMAP  <

Friday, January 06, 2006

All 3 Majors Gain Once Again As The Dow Closes On A Return To 11K

So far, 2006 has been a great year for the New York markets, as all 3 major indices have enjoyed gains on every trading day since the new year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is close to returning to the 11K mark, and could easily get there by next week.

Most economists agree that optimism related to predictions that The Fed will soon cease their interest rate raising regimen is having a positive and sustained effect on the market.

Google enjoyed another impressive gain today, rising by $14.42 to close @ $465.66 per share. That's another record high for Google. The list of analysts who are predicting great things for Google's stock continues to swell, so don't be surprised if the stock breaks more records next week.

The Age of Pension Plans Is Over?
IBM predicts that the company will save $3 billion over 4 years by freezing its pension plan for U.S. employees, a move that we will most likely see imitated by other companies across the country. Pension plans are on their way out, as corporate America is choosing instead to focus on 401(K) plans for employees.

Stock in IBM climbed by $2.45 to close @ $84.95 per share.

Yahoo added $1.68 to close @ $43.21 per share.

Same-store sales for December, 2006 climbed by 5.8% for Best Buy; stock in Best Buy gained $3.55 (8.2%) to close @ $47.05 per share.

Salesforce.com gained $3.79 to close @ $39.85 per share.

Ashland Inc. gained $5.05 to close @ $64.11. Ashland is America's biggest road construction company.

Demand pushed Nymex Crude Oil Future to $64.21 per barrel today. Exxon-Mobil added $1.15 to close @ $59.43 per share as a result.

Gold's resolve to reach new heights remains unabated, closing @ $538.80 today in New York. All that scrap gold laying around the house is starting to look interesting, eh?

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Up @ 10,959.31 (+77.16)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,305.62 (+28.75)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,285.45 (+11.97)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $64.21/barrel
New York Spot Gold closed @ $538.80/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.823 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.215 U.S. Dollars


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Thursday, January 05, 2006

All 3 Majors Gain; NASDAQ Hits A 4.5 Year High

A healthy 1.79 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.

Remember GM's "employee discount" from last summer? You remember: consumers were able to buy GM vehicles and get the same discount that GM employees get. Well, Mark LaNeve, General Motors' Vice President for North American marketing, said that the popular employee discount promotion was a "regrettable mistake" and that the company won't offer it again. Sales @ GM dropped by 26% when the employee discount promotion ended in the fall of 2005.

GM is releasing 19 new models this year. Stock in General Motors gained 5.7% to close @ $20.52 per share.

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae gained $4.43 to close @ $53.18 per share.

Google's stock price continues to set records, adding $6.00 today to close @ $451.24 per share.

Wal-Mart fell by $0.63 to close @ $45.69 per share.

Stock in Kohl's fells by $3.04 (6.5%) to close @ $43.94 per share.

Computer Sciences Corporation gained $3.99 to close @ $54.81 per share.

Xilinx gained $1.62 to close @ $28.55 per share.

Rambus added $3.74 to close @ $22.23 per share.

Crude oil and natural gas prices are down. The Northeast U.S. is warm for January, and predictions for the next 10 days are for temperatures in the 40's and 50's. Natural gas dropped to $9.499 per million BTU's in New York, the cheapest it's been since August of 2005.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Up @ 10,882.15 (+2.00)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,276.87 (+13.41)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,273.48 (+0.02)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future currently @ $62.79/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed @ $526.10/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8254 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2115 U.S. Dollars


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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

All 3 Majors Enjoy Another Positive Day

A second day of positive numbers for all 3 major indices, as enthusiasm related to interest rates continues to contribute to investors' buying mood.

Crude oil is up again despite warm temperatures in the Northeast U.S. Overall demand for crude is increasing, and there are still some lingering concerns about Russia as an energy provider.

How will Google do in 2006? Some analysts are saying $550, others are predicting that shares in Google will go as high as $600 this year. These favorable predictions are having a very positive effect on Google's stock price, which gained an impressive $10.01 to close @ $445.25 per share (that's a record high for Google.)

Alkermes rose by $1.43 to close @ $21.95 per share, while Cephalon gained $1.12 to close @ $66.75: the 2 companies recently announced that--pending U.S. government approval--they may be able to get a new drug that treats alcoholism ("Vivitrol") to the market by Q2 2006.

Estee Lauder is replacing Mercury Interactive on The S&P 500 Index; stock in Estee Lauder rose by $1.66 to close@ $35 per share on the news.

Citigroup dropped by $0.91 to close @ $48.38 per share.

GM gained $0.51 to close @ $19.41 per share.

Verizon gained $0.89 to close @ $31.27 per share.

Pfizer gained $0.77 to close @ $24.55 per share.

Hewlett-Packard gained $0.84 to close @ $29.61 per share.

AT&T gained $0.18 to close @ $24.89 per share.

Gold continues on its march upward: NY Spot Gold closed @ $533.90 per ounce.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Up @ 10,880.15 (+32.74)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,263.46 (+19.72)

S + P 500: Closed Up @ 1,273.46 (+4.66)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future currently @ $63.37/barrel
New York Spot Gold closed @ $533.90/ounce


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The New York Stock Exchange® Auctions Trading Licenses

1,274 trading licenses have been auctioned off by The New York Stock Exchange®. The price for each license was $49,290, which gives the buyer trading rights @ The Exchange for one year. The new system of trading licenses replaces the old system where individuals or companies had to be exchange members and have a "seat" on the exchange in order to trade.

There are 92 trading licenses left, and The Exchange plans on selling these remaining licenses during 2006 at a pro-rated annual rate of $54,219.


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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

All 3 Majors Gain On News That Interest Rate Hikes by The Fed May Soon Come to An End

Today, The Fed released minutes from the last FOMC meeting that occurred on December 13, 2005, a meeting that resulted in The Fed raising their Fed Funds Rate by another 25 basis points. Interest rate changes by The Fed affect the entire banking industry--banks always raise their prime lending rate when The Fed raises The Fed Funds Rate--so investors pay close attention to FOMC press releases, searching for clues about future moves by The Fed.

When the nation's banks raise their Prime Rate, the economy tends to slow down, as consumers and business owners tend to borrow less when the cost of money rises. Less borrowing means less interest-related profits for the banks, so banking stocks often take a hit when The Fed raises The Fed Funds Target Rate.

As a result of today's FOMC press release, many economists, central bankers and other money experts are predicting that The Fed will cease their rate hike regimen after imposing one more rate increase at the end of January, 2006. This was music to investors' ears, and Wall Street players responded by buying up banking stocks.

Shares in the world's largest bank--Citigroup, of course--gained $0.76 to close @ $49.29 per share. Shares in Bank of America also gained: $0.93 to close @ $47.08.

Crude oil rose today as the drama between Russia's state-owned Gazprom and The Ukraine has left many wondering about Russia as stable and reliable supplier of energy. As you might have guessed, shares in Exxon-Mobil rose today, an increase of $2.30, to close @ $58.47 per share.

Very healthy trading today: close to 1.92 billion shares were traded on the Big Board.

Gold continues on its upward trend: New York Spot Gold closed today @ $530.30 per ounce. Gold may once again prove to be the year's smartest investment, as it was in 2005. Time will tell.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Up @ 10,847.41 (+129.91)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,243.74 (+38.42)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,268.80 (+20.51)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future currently @ $63.00/barrel
New York Spot Gold closed @ $530.30/ounce


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Monday, January 02, 2006

New York Markets and Exchanges Closed Today

All New York markets and exchanges are closed today in observance of the New Year's Day holiday. Markets will open for business as usual tomorrow morning.


Gazprom and Europe

The fight between Russia and The Ukraine over natural gas is heating up. Gazprom, Russia's state-owned natural gas company, wants to raise the price they're charging for supplying gas to The Ukraine. Ukraine doesn't want to pay what the Russians are asking for, so the Russians are now following through on threats to cutoff gas supplies to The Ukraine.

And now the rest of Europe is caught in the crossfire of this fight. Countries that buy natural gas from Gazprom--Italy, France and Austria to name a few--are now experiencing gas shortages, as the pipelines that carry natural gas to these nations runs through The Ukraine: cutoff the Russian supply of natural gas to The Ukraine, and the Russian supply to the rest of Europe gets cut off as well.

If the disagreement over gas prices continues and the Russians shutdown the supply of natural gas for 4 days or more, the pipelines will lose pressure, and if that happens, the system will take weeks to get back online.

During 2005, the price for natural gas had been rising for European customers. Prices should continue to rise--and perhaps skyrocket--if this spat continues.

Gazprom supplies more natural gas than any other gas company in the world.

Happy trading and investing to all in 2006!


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