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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

All 3 Major Indices Retreated As Investors Reacted To Reports Indicating A Slowing Economy

All 3 major indexes declined today as investors reacted to reports on GDP, consumer confidence and sales of existing homes, all of which hinted at a slowing economy. An estimated 1.77 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.

Google's CFO warned of slowing growth of advertiser revenue today; Google's main source of income is from online advertising.

Shares of Google fell by $27.76 to close @ $362.62.


A judge ruled that Sherwin-Williams won't be assessed any punitive damages in the Rhode Island lawsuit related to lead-based paint. Lawyers for Sherwin-Williams successfully argued that the company wasn't "reckless" because selling lead-based paint was perfectly legal when it was sold years ago.

Shares of Sherwin-Williams gained $2.96 to close @ $45.55.


Shares of King Pharmaceuticals fell by $3.62 to close @ $16.25 on news that fourth quarter earnings won't measure up to analyst expectations.

Shares of Apollo Group Inc. fell by $9.09 to close @ $49.38 on news that second quarter earnings won't meet analyst expectations. Apollo Group owns the University of Phoenix, as well as many other online and traditional learning centers in 39 states.


Shares of Staples Inc. gained $1.47 to close @ $24.54 on news that fourth quarter earnings beat analyst expectations.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 10,993.41 (-104.14)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,281.39 (-25.79)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,280.66 (-13.46)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $61.63/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Higher @ $561.50/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8374 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.1942 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate is 7.5%


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Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "Preliminary" Released Today for Q4 2005

The preliminary, real U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report for the fourth quarter of 2005 was released this morning:

Consensus: +1.6 %
Actual: +1.6 %

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 report is produced by the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The final GDP report for Q4 2005 will be released on March 30, 2006.

The GDP is a very broad measure of economic activity for the entire United States, covering all sectors of the economy. The Commerce Department defines real GDP as, "the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States."

Here's a snippet from a press release issued by the Commerce Department this morning:

"Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005, according to preliminary estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 4.1 percent.

The GDP estimates released today are based on more complete source data than were available for the advance estimates issued last month. In the advance estimates, the increase in real GDP was 1.1 percent (see 'Revisions' on page 3).

The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from private inventory investment, personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, equipment and software, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a negative contribution from federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

The deceleration in real GDP growth in the fourth quarter primarily reflected a deceleration in PCE, an acceleration in imports, a downturn in federal government spending, and decelerations in equipment and software and in residential fixed investment that were partly offset by an upturn in inventory investment.

Final sales of computers contributed 0.34 percentage point to the fourth-quarter growth in real GDP after contributing 0.16 percentage point to the third-quarter growth. Motor vehicle output subtracted 0.63 percentage point from the fourth-quarter growth in real GDP after contributing 0.56 percentage point to the third-quarter growth.

FOOTNOTE.--Quarterly estimates are expressed at seasonally adjusted annual rates, unless otherwise specified. Quarter-to-quarter dollar changes are differences between these published estimates. Percent changes are calculated from unrounded data and annualized. 'Real' estimates are in chained (2000) dollars. Prices indexes are chain-type measures."


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The January, 2006 Existing Home Sales Report Released Today

The Existing Home Sales report for January, 2006 was released by The National Association of Realtors this morning:

Consensus: 6,750,000
Actual: 6,560,000

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, while the "actual" is the actual or real figure.


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Consumer Confidence Report for February, 2006

The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for this month (February, 2006) was released this morning:

Consensus: 104.0
Actual: 101.7

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.

Labels: ,


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Redbook Numbers for The Week of February 25, 2006

The Redbook numbers for the week of February 25, 2006 were released this morning:

Actual: +3.0%

The Redbook measures the weekly sales at chain stores, discount stores, and department stores, and is therefore an important gauge of current consumer spending in the U.S. The above figure represents the year-to-year change in the Redbook sales figures, so sales are up 3.0% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in February of 2005.

The weekly Redbook sales report is produced by Redbook Research.


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Monday, February 27, 2006

All 3 Major Indexes Advanced As The Cost of Crude Fell

All 3 major indexes advanced today as crude oil got cheaper. An estimated 1.44 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.


The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the merger of The New York Stock Exchange® and Archipelago Holdings today. Shares of the new NYSE Group will begin trading under the symbol "NYX" on March 8, 2006.


Shares of Lowe's gained $3.78 to close @ $69.30 on news that fourth quarter earnings beat analyst expectations.


Shares of Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) component Home Depot gained $0.82 to close @ $42.45.

Shares of DJIA component Microsoft gained $0.42 to close @ $27.05.

Shares of DJIA component Hewlett-Packard gained $1.39 to close @ $33.41.


Shares of Target gained $1.43 to close @ $55.48.


Shares of global #1 flash memory card manufacturer SanDisk gained $4.74 to close @ $61.08.


Merrill Lynch is buying back $6 billion of Merrill stock. Shares of Merrill Lynch gained $1.12 to close @ $77.88.


Cablevision signed up 130,000 new phone subscribers in Q4 2005. Shares of Cablevision advanced by $1.26 to close @ $26.46.


China Welcomes The Avon Lady
China had banned the practice of door-to-door selling, but that ban has been lifted, as evidenced by a recent granting of a direct selling license to Avon Products, Inc.

Shares of Avon gained $0.70 to close @ $28.99.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,097.55 (+35.70)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,307.18 (+20.14)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,294.12 (+4.69)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $61.00/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Lower @ $554.60/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8377 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.1938 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate is 7.5%


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New Home Sales for January 2006

The January, 2006 New Home Sales report was released this morning:

Consensus: 1,278,000
Actual: 1,233,000

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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Friday, February 24, 2006

S&P 500 and The NASDAQ Advanced, The DJIA Lost Some Ground; Crude Oil Closes Near $63

The S + P 500 Index and The NASDAQ Composite Index both advanced today, but The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost ground. Crude oil for future delivery closed near $63 on news of a foiled terrorist attack on a Saudi oil processing plant; energy stocks rose as a result, stemming the decline of the major indexes.

For the week, The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell by 0.5%, while both The NASDAQ Composite and The S&P 500 Indexes rose by 0.2%.


U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer decided to postpone a ruling in the BlackBerry patent fight between Research In Motion and NTP; Spencer was not pleased that the two parties have not been able to settle the matter. So, for now, the popular BlackBerry mobile email service will remain active.

Shares of Research In Motion gained $4.52 (6.5%) to $74.05 in regular trading; the stock then gained an additional $0.30 in after-hours action this evening.

Management @ H&R Block reported that the company made a mistake on their own state income taxes to the tune of $32 million, a blunder that will probably end up costing the company in more ways than one. Furthermore, so far this year, business at H&R Block's 12,000+ stores across the country has been slower than expected. H&R Block is the U.S. #1 tax preparation company.

Shares of H&R Block fell by $2.18 (8.65%) to close @ $23.01


Shares of Gap Inc. fell by $0.67 (3.51%) to close @ $18.43.

Shares of Nordstrom fell by $1.72 to close @ $38.30 on news that profits for Q1 2006 probably won't measure up to analyst estimates.

Shares of Kohl's gained $2.35 (5.28%) to close @ $46.86.


Violence in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia caused crude oil prices to soar. Energy stocks did well as a result.

Shares of Exxon Mobil gained $0.59 (0.99%) to close @ $60.42 in regular trading; the stock then gained an additional $0.22 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of Valero Energy gained $1.34 (2.44%) to close @ $56.19 in regular trading; the stock then gained an additional $0.36 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of ConocoPhillips gained $1.29 (2.10%) to close @ $62.73.

Shares of Chevron gained $0.51 (0.89%) to close @ $57.65 in regular trading; the stock then gained an additional $0.13 in after-hours action this evening.


Shares of Dana Corp. fell by $1.64 (52.06%) to close $1.51 in regular trading; the stock recovered $0.16 in after-hour trading this evening.

Shares of General Motors fell by $0.60 (2.91%) to close $19.99.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,061.85 (-7.37)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher@ 2,287.04 (+7.72)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,289.43 (+1.64)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $62.91/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Higher @ $558.40/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.842 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.1876 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate is 7.5%


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Durable Goods Orders Report for January 2006 Released Today

The Durable Goods Orders report for January, 2006 has just been released:

Consensus: -1.2%
Actual: -10.2%

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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Thursday, February 23, 2006

All 3 Major Indexes Declined As Investors Worried About Interest Rates

Falling crude oil prices (thanks in part to a strong crude inventories report) weren't enough to counter today's new jobless claims report from the Labor Department indicating that unemployment is low--great for the economy, but the scarcity of job seekers may cause The Fed to worry about wage inflation and raise interest rates beyond current predictions.

An estimated 1.57 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.


The worst performing component in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) today was General Motors; shares of GM fell by $0.60 (2.83%) to close @ $20.59 in regular trading; the stock then lost an additional $0.09 in after-hours action this evening.


More negative news for Sherwin-Williams today: the cost of inspecting and cleaning up 246,000 Rhode Island homes may go as high as $4.5 billion.

Shares of Sherwin-Williams fell by $1.15 (2.66%) to close @ $42.05 in regular trading; the stock then recovered $0.20 in after-hours action this evening.


An internal investigation @ Fannie Mae found that former Fannie CFO Timothy Howard was largely responsible for the $11 billion in accounting blunders.

Shares of Fannie Mae gained $1.23 (2.2%) to close @ $57.14.


Shares of Google gained $12.58 (3.44%) to close @ $378.07 in regular trading; the stock then added an additional $0.18 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of International Business Machines (IBM) fell by $1.15 (1.41%) to close @ $80.20.


Shares of Safeway gained $1.10 to close @ $24.35; Safeway is the U.S. #3 grocery store chain.


The cost of steel is rising in Europe and China; the rising prices boosted the stock of American steelmakers today.

Shares of U.S. Steel gained $2.05 to close @ $57.84.

Shares of Nucor Corp. gained $0.94 to close @ $86.33.


Shares of Sunoco gained $1.21 (1.61%) to close @ $76.22.


Shares of luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers added $1.05 to close @ $33.54.


Shares of Express Scripts fell by $5.31 to close @ $88.60; Express Scripts is the U.S. #3 prescription benefits management company.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,069.22 (-67.95)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,279.32 (-3.85)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,287.79 (-4.88)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $60.86/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Lower @ $548.80/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8404 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.19 U.S. Dollars

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


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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of February 17, 2006

The Crude Oil Inventories report for the week of February 17, 2006 has been released:

Actual: +1,100,000 Barrels

The above figure represents the weekly change in crude oil inventories for the United States.

Diminishing crude oil inventories can often translate to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).


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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of February 18, 2006

The U.S. Department of Labor has released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week of February 18, 2006:

Consensus: 300,000
Actual: 278,000

The above figures represent the number of new claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the actual or real figure.


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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

All 3 Major Indexes Advanced Today As Crude Oil Got Cheaper and Interest Rate Concerns Abated

All 3 Major Indexes advanced as crude for future delivery got cheaper and the latest Labor Department Consumer Price Index report eased investor concerns about continuing interest rate hikes by The Fed. An estimated 1.62 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.

The folks @ Cisco Systems are buying Scientific-Atlanta (the folks @ Scientific-Atlanta make TV set-top boxes.) Scientific-Atlanta will therefore be removed from the S + P 500 Index after February 24, 2006, and will be replaced on the index by Barr Pharmaceuticals (Barr is the U.S. #1 producer of birth control pills.

Shares of Barr Pharmaceuticals gained $2.15 to close @ $67.04.

In other phrama' news: according to a recent Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) study, healthcare spending is growing faster than the overall U.S. economy and will constitute 20% of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by the year 2015. Healthcare spending was 16% of U.S. GDP back in 2004, and it is expected to grow by an average of 7.2% annually over the next 10 years.


Shares of Dow component Boeing gained $1.34 (1.83%) to close @ a record $74.39 in regular trading; the stock then fell by $0.24 in after-hours action this evening. Boeing is the global #2 commercial jet manufacturer.


U.S. homebuilders advanced as worries about banking interest rates waned (demand for mortgages is stronger when interest rates on loans are consumer-friendly.)

Shares of D.R. Horton gained $1.64 to close @ $36.69.

Shares of luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers added $1.72 to close @ $32.49.


The paint industry suffered a setback today: a Rhode Island jury found that Sherwin-Williams and two other companies that used to make lead-based paint are responsible for harming the health of children in the state (lead in children can damage the central nervous system, the kidneys, and the reproductive system, and can even cause coma, convulsions or death @ high levels. Low levels of lead in children can cause problems with brain development, stunted growth and auditory problems.) The lead cleanup bill could top $1 billion.

Shares of Sherwin-Williams Co. fell by $9.37 (17.82%) to close @ $43.20. Sherwin-Williams is the U.S. #1 paint retailer.


Crude oil for future delivery retreated today, causing many energy stocks to decline.

Shares of Valero Energy fell by $0.97 (1.75%) to close @ $54.55 in regular trading; the stock then lost an additional $0.15 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of ConocoPhillips fell by $0.93 (1.48%) to close @ $61.90.

Shares of Sunoco fell by $2.45 (3.16%) to close @ $75.01.


Shares of independent oil and gas exploration company Apache Corp. fell by $2.26 (3.20%%) to close @ $68.46.

Shares of Newfield Exploration fell by $1.67 (3.93%) to close @ $40.87.


Shares of Google fell by $1.10 (0.30%) to close @ $365.49 in regular trading; the stock then lost an additional $0.25 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of Yahoo! gained $0.77 (2.38%) to close @ $33.16.

Shares of Apple Computer gained $2.24 (3.24%) to close @ $71.32 in regular trading; the stock then lost $0.15 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of Shares of Baidu.com gained $3.04 (5.88%) to close @ $54.73 in regular trading; the stock then lost $0.43 in after-hours action.


Shares of Sprint Nextel fell by $1.13 to close @ $23.80 on news that fourth quarter earnings missed analyst estimates. Sprint Nextel f is the U.S. #3 cell phone company.

Shares of CenturyTel Inc. gained $1.56 to close @ $36.39.


Shares of Medtronic fell by $1.27 to close @ $54.30. Medtronic is the global #1 manufacturer of electronic heart devices.


Shares of OfficeMax Inc. gained $2.63 (9.39%) to close @ $30.65. OfficeMax is the U.S. #3 office supplies retailer.


Shares of MetLife Inc. gained $2.06 to close @ $51.98. MetLife is the U.S. #1 life insurance company.


Shares of Wachovia Corp. gained $1.04 to close @ $57.34. Wachovia is the U.S. #4 banking company.

Shares of mortgage giant Fannie Mae gained $1.88 (3.48%) to close @ $55.91.


Shares of eFunds Corp. gained $3.77 (16.74%) to close @ $26.29.

Shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia gained $2.39 (14.49%) to close @ $18.88.


Shares of Herbalife Ltd fell by $4.80 (13.62%) to close @ $30.45.

Shares of CEC Entertainment Inc fell by $4.99 (13.25%) to close @ $32.66.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,137.17 (+68.11)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,283.17 (+20.21)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,292.67 (+9.63)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed Lower @ $60.75/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Higher @ $553.90/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8401 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.1904 U.S. Dollars

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


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Consumer Price Index (CPI) for January 2006

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers for January, 2006 were released by The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

Consensus: +0.5%
Actual: +0.7%

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

Consensus: +0.2%
Actual: +0.2%

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

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.

General categories are:

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


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Redbook Numbers for The Week of February 18, 2006

The Redbook numbers for the week of February 18, 2006 were released this morning:

Actual: +2.5%

The Redbook measures the weekly sales at 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 2.5% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in February of 2005.

The weekly Redbook sales report is produced by Redbook Research.


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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

All 3 Major Indices Declined On Concern That The Fed Will Continue To Raise Interest Rates Into The Summer

All 3 major indexes lost ground today as the latest Leading Economic Indicators report and minutes from the last Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting had investors worried about future interest rates hikes. Soaring crude oil prices related to unrest in Nigeria also played a roll in the day's decline. An estimated 1.55 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.

Shares of Baidu.com Inc gained 3.3% to close @ $51.69. After NASDAQ's closing bell, Baidu reported quarterly earnings that beat analyst expectations; the stock may perform well tomorrow as a result. Baidu.com is China's most popular search engine.

Shares of Carnival Corp. fell by $1.72 to close @ $51.83. Carnival is the global #1 cruise line operator.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,069.06 (-46.26)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,262.96 (-19.40)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,283.04 (-4.20)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed Higher @ $62.07/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Higher @ $553.60/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8418 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.188 U.S. Dollars

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


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Leading Economic Indicators for January 2006

The Leading Economic Indicators for January, 2006 were released today:

Consensus 0.6 %
Actual 1.1 %

The above numbers represent the month-to-month change for the nation's leading economic indicators. The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the actual or real 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


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Monday, February 20, 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 for the President's Day holiday. All New York markets will reopen tomorrow morning.


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Sunday, February 19, 2006

New York Exchanges Will Be Closed Tomorrow

The New York exchanges, including:

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

will be closed tomorrow for the President's Day holiday.


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Friday, February 17, 2006

The Major Indices Retreated Today, But All 3 Majors Advanced for The Week

All 3 major indexes retreated today as the price on crude oil for future delivery crept upwards, but the majors advanced for the week. An estimated 1.57 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.

For the week, The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) gained 1.8%, The NASDAQ Composite Index gained 0.9% and The S&P 500 Index rose by 1.6%.


Looks like Time Warner won't be broken up as investor Carl Icahn wanted. In an agreement reached with Icahn, Time Warner will boost its share-buyback to $20 billion, trim expenses by $1 billion and post 2 new directors to the board.

Shares of Time Warner fell by $0.19 (1.06%) to close @ $17.78 in regular trading; the stock then recovered $0.27 in after-hours trading this evening.


Your local RadioShack store may be closing. RadioShack has plans to close up to 700 stores as part of a campaign to turn the company around. The controversy over RadioShack CEO David Edmondson's resume embellishments was probably a contributing factor to the stock's decline today. RadioShack is the U.S. #3 consumer electronics retailer.

Shares of RadioShack fell by $1.67 (8.05%) to close @ $19.08.


New York City's Consolidated Edison (a.k.a. ConED) and Britain's National Grid Plc have expressed interest in purchasing KeySpan Corp.; KeySpan is the Northeast U.S. #1 natural gas provider.

Shares of KeySpan gained $4.23 (11.69%) to close @ $40.41 in regular trading; the stock then gained an additional $0.17 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of Consolidated Edison gained $0.10 (0.22%) to close @ $45.45.


Shares of DJIA component Honeywell International gained $0.60 (1.44%) to close @ $42.18 on news that the company is changing its accounting practices.

Shares of DJIA component American International Group (AIG) fell by $0.76 (1.11%) to close @ $67.42.


Shares of Google gained $2.29 (0.62%) to close @ $368.75 in regular trading; the stock then fell by $1.80 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of Dell fell by $1.58 (4.94%) to close @ $30.38 on a disappointing first quarter profit outlook.

Shares of Intel fell by $0.74 (3.47%) to close @ $20.61.

Shares of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) fell by $1.41 (3.38%) to close @ $40.33.


Some energy stocks benefited from the day's surge in crude oil prices.

Shares of ConocoPhillips gained $1.19 (1.99%) to close @ $61.09.

Shares of Chevron gained $0.87 (1.55%) to close @ $57.17 in regular trading; the stock then gained an additional $0.08 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of Valero Energy gained $0.67 (1.24%) to close @ $54.49 in regular trading; the stock then fell by $0.37 in after-hours action.


Last year's hurricanes took their toll on disaster re-insurer PXRE Group Ltd.; Shares of PXRE Group fell by $7.84 (65.94%) to close @ $4.05.


Shares of Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. lost $0.39 (6.9%) to close @ $5.26 on news of a $311 million fourth quarter loss. Sirius Satellite Radio is the #2 fee-based radio service.

Shares of XM Satellite Radio Holdings fell by $2.41 (10.05%) to $21.57 in regular trading; the stock then recovered $0.21 in after-hours trading this evening. XM Satellite Radio is the #1 fee-based radio service.


Shares of Inco Ltd. gained $2.59 (11.83%) to close @ $24.48.

Shares of Torch Energy Royalty Trust Units gained $0.66 (9.10%) to close @ $7.91.


Shares of Premiere Global Services fell by $1.01 (11.23%) to close @ $7.98.

Shares of Ryerson Inc. fell by $3.23 (10.25%) to close @ $28.27.

Shares of JM Smucker fell by $4.18 (9.85% ) to close @ $38.25.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,115.32 (-5.36)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,282.36 (-12.27)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,287.24 (-2.14)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed Higher @ $59.88/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Higher @ $551.80/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8375 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.194 U.S. Dollars

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


>  SITEMAP  <

Producer Price Index (PPI) for January 2006

The Producer Price Index (PPI) numbers for January, 2006 have been released:

Consensus: 0.3%
Actual: 0.3%

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

Consensus: 0.2%
Actual: 0.4%


The above numbers represent the month-to-month change in prices for a specific group of goods and capital equipment that producers buy in order to produce finished goods for consumers. The PPI is an important part of the overall inflation picture for the country because when costs go up for producers, producers then pass those increased costs on to consumers.

The PPI is released by The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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

The PPI is a family or amalgamation of indexes, including The:

  • All Commodities Index
  • Crude Energy Materials Index
  • Crude Foodstuffs & Feedstuffs Index
  • Crude Materials for Further Processing Index
  • Finished Goods Index
  • Finished Consumer Foods Index
  • Finished Consumer Goods Index
  • Finished Consumer Goods Excluding Foods Index
  • Finished Energy Goods Index
  • Finished Goods: Capital Equipment Index
  • Finished Goods Excluding Foods Index
  • Finished Goods Less Energy Index
  • Finished Goods Less Food & Energy Index
  • Fuels & Related Products & Power Index
  • Industrial Commodities Index
  • Intermediate Energy Goods Index
  • Intermediate Foods & Feeds Index
  • Intermediate Materials: Supplies & Components Index


>  SITEMAP  <

Consumer Sentiment (Preliminary) for February 2006

The preliminary Consumer Sentiment numbers for February, 2006 were released today:

Consensus: 91.0
Actual: 87.4

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.

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


>  SITEMAP  <

Thursday, February 16, 2006

All 3 Majors Gain As Crude Oil Prices Surge Upwards

All 3 major indexes gained ground today as a very warm January led to lots more housing starts, and crude oil got more expensive. An estimated 1.7 billion shares were traded on The Big Board.

The best-performing component in The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) today was Hewlett-Packard; shares of HP gained $2.35 (7.42%) to close @ $34.02 on strong earnings projections for Q2 2006.

Shares of Google gained $24.08 (7.03%) in regular trading to close @ $366.46; the stock then added an additional $1.94 in after-hour trading this evening.

Shares of Dell gained $0.19 (0.60%) to close @ $31.96.


Crude oil for future delivery got more expensive as the day progressed, boosting energy stocks.

Shares of Exxon Mobil gained $0.49 (0.82%) to close @ $60.25.

Shares of Sunoco gained $4.24 (5.8%) to close @ $77.33.

Shares of Valero Energy gained $3.25 (6.43%) to close @ $53.82 in regular trading; the stock then gained another $0.40 in after-hours action.

Shares of ConocoPhillips gained $1.59 (2.73%) to close @ $59.90.

Shares of Chevron gained $0.34 (0.61%) to close @ $56.30.


Shares of Boston Scientific gained $1.97 to close @ $24.58 in regular trading; the stock then gained another $0.12 in after-hours action.


According to today's U.S. Commerce Department report, housing starts were up as home builders took advantage of warm January temperatures.

Shares of D.R. Horton gained $1.11 (3.27%) to close @ $35.03 in regular trading; the stock then gained another $0.22 in after-hours action.

Shares of luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers added $0.69 to close @ $30.57.

Shares of Hovnanian Enterprises gained $0.93 to close @ $46.73.


Shares of Administaff gained $5.88 (14.20%) to close @ $47.30.

Shares of Core Laboratories gained $3.66 (9.12%) to close @ $43.80.


Shares of Expedia fell by $4.43 (18.27%) to close @ $19.82 in regular trading; the stock then recovered $0.16 in after-hours action. Disappointing forth quarter earnings caused today's slide. Expedia is the biggest online travel agency in the United States.


Shares of XM Satellite Radio Holdings lost $1.27 to close @ $23.98. The company reported that a big jump in marketing costs resulted in a larger-than-expected fourth quarter loss. XM Satellite Radio is the U.S. #1 fee-based radio service.


Shares of Sirius Satellite Radio fell by $0.17 to close @ $5.65 in regular trading; the stock then recovered $0.10 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of Daimlerchrysler fell by $2.12 (3.55%) to close @ $57.68.

Shares of Target fell by $1.21 to close @ $54.59 in regular trading; the stock then recovered $0.11 in after-hours action this evening. Target is the U.S. #2 discount retailer.

Shares of Lamson and Sessions fell by $6.60 (20.59%) to close @ $25.45.

Shares of Guess Inc fell by $6.05 (13.10%) to close @ $40.15.

Shares of Cleveland-Cliffs fell by $6.74 (7.19%) to close @ $86.98.

Shares of Ormat Technologies fell by $4.34 (10.26%) to close @ $37.98.

Shares of Navigant Consulting fell by $2.52 (11.28%) to close @ $19.83.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,120.68 (+61.71)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,294.63 (+18.20)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,289.38 (+9.38)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $58.92/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Higher @ $544.20/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8423 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.1872 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate is 7.5%


>  SITEMAP  <

Housing Starts in January of 2006

The U.S. Commerce Department has released their monthly Housing Starts report for January, 2006:

Consensus: 2,000,000
Actual: 2,276,000

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 purchase for a new home (large appliances, furniture, etc.) tends to also rise--and vice versa.


>  SITEMAP  <

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of February 11, 2006

The U.S. Department of Labor has released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week of February 11, 2006:

Consensus: 285,000
Actual: 297,000

The above figures represent the number of new claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the actual or real figure.


>  SITEMAP  <

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%


>  SITEMAP  <

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of February 10, 2006

The crude oil inventories report for the week of February 10, 2006 has been released:

Actual: +4,900,000 Barrels

The above figure represents the weekly change in crude oil inventories for the United States.

Diminishing crude oil inventories can often translate to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).


>  SITEMAP  <

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

All 3 Majors Gain As Crude Oil Drops Below The $60 Mark

All 3 major indexes advanced today--with The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closing above 11K--thanks to crude oil for future delivery dropping below the $60 mark, and a much-better-than-expected January retail sales report out of The U.S. Commerce Department. An estimated 1.82 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.

In IPO news, Morgans Hotel Group's IPO opened at $20.00 today and ended at $19.89 per share. Not the hottest IPO, but the offering did generate $275 million for Morgans, which the company plans to use to pay down some of the $660 million it owes to creditors.

Morgans was founded by Ian Schrager, who was the co-founder of the iconic 70's nightclub Studio 54. Morgans owns a number of upscale, boutique-style hotels like The Delano on Miami's South Beach and New York's Hudson Hotel. The Hotels are often patronized by high profile celebrities, and cycling king Lance Armstrong sits on Morgan's board of directors.


Shares of Alcoa gained $1.13 (3.74%) to close @ $31.37.

Shares of Home Depot gained $1.43 (3.6%) to close @ $41.13.

Shares of Caterpillar gained $1.60 (2.33%) to close @ $70.22.

Shares of Wal-Mart gained $0.94 (2.07%) to close @ $46.45.

Shares of 3M gained $0.79 to close @ $73.70.


Shares of Apple Computer gained $2.94 (4.54%) to close @ $67.64.

Shares of Waste Management Inc. gained $0.39 to close @ $33.43. Waste Management is the #1 refuse disposal company in the U.S.


Shares of Jarden Corp. gained $3.22 (13.00%) to close @ $27.99.

Shares of Inco Ltd gained $2.35 (11.71%) to close @ $22.41.

Shares of Genesee & Wyoming gained $4.42 (11.41%) to close @ $43.16.


Shares of Transocean fell by $6.49 (8.3%) to close @ $72.10.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,028.39 (+136.07)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,262.17 (+22.36)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,275.53 (+12.67)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $59.88/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Higher @ $546.00/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8398 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.1908 U.S. Dollars

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


>  SITEMAP  <

Redbook Numbers for The Week of February 11, 2006

The Redbook numbers for the week of February 11, 2006 have been released:

Actual: 3.0%

The Redbook measures the weekly sales at 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 3.0% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in February of 2005.

The weekly Redbook sales report is produced by Redbook Research.


>  SITEMAP  <

Retail Sales Report for January 2006

The U.S. Commerce Department has released their monthly retail sales report for January of 2006:

Consensus: 0.9%
Actual: 2.3%

Minus Auto Sales
Consensus: 0.7%
Actual : 2.2%

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in total sales receipts for retailers that sell both durable and non-durable goods.

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


>  SITEMAP  <

Monday, February 13, 2006

The 3 Major Indices, Crude Oil and Gold All Retreated Today

The 3 major indexes, crude and gold all lost ground today as investors reacted to Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Sandra Pianalto's remarks (also, The Fed's new Chairman Dr. Ben Bernanke will be testifying before the U.S. Senate on Wednesday.) An estimated 1.37 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today, a day which set a new record as the slowest trading day of 2006.

Shares of BlackRock gained $10.48 (7.97%) to close @ $141.99.

Shares of PNC Financial Services Group gained $2.01 to close @ $66.59 in regular trading; the stock then gained an additional $0.41 in after-hours action this evening. PNC has a 70% stake in BlackRock.

Shares of Merrill Lynch gained $1.04 to close @ $73.83.


Shares of Google fell by $16.91 to close @ $345.70 in regular trading; the stock lost an additional $2.15 in after-hours action this evening.

Both Google and Amazom.com are developing digital music services that will compete with Apple's digital music services.

Shares of Apple Computer fell by $2.60 to close @ $64.71 in regular trading today; the stock lost an additional $0.31 in after-hours action this evening.


The folks @ Microsoft are introducing a new cell phone that will have email capabilities much like those found on email-enabled BlackBerry devices.

Shares of Research In Motion, the folks who make BlackBerry devices, fell by $1.72 to close @ $68.35.

Shares of Microsoft fell by $0.30 to close @ $26.39.


Whirlpool's bid to become the global #1 appliance manufacturer by purchasing Maytag may be in jeopardy as the federal government may sue Whirlpool over antitrust violations related to the buyout.

Shares of Whirlpool fell by $1.45 to close @ $85.83.

Shares of Maytag gained $0.40 to close @ $16.61.


Shares of Bedford Property Investors gained $2.37 (9.66%) to close @ $26.90.

Shares of W.R. Berkley $3.18 (6.52%) to close @ $51.97.

Shares of Cincinnati Bell gained $0.23 (6.12%) to close @ $3.99.

Shares of Las Vegas Sands gained $2.54 (5.32%) to close @$50.25.


Shares of GoldCorp fell by $0.60 (11.95%) to close @ $4.42.

Shares of Harmony Gold Mining fell by $1.32 (8.10%) to close @ $14.97.

Shares of Novastar Financial fell by $2.04 (7.35) to close @ $25.70.

Shares of Controladora Comercial Mexicana fell by $2.47 (7.06%) to close @ $32.50.

Shares of United Microelectronics fell by $0.17 (5.30%) to close @ $3.04.

Shares of Southern Copper fell by $5.63 (6.78%) to close @ $77.45.

Shares of Titanium Metals Corp. fell by $4.73 (6.70%) to close @ $65.84.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 10,892.32 (-26.73)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,239.81 (-22.07)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,262.86 (-4.13)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $60.86/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Lower @ $538.80/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8399 EurosCurrently, The Euro buys 1.1906 U.S. Dollars

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


>  SITEMAP  <

Friday, February 10, 2006

All 3 Majors Advanced As Crude Oil for Future Delivery Closed Below The $62 Mark

A larger-than-expected trade deficit for December of 2005 caused many stocks to slump this morning, but all 3 major indices ended up gaining today, helped by NYMEX crude oil closing below $62 and a positive budget report from The Treasury Department. An estimated 1.7 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.

For the week, The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) gained 1.2%, The NASDAQ Composite Index fell by less than 0.1% and The S&P 500 Index rose by 0.2%.

Shares of American International Group (AIG) gained $0.78 (1.16%) to close @ $67.90 in regular trading; the stock then lost $0.08 in after-hours trading this evening.

Shares of global #1 pharmaceutical company Pfizer fell by$0.66 (2.51%) to close @ $25.68 in regular trading; the stock then lost an additional $0.09 in after-hours trading.


Shares of Google gained $3.84 (1.07%) to close @ $362.61 in regular trading today; the stock then lost $9.01 in after-hours action.

Shares of McAfee gained $4.02 (18.37%) to close @ $25.90 in regular trading today; the stock then lost $0.10 in after-hours action. McAfee is the global #2 maker of anti-virus software.

Shares of Apple Computer gained $2.36 (3.63%) to close @ $67.31 in regular trading today; the stock then lost $0.31 in after-hours action this evening.


Shares of copper giant Phelps Dodge fell by $5.94 (4.01%) to close @ $142.06 in regular trading; the stock then lost an additional $0.56 in after-hours trading.

Shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold fell by $4.90 (8.62%) to close @ $51.93 in regular trading; the stock then lost an additional $0.43 in after-hours action this evening.


Cheaper crude oil hurt many energy-related stocks.

Shares of Sunoco fell by $3.93 (5.14%) to close @ $72.46 in regular trading; the stock then recovered $0.27 in after-hours trading this evening.

Shares of Valero Energy fell by $2.33 (4.40%) to close @ $50.65 in regular trading; the stock then recovered $0.06 in after-hours trading.


Shares of Aon Corp. gained $3.23 (9.26%) to close @ $38.11. Aon is the global #2 insurance broker in terms of size.

Shares of Steinway Musical Instruments gained $3.44 (11.86%) to close @ $32.44.

Shares of Alliance One International gained $0.45 (11.34%) to close @ $4.42.

Shares of Novastar Financial fell by $3.57 (11.40%) to close @ $27.74.

Shares of Salesforce.com fell by $4.27 (10.85%) to close @ $35.10.

Shares of Embratel Participacoes fell by $1.11 (8.42%) to close @ $12.07.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 10,919.05 (+35.70)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,261.88 (+6.01)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,266.99 (+3.21)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $61.84/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Lower @ $550.20/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8401 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.1904 U.S. Dollars

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


>  SITEMAP  <

International Trade Balance Level for December 2005

The International Trade Balance Level for December of 2005 was released by The U.S. Commerce Department today:

Consensus: $ -65,000,000,000
Actual: $ -65,700,000,000

The "actual" figure above represents the balance of trade--imports vs. exports--between the United States and all other countries, and includes both goods and services. A negative number represents a trade deficit, while a positive number represents a trade surplus.

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


>  SITEMAP  <

Treasury Budget for January 2006

The U.S. Treasury Budget numbers for January, 2006 were released today:

Consensus: $ 5,000,000,000
Actual: $ 20,990,000,000

The "actual" figure above represents the monthly balance on the U.S. federal government's books and is compiled by The Treasury Department. A positive number represents a surplus, while a negative represents a deficit.

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


>  SITEMAP  <

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The DJIA Advanced While The NASDAQ and S & P 500 Faltered As The Market Reacted To Interest Rate Concerns

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) advanced today as The NASDAQ and S + P 500 faltered; comments by Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Michael Moskow about future moves by The Fed worried many investors about U.S. economic growth. An estimated 1.7 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.

American International Group (AIG) has made peace with New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and The SEC by agreeing to fork over an estimated $1.6 billion to settle fraud claims.

Shares of AIG advanced by $0.74 (1.11%) to close @ $67.12 in regular trading; the stock then gained another $0.52 in after-hours trading this evening.

Shares of Aetna gained $3.15 (3.28%) to close @ $99.27 in regular trading; the stock then gained an additional $0.20 in after-hours action. Aetna released a strong earnings forecast for 2006.


Sales of flat-panel TV's and iPods contributed to Best Buy predicting a strong fiscal Q4.

Shares of Best Buy gained $4.13 (8.46%) to close @ $52.96.

Shares of Marriott International gained $1.53 (2.31%) to close @ $67.64.

Shares of Navteq Corp gained $4.75 (11.83%) to close @ $44.91.

Shares of Carlisle Companies Inc gained $6.12 (8.89%) to close @ $74.98.

Shares of Charles River Laboratories International gained $3.51 (7.83%) to close @ $48.36.

Shares of 3M gained $1.12 to close @ $72.12.


Shares of Research In Motion gained $0.97 (1.41%) to close @ $69.62 in regular trading; the stock then lost $0.42 in after-hours action this evening.


Shares of Whole Foods fell by $6.78 (9.41%) to close @ $65.27.


Shares of Apple Computer fell by $3.86 (5.61%) to close @ $64.95.

Shares of Google fell by $10.31 (2.79%) to close @ $358.77 in regular trading; the stock then recovered $1.98 in after-hours trading.


Shares of Valero Energy fell by $2.93 (5.24%) to close @ $52.98.

Shares of GrafTech International fell by $2.71 (37.07%) to close @ $4.60.

Shares of Equus II fell by $2.41 (23.04%) close @ $8.05.

Shares of Maidenform Brands fell by $2.10 (19.34%) to close @ $8.76.

Shares of Proquest $5.22 (17.75%) to close @ $24.19.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 10,883.35 (+24.73)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,255.87 (-11.11)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,263.78 (-1.87)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $62.59/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Higher @ $564.80/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8351 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.1975 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate is 7.5%


>  SITEMAP  <

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of February 4, 2006

The New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week of February 4, 2006 has been released:

Consensus: 285,000
Actual: 277,000

The above numbers represent new unemployment insurance claims for the entire United States. The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the actual or real figure.


>  SITEMAP  <

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

All 3 Majors Advanced As The Cost of Crude Continues to Fall

All 3 major indices advanced today as the price for crude oil fell; the price on NYMEX crude oil for future delivery continues to fall this evening. An estimated 1.79 billion shares were traded on The Big Board.

Shares of Pfizer gained $1.19 to close @ $26.37 on news that the company has plans to sell or spin-off its consumer health division that includes brands like Visine®, Listerine® and BenGay®. The company wants to concentrate on prescription drugs.

Shares of Cisco Systems gained $1.31 (7.2%) to close @ $19.40. Some Cisco-manufactured routers sell for $1 million, and sales @ Cisco have been on the rise lately.

Shares of Hewlett-Packard gained $1.64 (5.4%) to close @ $32.01; HP was the best performer in The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) today.

Shares of General Motors fell by $0.82 or (3.6%) to close @ $21.99; the stock then lost an additional $0.12 in after-hours trading this evening.


Shares of Dell Inc. gained $1.83 to close @ $31.52.

Shares of Univision Communications gained $3.66 (12%) to close @ $34.20. Univision is the #1 domestic, Spanish-language television network.


Shares of Watts Water Technologies gained $6.31 (20.56%) to close @ $37.00.

Shares of Tenaris SA gained $8.54 (5.77%) to close @ $156.44.


Shares of Peabody Energy Corp. fell by $5.90 (6.02%) to close @ $92.05; the stock then recovered $0.95 in after-hours trading this evening.

Shares of USEC Inc. fell by $1.64 (12.06%) to close @ $11.96.


Shares of Google gained $1.16 (0.32%) to close @ $369.08; the stock then fell by $0.19 in after-hours trading.

Shares of Apple Computer gained $1.21 (1.79%) to close @ $68.81; the stock then gained an additional $0.09 in after-hours trading this evening.


Shares of United States Steel Corp. fell by $1.62 (2.76%) to close @ $57.10.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 10,858.62 (+108.86)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,266.98 (+22.02)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,265.65 (+10.87)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $62.85/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Lower @ $550.10/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8351 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.1974 U.S. Dollars

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


>  SITEMAP  <

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of February 3, 2006

The crude oil inventories report for the week of February 3, 2006 has been released:

Actual: -300,000 Barrels

The above figure represents the weekly change in crude oil inventories for the United States.

Diminishing crude oil inventories can often translate to higher crude oil prices (and vice versa), but not always.

The report is produced by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).


>  SITEMAP  <

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

All 3 Major Indices Retreated; Crude Oil, Gold and Copper Got Cheaper

All 3 major indices retreated today as the price for gold, crude oil and other commodities fell. An estimated 1.78 billion shares were traded on The Big Board.

Shares of General Motors fell by $0.53 (2.27%) to close @ $22.81 in regular trading; the stock lost an additional $0.11 in after-hours trading. The company announced that annual stock dividends will be cut from $2 per share to $1.

Shares of Alcoa fell by $1.16 (3.62%) to close @ $30.87.

The best performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) today was Disney; shares of Disney gained $1.74 (7%) to close @ $26.70.


Google may fork over as much as $1 billion to Dell in a 3 year deal that would put Google software on Dell PC's.

Shares of Google fell by $17.18 (4.46%) to close @ $367.92 in regular trading; the stock recovered $1.55 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of Dell gained $0.37 to close @ $29.69.


Gold, copper and crude oil all got cheaper today; mining and energy stocks dipped as a result.

Shares of Exxon Mobil fell by $1.42 to close @ $60.55.

Shares of Valero Energy fell by $2.89 (4.86%) to close @ $56.61.

Shares of ConocoPhillips fell by $2.66 (4.24%) to close @ $60.10 in regular trading; the stock recovered $0.28 in after-hours trading this evening.

Shares of Chevron fell by $1.10 (1.87%) to close @ $57.74 in regular trading; the stock recovered $0.21 in after-hours trading this evening.

Shares of copper producing giant Phelps Dodge lost $12.66 to close @ $152.53.

Shares of Newmont Mining, the global #1 producer of gold, fell by $4.21 to close @ $56.27.


Shares of stainless steel producer Allegheny Technologies lost $4.10 to close @ $49.63.

Shares of U.S. Steel fell by $2.85 (4.63%) to close @ $58.72 in regular trading; the stock recovered $0.14 in after-hours trading this evening.


Shares of Toll Brothers fell by $1.73 to close @ $29.47.

Shares of D.R. Horton fell by $1.28 to close @ $33.67.

Shares of Pulte Homes lost $0.87 to close @ $37.07. Pulte is the #2 U.S. builder of new homes.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 10,749.76 (-48.51)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,244.96 (-13.84)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,254.78 (-10.24)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $63.06/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Lower @ $550.70/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8351 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.1975 U.S. Dollars

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


>  SITEMAP  <

December 2005 Consumer Credit Status Report Released Today

The Consumer Credit status report for December, 2005 was released today:

Consensus: $5,000,000,000
Actual: $3,300,000,000


The above figures represent the month-to-month change in total outstanding, installment-based consumer credit, which includes car loans, credit cards, etc.

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


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Redbook Numbers for The Week of February 4, 2006

The Redbook numbers for the week of February 4, 2006 have been released:

Actual: 3.3%

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 3.3% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in February of 2005.


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Monday, February 06, 2006

Modest Gains for The Dow and S&P 500, As The NASDAQ Retreats

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and The S&P 500 enjoyed modest gains today, while the NASDAQ Composite Index lost a few points. 1.53 billion shares were traded on The Big Board, which was The Big Board's slowest trading day for 2006.

Shares of American International Group (AIG) gained $0.66 (1.01%) to close @ $66.01 in regular trading today; the stock then fell by $0.23 in after-hours trading.

Shares of Alcoa gained $1.45 (4.74%) to close @ $32.03 in regular trading today; the stock then added an additional $0.12 in after-hours trading. Alcoa is the global #1 aluminum producer.

Shares of Wal-Mart fell by $0.41 (0.9%) to close @ $45.08.


Shares of Apple Computer lost $4.55 (6.33%) to close @ $67.30. Investors were worried about the availability of software for the new Intel-based Macintosh computers.


Shares of U.S. Steel gained $3.65 (6.3%) to close @ $61.57. Arcelor SA may purchase U.S. Steel in order to ward off a hostile takeover by Mittal.


Lafarge North America gained $17.89 to close @ $82.14. Lafarge SA, parent company of Lafarge North America, is the global #1 cement producer.

Vulcan Materials gained $5.92 to close @ $80.42.


Shares of Humana fell by $1.11 to close @ $53.79 on news that the Bush administration wants to reduce Medicare spending by $65 billion over the next 5 years.

Shares of Aetna fell by $0.72 (0.73%) to close @ $97.60; the stock then gained $2.40 in after-hours action this evening.


Shares of J. Jill Group advanced by $4.37 to close @ $23.57 on news that Talbots will buy the company for $517 million.


Shares of Chevron gained $1.34 to close @ $58.84.

Shares of Exxon Mobil gained $0.58 (0.94%) to close @ $61.97.

Shares of Valero Energy gained $0.87 (1.48%) to close @ $59.50.

Shares of Transocean gained $3.31 in regular trading today to close @ $83.93 on news that the company was able to secure contracts for 5 new drilling rigs. The stock later fell by $0.25 in after-hours trading. Transocean is the global #1 offshore crude and natural gas drilling contractor.

A milestone for India's key index today: The 30 component BSE Index gained 2.7% and reached a record 10,002.83; the index then closed @ 9,980.42 at the end of the trading day. Analysts and investors expect The BSE to rise to the 12K mark by the end of this year.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Up @ 10,798.27 (+4.65)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,258.80 (-3.78)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,265.02 (+0.99)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $64.81/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Higher @ $570.20/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8352 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.1974 U.S. Dollars

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


>  SITEMAP  <

Friday, February 03, 2006

All 3 Majors Indices Declined For The Day & The Week

Weak earnings reports, worries about wage inflation leading to The Fed raising rates and a discouraging Consumer Sentiment report all contributed to the 3 majors losing ground today. An estimated 1.74 billion shares were traded on The Big Board.

For the week, The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost 1%, The NASDAQ lost 1.8% and The S&P 500 Index lost 1.5%.

Shares of Honeywell gained $0.70 (1.82%) to close @ $39.23; the stock retreated by $0.08 in after-hours trading this evening. Honeywell is the global #1 manufacturer of aviation cockpit controls.

Shares of Google fell by $14.49 (3.66%) in regular trading today to close @ $381.56; the stock recovered $1.34 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of eBay fell by $1.00 (2.41%) in regular trading today to close @ $40.58; the stock recovered $0.10 in after-hours trading this evening.

Shares of Amazon.com fell by $4.41 (10.32%) in regular trading today to close @ $38.33; the stock lost an additional $0.02 in after-hours trading this evening.

Shares of IBM fell by $1.26 (1.55%) to close @ $79.97.

Shares of Yahoo! fell by $0.71 (2.07%) in regular trading today to close @ $33.54; the stock recovered $0.18 in after-hours trading this evening.

Shares of Research In Motion fell by $1.31 (1.82%) in regular trading today to close @ $70.69; the stock lost an additional $0.14 in after-hours trading.

Shares of American Power Conversion (APC) fell by $3.24 (13.89%) in regular trading today to close @ $20.08; the stock lost an additional $0.18 in after-hours trading this evening. The company makes surge suppressors that protect electronic equipment like computers and hi-fi systems, and other related products.


Shares of the mortgage giant Fannie Mae fell by fell by $1.44 (2.51%) to close @ $55.96.

Shares of Merck gained $0.57 (1.69%) to close @ $34.39; the stock added an additional $0.28 in after-hours trading this evening.

Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill gained $1.80 (4.02%) to close @ $46.55.

Shares of Exxon Mobil fell by $0.56 (0.9%) in regular trading today to close @ $61.39; the stock recovered $0.08 in after-hours trading this evening.

Shares of Valero Energy gained $0.45 (0.77%) to close @ $58.63; the stock added an additional $0.27 in after-hours trading.

Shares of Chevron fell by $1.01 (1.73%) in regular trading today to close @ $57.50; the stock lost an additional $0.03 in after-hours trading.

Shares of Sunoco fell by $2.48 (2.83%) to close @ $85.17.

Shares of ConocoPhillips fell by $1.81 (2.81%) to close @ $62.50 in regular trading; the stock recovered $0.03 in after-hours trading.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 10,793.62 (-58.36)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,262.58 (-18.99)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,264.03 (-6.81)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $65.37/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Lower @ $567.10/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8316 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.2024 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate is 7.5%


>  SITEMAP  <

Employment Situation Report for January 2006

The Employment Situation Report for January, 2006 was released today:

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Consensus: +0.3%
Actual: +0.4%


Non-farm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Consensus: 275K
Actual: +193K


Average Workweek
Consensus: 33.8 hrs
Actual: 33.8 hrs


Unemployment Rate
Consensus: 4.9%
Actual: 4.7%

Economist, bankers and investors pay very close attention to the monthly Employment Situation report as it offers penetrating insight as to the current and near-future state of the overall U.S. economy. If Americans are earning more money and unemployment is low, then that typically translates to more money being pumped into the economy (and vice versa.)

If the Employment Situation report indicates wage inflation, then that usually translates to an increased likelihood that The Fed will raise interest rates @ the next FOMC meeting; consequently, stock and bond prices tend to wane, because higher interest rates mean less profits for the banking sector (higher mortgage rates = a slower mortgage / mortgage refinance market) and less consumer spending in general (credit card rates go up, etc.)

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


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Consumer Sentiment for January 2006

The Consumer Sentiment numbers for January 2006 were released today:

Consensus: 93.4
Actual: 91.2

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.

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


>  SITEMAP  <

Thursday, February 02, 2006

All 3 Major Indices Retreat As Inflation Rears Its Ugly Head

Inflation fears related to today's productivity and labor costs report, together with some profit forecasts that didn't meet analyst expectations conspired to drive the 3 major indices lower today. An estimated 1.9 billion shares were traded on The Big Board.

Shares of Tyco lost $1.30 in regular trading today to close @ $24.80; the stock recovered $0.09 in after-hours trading this evening.

Shares of Google fell by $5.74 (1.43%) in regular trading today to close @ $396.04; the stock lost an additional $0.31 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of Citigroup fell by $0.66 (1.44%) in regular trading today to close @ $45.18; the stock recovered $0.07 in after-hours trading.

Shares of General Motors fell by $0.90 (3.67%) to close @ $23.60.

Shares of American International Group (AIG) fell by $0.80 (1.21%) to close @ $65.47.

Shares of Research In Motion (RIM) fell by $1.61 (2.19%) to close @ $72.00.

Shares of Comcast fell by $0.97 (3.47%) to close @ $27.02. Comcast is the global #1 cable TV provider.

Shares of Amazon.com fell by $1.24 (2.82%) in regular trading today to close @ $42.74; the stock lost an additional $3.49 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of Whirlpool gained $5.89 (7.32%) to close @ $86.37.

Shares of Starbucks gained $3.04 (9.69%) in regular trading today to close @ $34.40; the stock lost $0.05 in after-hours trading.

Shares of Altria fell by $1.47 (2%) in regular trading today to close @ $72.03; the stock recovered $0.03 in after-hours action.

Shares of CVS gained $0.93 (3.35%) to close @ $28.71.

Shares of Federated Department Stores (they own Macy's and Bloomingdale's) gained $2.66 (3.97%) in regular trading today to close @ $69.73; the stock gained an additional $0.20 in after-hours trading this evening.

Investment bank Thomas Weisel Partners Group (TWPG) debuted on The NASDAQ Stock Market® today; shares of TWPG gained $4.90 (32.67%) in regular trading to close @ $19.90; the stock retreated by $0.14 in after-hours trading. Today's $15 IPO brought in $90 million on 6 million shares sold.

Crude for future delivery fell below the $65 mark today, sending certain energy stocks lower.

Shares of Valero Energy fell by $1.46 (2.45%) to close @ $58.18; the stock recovered $0.71 in after-hours trading this evening.

Shares of Sunoco fell by $5.01 (5.41%) to close @ $87.65; the stock recovered $0.35 in after-hours trading.

Shares of Chevron fell by $0.19 (0.32%) in regular trading today to close @ $58.51; the stock lost an additional $0.31 in after-hours action this evening.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 10,851.98 (-101.97)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,281.57 (-28.99)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,270.84 (-11.62)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $64.72/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Higher @ $572.20/ounce

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

The U.S. Prime Rate is 7.5%


>  SITEMAP  <

Quarterly Productivity and Labor Cost Report Released Today

The quarterly Non-farm Productivity and Unit Labor Costs report has been released:

Non-farm Productivity
Consensus: 1.7 %
Actual: -0.6 %

Unit Labor Costs
Consensus: 2.8 %
Actual: 3.5 %

The above percentages represent the quarter-to-quarter change in non-farm productivity and unit labor costs.

For non-farm productivity, a positive number represents an improvement in the efficiency of producing domestic goods and services in the U.S., and therefore can signify a favorable inflationary outlook, and vice versa.

The Unit Labor Costs report measures the costs related to producing each unit of output. A positive number can be a harbinger of rising inflation, and vice versa.

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


>  SITEMAP  <

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of January 28, 2006

The numbers are out for new unemployment insurance claims in The U.S. for the week of January 28, 2006:

Consensus: 295,000
Actual: 273,000

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


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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

All 3 Majors Climb As Boeing Raised Profit Forecast

All 3 major indices closed higher today as Boeing raised their profit forecast and U.S. auto manufacturers reported better-than-expected January sales. An estimated 1.91 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.

Boeing was the star performer on The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) today, the result of an improved profit forecast; shares of Boeing gained $3.31 (4.85%) to close @ $71.62 during regular trading; the stock gained an additional $0.18 in after-hours trading this evening.

Earnings @ Google failed to meet analyst expectations and investors reacted; shares of Google fell by $30.88 (7.14%) in regular trading to close @ $401.78; the stock recovered $3.11 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of Symantec fell by $1.25 (6.8%) in regular trading to close @ $17.13; the stock recovered $0.05 in after-hours trading. Symantec is the global #1 anti-virus software producer.

Shares of Daimlerchrysler rose by $0.79 to close @ $58.11.

Today's EIA crude oil inventories report showed that stockpiles are no real concern, and crude for future delivery got cheaper. Energy stocks declined as a result.

Shares of Exxon Mobil fell by $0.80 to close @ $61.95 in regular trading; the stock recovered $0.05 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of Sunoco fell by $2.54 to close @ $92.66 in regular trading; the stock recovered $1.34 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of Valero Energy fell by $2.79 to close @ $59.64; the stock recovered $0.37 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of Research In Motion (RIM) gained $6.08 (9%) to close @ $73.61; the stock added an additional $0.74 in after-hours action this evening. The U.S. Trademark and Patent Office issued non-final rejections of all 5 patents filed by NTP in the BlackBerry patent-infringement fight, and this is great news for RIM. And there was more good news for RIM today: The U.S. Justice Department urged a federal judge to rethink any plan that involves shutting down the popular BlackBerry mobile email system.

Shares of Amgen gained $3.30 to close @ $76.19; the stock lost $0.38 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of BlackRock fell by $3.26 to close @ $129.54. Morgan Stanley was planning on purchasing the firm, but it looks like the asking price for BlackRock soured the deal.

Shares of Time Warner gained $0.69 to close @ $18.22: earnings @ Time Warner beat analyst estimates.

Shares of JetBlue Airways lost $1.86 to close @ $11.18.

United Airlines has emerged from bankruptcy protection and will begin trading on The NASDAQ Stock Market® tomorrow (February 2, 2006.) under the stock symbol UAUA. The company has managed to shave $7 billion off it's operating expenses. Only time will tell if the company can thrive in this climate of high oil prices and stiff competition from discount carriers.

Shares of UAUA were selling well over-the-counter today @ $41.50. Looks like an auspicious rebirth for the company.

Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Up @ 10,953.95 (+89.09)

NASDAQ: Closed Up @ 2,310.56 (+4.74)

S&P 500: Closed Up @ 1,282.46 (+2.38)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $66.83/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Lower @ $569.50/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys
0.8289 Euros
Currently, The Euro buys 1.2064 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate is now 7.5%


>  SITEMAP  <

The Weekly Crude Oil Inventories Report

The crude oil inventories report for the week of January 27, 2006 has been released:

Actual: 1,900,000 Barrels

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


>  SITEMAP  <

U.S. Motor Vehicle Sales for January 2006

The monthly domestic Motor Vehicle Sales report was released today for January, 2006:

Consensus: 13,100,000
Actual: 13,900,000

The above figures represent unit sales of U.S.-made cars, minivans, SUV's and light trucks. The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the actual or real figure.


>  SITEMAP  <

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