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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Friday, March 31, 2006

All 3 Majors Finished Lower on The Day; The Dow and S&P 500 Down for The Week

All 3 major indices finished lower today, but the NASDAQ Composite Index managed to gain ground on the week. 1,616,238,450 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


For the week, The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell by 1.5%, The NASDAQ Composite Index gained 1.2% and The S&P 500 Index fell by 0.6%.


Shares of Colgate-Palmolive fell by $1.18 to close @ $57.10 on news that the company may be interested in purchasing Pfizer's consumer products division.


Shares of Best Buy gained $1.15 to close @ $55.93. Best Buy is the U.S. #1 consumer electronics retail chain.


Shares of T. Rowe Price gained $3.89 to close @ $78.21.


Shares of Google gained $1.56 to close @ $390.00.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,109.32 (-41.38)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,339.79 (-1.03)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,294.83 (-5.42)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $66.35/barrel

NY Spot Gold fell $4.30 to close @ $581.50/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8252 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2118 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate (WSJ Prime Rate) is 7.75%


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U.S. Factory Orders Report for February, 2006

The U.S. Census Bureau this morning released their monthly report on Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories & Orders--also known as Factory Orders--for February, 2006:

Consensus: +1.4%
Actual: +0.2%

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in orders for both durable and nondurable goods from U.S. manufacturers. The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the actual or real figure.

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.


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Personal Income & Consumer Spending for February, 2006

The U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis this morning released their monthly report on Consumer Spending and Personal Income for February, 2006:

Personal Consumption Expenditures
(a.k.a. Consumer Spending)

Consensus: +0.0%
Actual: +0.1%

Personal Income
Consensus: +0.4%
Actual: +0.3%

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in Consumer Spending and Personal Income. The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the actual or real figure.

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report.


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Consumer Sentiment (Final) for March 2006

The final Consumer Sentiment numbers for March, 2006 were released this morning:

Consensus: 87.0
Actual: 88.9

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.


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Thursday, March 30, 2006

The NASDAQ Composite The Only Gainer of The 3 Majors Today As Investors Reacted To Government Reports

Among the 3 major indexes, The NASDAQ Composite Index was the only index to advance today as investors reacted to government reports released this morning (low unemployment may lead to wage inflation, which in turn may prompt The Fed to raise the benchmark Fed Funds Target Rate beyond 5% later this year.) 1,614,459,140 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


The worst performer in The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) today was General Motors; shares of GM fell by $1.09 to close @ $21.06.


Shares of Google fell by $6.54 to close @ $388.44.

Shares of Texas Instruments advanced by $1.09 to close @ $33.08.

Shares of ATI Technologies gained $1.32 to close @ $17.05.


Metal producers are flourishing as prices for metals like gold, copper, zinc, platinum and silver continue to climb.

Shares of Phelps Dodge gained $4.46 to close @ $81.48. Phelps Dodge is the global #3 copper producer.

Shares of Newmont Mining gained $1.44 to close @ $52.93. Newmont Mining is the global #2 gold producer.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,150.70 (-65.00)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,340.82 (+3.04)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,300.25 (-2.64)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $66.86/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $12.70 to close @ $585.80/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8221 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2164 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate is 7.75%


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Final Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Estimates Released Today for Q4 2005

The final estimates of real U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the fourth quarter of 2005 were released this morning:

Consensus: +1.7%
Actual: +1.7%

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 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 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005, according to final 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 preliminary estimates issued last month. In the preliminary estimates, the increase in real GDP was 1.6 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 and an acceleration in exports.

Final sales of computers contributed 0.33 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 0.64 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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of March 25, 2006

The U.S. Department of Labor this morning released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week of March 25, 2006:

Consensus: 305,000
Actual: 302,000

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, March 29, 2006

All 3 Major Indices Advanced Today

The 3 major indexes gained ground today; 1,577,189,790 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


Shares of Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) component General Motors fell by $0.60 (2.64%) to close @ $22.15. The stock then fell by an additional $0.25 in after-hours trading.

Shares of DJIA component Boeing gained $1.67 (2.15%) to $79.18 on news that the company sealed a deal to sell about sixty 737 planes to General Electric, a deal that's worth an estimated $4 billion. The stock gained an additional $0.32 in after-hours trading.

Shares of DJIA component 3M gained $1.26 (1.65%) to close @ $77.56.


Shares of Maytag gained $4.73 (27.69%) to close @ $21.81 on news that the U.S. government has given the company the green light to buy Whirlpool.

Shares of Whirlpool gained $6.38 (7.12%) to close @ $95.95. The stock then lost $0.95 in after-hours trading this evening.


2 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT)--Boston Properties Inc. and Kimco Realty Corporation--will be added to the S&P 500 Index.

Shares of Boston Properties gained $6.25 to close @ $96.87.

Shares of Kimco Realty gained $2.65 to close @ $41.40.


Shares of Google gained $17.78 (4.71%) to close @ $394.98. The stock then fell by $12.07 in after-hours trading this evening.

Shares of Apple gained $3.62 (6.2%) to close @ $62.33.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,215.70 (+61.16)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,337.78 (+33.32)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,302.89 (+9.66)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $66.19/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Higher @ $573.10/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8294 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2058 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate (WSJ Prime Rate) is 7.75%


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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of March 24, 2006

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week of March 24, 2006 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +2,100,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +26,000,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 340,700,000 Barrels

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).

Click here for a more detailed summary of The Week in Petroleum.


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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The 3 Majors Declined Today As Investors Reacted to The Fed's Monetary Policy Statement & Crude Oil Soared Passed The $66 Mark

The 3 major indexes retreated as investors understood today's FOMC statement about monetary policy to mean that The Fed may raise the benchmark Federal Funds Target Rate beyond 5% later this year. The price on crude oil for future delivery soared beyond the $66 mark, which contributed to today's bearishness. 1,556,432,690 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


The worst performer in The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) today was Hewlett-Packard; shares of HP fell by $1.04 (3.14%) to close @ $32.07 . Hewlett-Packard is the global #2 PC manufacturer.

Shares of DJIA component JP Morgan Chase fell by $0.55 (1.31%) to close @ $41.56. JP Morgan Chase is the U.S. #3 bank by size.

Shares of DJIA component Pfizer fell by $0.46 (1.78%) to close @ $25.35. Pfizer is the global #1 pharmaceutical company.

Shares of Eli Lilly fell by $2.29 (3.9%) to close @ $56.38. Eli Lilly is the U.S. #7 pharmaceutical company by size.


Shares of Monsanto gained $2.89 (3.59%) to $83.45. Monsanto is the global #1 maker of genetically modified crops.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,154.54 (-95.57)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,304.46 (-11.12)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,293.23 (-8.38)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $65.82/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Lower @ $566.60/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8325 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2012 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate is 7.75%


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Redbook Numbers for The Week of March 25, 2006

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

Actual: +2.4%

The Redbook measures the weekly sales at chain stores, discount stores, and department stores--about 9,000 stores in total--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 2.4% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in March of 2005.

The weekly Johnson Redbook Index report is produced by Redbook Research.


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Consumer Confidence Report for March, 2006

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

Consensus: 102.0
Actual: 107.2

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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Monday, March 27, 2006

The NASDAQ Was the Only Gainer Today As Investors Braced Themselves for Tomorrow's FOMC Statement

The NASDAQ Composite Index was the only gainer of the 3 major indexes today as anticipation related to tomorrow's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement produced some bearishness. 1,371,187,390 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Shares of Google gained $3.89 (1.06%) to close @ $369.69; the stock then gained an additional $0.33 in after-hours trading this evening.


Shares of Zimmer Holding fell by $2.55 (3.72%) to close @ $66.00. Zimmer is the global #1 producer of artificial hips and artificial knees.

Shares of Stryker Corporation lost $2.67 (5.63%) to close @ $44.78; the stock then lost an additional $0.12 in after-hours trading.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,250.11 (-29.86)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,315.58 (+2.76)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,301.61 (-1.34)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $64.15/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Higher @ $566.80/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8328 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2008 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate is 7.5%


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Friday, March 24, 2006

All 3 Majors Gained Today As Concerns About Future Interest Rate Hikes Abated

All 3 major indexes advanced today as slower-than-expected new home sales in February eased investor concerns about Bernanke & Co. raising the key Fed Funds Rate beyond 5%. 1,481,904,520 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) experienced no significant movement either way, The NASDAQ Composite Index gained 0.3% and The S&P 500 Index fell by 0.3%.


Canada's #1 coffee and doughnut chain operator Tim Hortons debuted on The New York Stock Exchange®, gaining $5.01 (21.6%) to close @ $28.17. The company sold $671.7 million of stock yesterday evening in the IPO. Tim Hortons is owned by Wendy's International.


Shares of Cephalon fell by $9.51 to close @ $63.80 on news that the FDA isn't going to approve the company's ADHD drug.


Shares of Google gained $23.91 (6.99%) to close @ $365.80 thanks to recent news that the stock will be listed on the S&P 500 Index after March 31, 2006.


Shares of Tellabs gained $1.11 or 7.79% to close @ $15.35.


Shares of Apollo Group fell by $2.12 to close @ $51.60. Apollo is the U.S. #1 for-profit education company.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,279.97 (+9.68)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,312.82 (+12.67)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,302.95 (+1.28)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $64.26/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Higher @ $560.20/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8308 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2036 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate is 7.5%


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Durable Goods Orders Report for February 2006 Released Today

The Durable Goods Orders report for February, 2006 was released this morning:

Consensus: +1.5%
Actual: +2.6%

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 U.S. Durable Goods Orders report is produced by the U.S. Commerce Department.

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report (PDF).


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New Home Sales for February 2006

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

Consensus: 1,200,000
Actual: 1,080,000

Compiled by the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 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.

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report (PDF).


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Thursday, March 23, 2006

All 3 Major Indexes Declined Today As Investors Worried About Future Interest Rate Hikes

All 3 major indices lost ground as better-than-expected Existing Home Sales and lower-than-expected New Unemployment Insurance Claims had investors worried that the strengthening economy may prompt The Fed will raise the cardinal Fed Funds Rate beyond 5%. 1,458,444,620 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Milestone for Google: The company will replace Burlington Resources Inc. on The S + P 500 Index.

Shares of Yahoo! advanced by $1.08 to close @ $31.83. Yahoo! is the global #1 website by traffic.


Shares of Jabil Circuit gained $4.51 to close @ $42.75.


Shares of KB Home gained $3.23 to close @ $67.82. KB Home is the U.S. #5 builder of homes.


Shares of Murphy Oil gained $1.17 to close @ $48.37. Murphy Oil is an oil refiner and producer; the company also operates gas stations at hundreds of Wal-Mart Stores.

Shares of Valero Energy gained $1.34 to close @ $58.80. Valero is the U.S. #1 crude oil refiner.


Shares of Norfolk Southern fell by $1.84 to close @ $52.89.


Shares of Ryder System fell by $1.35 to close @ $44.56. Ryder is the U.S. #1 truck leasing concern.

Shares of YRC Worldwide fell by $6.73 to close @ $38.56. YRC used to be called Yellow Roadway Corporation.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,270.29 (-47.14)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,300.15 (-3.20)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,301.67 (-3.37)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $63.78/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Lower @ $550.50/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%


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Existing Home Sales for February, 2006

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

Consensus: 6,500,000
Actual: 6,910,000

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

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

Consensus: 306,000
Actual: 302,000

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, March 22, 2006

All 3 Majors Advanced Today As The Dow Closed at A High Not Seen Since 2001

All 3 majors indices gained ground today; an estimated 1.49 billion shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


The worst performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) today was Microsoft. Shares of the global #1 software company lost $0.59 to close @ $27.15 on news that the consumer version of "Vista"--the next version of the company's popular Windows® operating system--won't be ready until next year. The business version of "Vista" will be released in November of this year.

Shares of DJIA component Caterpillar gained $1.90 (2.56%) to close @ $76.21.

Shares of DJIA component 3M gained $1.14 (1.52%) to close @ $76.07.


Shares of Nike gained $1.87 to close @ $86.82. Nike is the global #1 producer of athletic footwear.


Shares of FedEx advanced by $1.22 to close @ $114.44. FedEx is the U.S. #2 parcel delivery company.


Shares of Morgan Stanley added $1.53 to close @ $61.94.


Shares of CBOT Holdings Inc. gained $0.98 (0.75%) to close @$131.67.


Shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb gained $2.41 to close @ $25.24.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,317.43 (+81.96)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,303.35 (+9.12)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,305.04 (+7.81)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $62.38/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Lower @ $550.60/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8293 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2058 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 March 17, 2006

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week of March 17, 2006 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -1,300,000 Barrels

Current Crude Oil Stocks: 338,600,000 Barrels

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).

Click here for a more detailed summary of The Week in Petroleum.


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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

All 3 Major Indices Retreated As Investors Reacted To Comments Made by Fed Chief Bernanke

All 3 major indexes retreated today as crude oil for future delivery rose above the $62 mark, and investors reacted to comments made by Fed Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in New York. 1,574,087,140 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Shares of Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) component General Motors advanced by more than 5% on news that the company is working on a deal to offer an estimated 70,000 employees the option to retire with benefits, a plan that the company hopes will help to cut costs. Shares of GM climbed $1.15 to close @ $22.00.

Shares of DJIA component Alcoa fell by $0.66 to close @ $29.14. Alcoa is the global #1 aluminum producer.


Shares of Bally Total Fitness gained $1.15 to close @ $8.99 on news that the Virgin Group may be interested in purchasing the company. Bally is the U.S. #1 fitness club chain.

Shares of Jones Apparel gained $4.02 to close @ $34.84 on news that the company is looking for a buyer. Jones Apparel makes clothing, shoes and accessories for brands including:


  • AK Anne Klein
  • Bandolino
  • Circa Joan & David
  • Easy Spirit
  • Enzo Angiolini
  • Gloria Vanderbilt
  • Joan & David
  • Jones New York
  • Jones New York Collection
  • Jones New York Dress
  • Jones New York Signature
  • Jones New York Sport
  • Judith Jack
  • Kasper
  • Mootsie Tootsies
  • Napier
  • Nine & Company

Shares of Nvidia gained $2.39 to close @ $50.79. Nvidia is the global #3 manufacturer of computer chips for graphics.

Shares of Rambus Inc. advanced by $1.82 to close @ $36.22.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,235.47 (-39.06)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,294.23 (-19.88)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,297.23 (-7.85)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $62.25/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Lower @ $552.10/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.827 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2092 U.S. Dollars

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


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Redbook Numbers for The Week of March 18, 2006

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

Actual: +2.5%

The Redbook measures the weekly sales at chain stores, discount stores, and department stores--about 9,000 stores in total--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 2.5% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in March of 2005.

The weekly Johnson Redbook Index report is produced by Redbook Research.


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Producer Price Index (PPI) for February 2006

The Producer Price Index (PPI) numbers for February, 2006 were released this morning:

Consensus: -0.2%
Actual: -1.4%

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

Consensus: +0.1%
Actual: +0.3%


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 will often 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


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Monday, March 20, 2006

The NASDAQ Composite Was The Only Gainer of The 3 Major Indices Today

Of the 3 major indexes, the NASDAQ Composite was the only gainer today as investors pondered what Fed Chief Ben Bernanke will say in speech that is set to take place later this evening. An estimated 1.42 billion shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Shares of Google gained $8.40 to close @ $348.19 on news that the company doesn't have to give the Justice Department a database of Internet search queries, as requested in a government subpoena. Google will, however, hand over 50,000 web addresses.


Shares of SBS Technologies gained $5.39 to close @ $16.03.


Shares of Michaels Stores gained $4.39 to close @ $38.35. Michaels is the U.S. #1 arts and crafts retailer.


Shares of Kerzner International gained $9.07 to close @ $79.43. Kerzner owns the largest casino in the Caribbean.


Shares of Sunoco fell by $4.24 to close @ $75.37.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,274.53 (-5.12)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,314.11 (+7.63)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,305.08 (-2.17)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $60.40/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Higher @ $555.30/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.824 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2136 U.S. Dollars

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


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Leading Economic Indicators for February 2006

The Leading Economic Indicators for February, 2006 were released this morning:
Consensus: -0.3 %
Actual: -0.2%

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


>  SITEMAP  <

Friday, March 17, 2006

All 3 Majors Advanced Today on Cheaper Oil, Steady Economic Growth and Moderate Inflation

All 3 major indices gained today as crude oil for future delivery dropped below the $63 mark. 2,003,217,150 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) advanced by 1.84%, The NASDAQ Composite Index gained 1.96% and The S&P 500 Index gained 2%.


The shining star in the DJIA today was Boeing, which gained $1.12 (1.46%) to close @ a record $77.85.

The worst performance on the DJIA today came from General Motors: shares of GM fell by $1.09 (4.91%) to close @ $21.13; the stock then recovered $0.42 in after-hours trading this evening.


Shares of Goldman Sachs gained $2.67 (1.81%) to close @ $150.36; the stock then lost $0.46 in after-hours trading this evening.


Shares of Google gained $1.02 (0.30%) to close @ $339.79.

Shares of Tektronix gained $4.11 to close @ $36.70.


Shares of Maytag lost $1.23 to close @ $16.71.


Shares of Bausch & Lomb gained $3.81 to close @ $68.87.


Shares of copper giant Phelps Dodge gained $3.06 to close @ $75.57.

Shares of Southern Copper $2.38 to $83.89.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,279.65 (+26.41)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,306.48 (+6.92)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,307.25 (+1.92)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $62.80/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Lower @ $554.00/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8204 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.219 U.S. Dollars

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


>  SITEMAP  <

Consumer Sentiment (Preliminary) for March 2006

The preliminary Consumer Sentiment numbers for March, 2006 were released this morning:

Consensus: 88.0
Actual: 86.7

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, March 16, 2006

The Dow and S&P 500 Gained; The NASDAQ Lost About A Dozen Points

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the S&P 500 advanced today, aided by a Labor Department report that showed moderate inflation for February, 2006 (moderate inflation reduces the chance that the Fed will raise the cardinal Fed Funds Rate beyond 5%.) The tech-heavy NASDAQ lost about a dozen points. An estimated 1.66 billion shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Shares of Google lost $5.73 to close @ $338.77.

Shares of Apple Computer fell by $1.92 to close @ $64.31.


Shares of Barnes & Noble gained $4.18 to close @ $47.40. Barnes & Noble is the U.S. #1 retailer of books.


Shares of Bear Stearns lost $0.94 to close @ $133.27.


Shares of ConAgra Foods lost $0.91 to close @ $19.50. ConAgra is the U.S. #3 food company by size.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,253.24 (+43.47)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,299.56 (-12.28)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,305.33 (+2.31)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $63.52/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Higher @ $554.40/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8228 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2154 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate is 7.5%


>  SITEMAP  <

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

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

Consensus: 298,000
Actual: 309,000

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.

Click here to view the full Department of Labor report.


>  SITEMAP  <

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for February 2006

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

Consensus: +0.1%
Actual: +0.1%

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

Consensus: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%


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.)

Click here to view to full Labor Department report (PDF).


>  SITEMAP  <

Housing Starts in February, 2006

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

Housing Starts:
Consensus: 2,000,000
Actual: 2,120,000

Building Permits:
Actual: 2,145,000

The above is a measure of initial construction of single and multi-family residential units in The United States for last month. 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.

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report.


>  SITEMAP  <

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

All 3 Majors Indices Gained Today As Sears Advanced by 13%

All 3 major indexes gained today; an estimated 1.63 billion shares were traded on The Big Board.

Shares of Sears Holdings gained $15.02 (12.81%) to close @ $132.29 on news of strong earnings in Q4, 2005.


Shares of DuPont gained $0.95 to close @ $42.87. DuPont is the U.S. #3 chemical manufacturer.


Shares of Union Pacific added $5.04 to close @ a record $90.25.


Shares of H&R Block fell by $1.37 to close @ $20.63.


Shares of Lehman Brothers fell by $1.15 to close @ $144.15.


Shares of Burlington Northern Santa Fe gained $4.80 to close @ $81.30.

Shares of CSX gained $3.01 to close @ $59.56.


Shares of Vulcan Materials gained $5.59 to close @ $85.00.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,209.77 (+58.43)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,311.84 (+15.94)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,303.02 (+5.54)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $62.03/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Higher @ $553.10/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8297 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2052 U.S. Dollars

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


>  SITEMAP  <

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of March 10, 2006

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week of March 10, 2006 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +4,800,000 Barrels

Current Crude Oil Stocks: 339,900,000 Barrels

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).

Click here for a more detailed summary of The Week in Petroleum.


>  SITEMAP  <

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

All 3 Majors Advanced Today As Investors' Concerns About Future Interest Rate Hikes Waned

The February Retail Sales report released by the Commerce Department this morning helped set a bullish mood on Wall Street; slower retail sales eased investor concerns that The Fed may raise the cardinal Fed Funds Rate beyond 5%. An estimated 1.56 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.


Goldman Sachs gained $8.70 to close @ $149.42; the company reported strong first quarter earnings.

Lehman Brothers is also expected to report strong earnings tomorrow; shares of Lehman Brothers gained $3.08 to close @ $145.30.


Shares of Google gained $14.10 to close @ $351.16.

Shares of Comverse Technology lost $4.30 to close @ $24.85; Comverse is the global #1 producer of voice mail software.


Shares of D.R. Horton gained $2.13 to close @ $33.68; D.R. Horton is the U.S. #1 builder of homes.


Shares of U.S. Steel gained $2.24 to close @ $57.68.


Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill gained $5.29 to close @ $48.70 on news of strong Q4 2005 profits.


Shares of Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) component Procter & Gamble fell by $1.97 to close @ $60.01.


Shares of copper producer Phelps Dodge added $4.02 to $71.46.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,151.34 (+75.32)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,295.90 (+28.87)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,297.48 (+13.35)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $62.65/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Higher @ $551.60/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8322 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2016 U.S. Dollars

The Fed Prime Rate is 7.5%


>  SITEMAP  <

Redbook Numbers for The Week of March 11, 2006

The Redbook numbers for the week of March 11, 2006 were released this morning:

Actual: +2.7%

The Redbook measures the weekly sales at chain stores, discount stores, and department stores--about 9,000 stores in total--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 2.7% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in March of 2005.

The weekly Johnson Redbook Index report is produced by Redbook Research.


>  SITEMAP  <

U.S. Retail & Food Services Sales Report for February 2006

The Commerce Department this morning released advanced estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for February, 2006:

Consensus: -0.9%
Actual: -1.3%

Minus Auto Sales
Consensus: -0.5%
Actual : -0.4%

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.

Here's a snippet from today's Commerce Department report:

"The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for February, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $362.3 billion, a decrease of 1.3 percent (±0.7%) from the previous month, but up 6.7 percent (±0.8%) from February 2005. Total sales for the December 2005 through February 2006 period were up 7.3 percent (±0.5%) from the same period a year ago. The December 2005 to January 2006 percent change was revised from +2.3 percent (±0.7%) to +2.9 percent (±0.4%).

Retail trade sales were down 1.3 percent (±0.8%) from January 2006, but were 6.7 percent (±0.8%) above last year. Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers were up 20.5 percent (±2.0%) from February 2005 and sales of gasoline stations were up 17.7 percent (±3.0%) from last year."
Click here to view the full report.


>  SITEMAP  <

Monday, March 13, 2006

The NASDAQ and The S&P 500 Enjoyed Modest Gains As The Dow Lost Less Than One Point

The NASDAQ and The S&P 500 gained some ground today as The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell by less than one point. An estimated 1.51 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.

The NYSE Group may have plans to bid on The London Stock Exchange (LSE). Shares of NYSE Group gained $6.75 to close @ $81.30. The NYSE Group owns and operates The New York Stock Exchange®.


Shares of Apple Computer added $2.49 to close @ $65.68.

Shares of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) fell by $2.63 to close @ $34.00.


Watson Pharmaceuticals announced that the company is purchasing Andrx Corp in a deal worth about $1.9 billion; Watson will be the U.S. #3 drugmaker when all is said and done.

Shares of Andrx gained $2.14 to close @ $23.73.

Shares of Watson Pharmaceuticals fell by $0.55 to close @ $29.00.


Capital One is purchasing North Fork Bank in a deal worth about $14.6 billion. When all is said and done with this merger, Capital One will be one of America's top ten banks. North Fork is currently New York City's #6 bank by size.

Shares of North Fork gained $3.80 to close @ $29.20.

Shares of Capital One fell by $6.82 to close @ $83.10.


Shares of Aztar Corp. gained $6.51 to close @ $37.21.

Shares of Pinnacle Entertainment gained $1.04 to $29.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,076.02 (-0.32)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,267.03 (+4.99)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,284.13 (+2.55)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $61.80/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Higher @ $546.00/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8358 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.1965 U.S. Dollars

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


>  SITEMAP  <

Friday, March 10, 2006

All 3 Major Indices Advanced Today As Crude Fell Below $60 per Barrel

All 3 major indexes advanced today as investors reacted to crude oil for future delivery falling below the $60 mark, and strong February job growth. An estimated 1.6 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.

For the week, The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) advanced by 0.5%, The NASDAQ Composite Index declined by 1.75% and The S&P 500 Index fell by 0.44%.

The NASDAQ Stock Market® made an unsolicited, $4.1 billion cash offer for The London Stock Exchange (LSE), which the LSE rejected as "undervalued." The LSE is Europe's largest stock exchange.

Shares of The NASDAQ Stock Market gained $4.06 to close @ $43.56.


Shares of Capital One Financial gained $4.02 to close @ $89.92. Capital One is the global #4 provider of Visa and MasterCard branded credit cards.

Shares of Google fell by $5.50 to close @ $337.50.


Univision Communications has a number of suitors who may bid up to $12 billion for the company. Shares of Univision Communications gained $1.26 to close @ $34.18.

Shares of DreamWorks Animation SKG fell by $1.21 to close @ $25.65.


Shares of Nucor gained $4.98 to close @ $95.08. Nucor is the U.S. #2 steelmaker.

Shares of U.S. Steel gained $2.12 to close @ $57.17.


Shares of Aeropostale gained $1.83 to close @ $30.30.

Shares of AnnTaylor Stores gained $2.15 to close @ $37.48.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,076.34 (+104.06)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,262.04 (+12.32)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,281.58 (+9.35)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $59.96/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Lower @ $539.90/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8396 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.191 U.S. Dollars

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


>  SITEMAP  <

Treasury Budget for February 2006

The U.S. Treasury Budget numbers for February, 2006 were released this afternoon:

Consensus: $ -115,000,000,000
Actual: $ -119,200,000,000

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  <

Employment Situation Report for February 2006

The Employment Situation Report for February, 2006 was released by The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

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


Non-farm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Consensus: +220K
Actual: +243K


Average Workweek
Consensus: 33.8 hrs
Actual: 33.7 hrs


Unemployment Rate
Consensus: 4.7%
Actual: 4.8%

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.


>  SITEMAP  <

Thursday, March 09, 2006

All 3 Major Indices Retreated Today As Investors Worried About Continued Interest Rate Hikes By The Fed

All 3 major indexes finished lower today as comments made by Timothy Geithner, who is the President of The New York Federal Reserve Bank and a voting members of the FOMC, had investors concerned about future interest rate hikes. An estimated 1.56 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.


Shares of General Motors advanced by $0.92 to close @ $21.34; GM was the top gainer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) today.


Shares of NYSE Group fell by $3.90 to close @ $76.10.


Shares of Google fell by $10.88 to close @ $343.00.

Shares of Intuit gained $3.22 to close @ $51.73. Intuit is the global #1 producer of tax preparation software.


Shares of Biogen gained $2.03 to close @ $47.54.

Shares of Ecolab gained $2.49 to close @ $38.97.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 10,972.28 (-33.46)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,249.72 (-17.74)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,272.23 (-6.24)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil is currently @ $60.65/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Higher @ $545.50/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8407 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.1896 U.S. Dollars

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


>  SITEMAP  <

International Trade Balance Level for January 2006

The International Trade Balance Level for January, 2006 was released by The U.S. Commerce Department today:

Consensus: $ -66,500,000,000
Actual: $ -68,500,000,000

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.

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report (PDF).


>  SITEMAP  <

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

The U.S. Department of Labor this morning released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week of March 4, 2006:

Consensus: 295,000
Actual: 303,000

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.

Click here to view the full Department of Labor report.


>  SITEMAP  <

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Both The Dow and The S&P 500 Advanced; The NASDAQ Lost Less Than A Point

Both The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and The S P 500 gained ground today, but the NASDAQ fell by just under a point. An estimated 1.76 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.

The New York Stock Exchange® and Archipelago Holdings are now merged, and the new, publicly traded company--The NYSE Group--began trading today under the stock symbol NYX.

Shares of the newly formed NYSE Group gained $15.75 (24.51%) to close @ $80.00.


Shares of Google fell by $10.57 (2.9%) to close @ $353.88.


Today's Numbers
:

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,005.74 (+25.05)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,267.46 (-0.92)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,278.47 (+2.59)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil is currently @ $60.05/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Lower @ $542.60/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8373 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.1942 U.S. Dollars

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


>  SITEMAP  <

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of March 3, 2006

The Crude Oil Inventories report for the week of March 3, 2006 was released this morning:

Actual: +6,800,000 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, March 07, 2006

The DJIA The Only Gainer of The 3 Major Indexes Today

Both the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ Composite Indexes retreated today, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) managed to gain ground. An estimated 1.66 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.


Shares of AT&T fell by $0.49 (1.81%) to close @ $26.53.

Shares of ALCOA fell by $0.60 (2.01%) to close @ $29.20.

Shares of Archipelago Holdings fell by $2.87 (4.28%) to close @ $64.25.

Shares of Texas Instruments fell by $1.07 (3.31%) to close @ $31.26.

Shares of BellSouth fell by $0.73 (2.12%) to close @ $33.77.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 10,980.69 (+22.10)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,268.38 (-17.65)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,275.88 (-2.38)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil is currently @ $61.48/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Lower @ $552.70/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8408 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.1893 U.S. Dollars

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


>  SITEMAP  <

January 2006 Consumer Credit Status Report (Preliminary) Released Today

The preliminary Consumer Credit status report for January, 2006 was released by the Federal Reserve earlier today:

Consensus: $5,000,000,000
Actual: $3,900,000,000


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.

Click here to view the full report.


>  SITEMAP  <

Quarterly Productivity and Labor Cost Report Released Today

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released their report on Non-farm Productivity and Unit Labor Costs for the fourth quarter of 2005:

Non-farm Productivity
Consensus: -0.1 %
Actual: -0.5 %

Unit Labor Costs
Consensus: +3.0 %
Actual: +3.3 %

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.

Click here to view the full report (PDF.)


>  SITEMAP  <

Redbook Numbers for The Week of March 4, 2006

The Redbook numbers for the week of March 4, 2006 were released this morning:

Actual: +2.4%

The Redbook measures the weekly sales at chain stores, discount stores, and department stores--about 9,000 stores in total--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 2.4% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in March of 2005.

The weekly Johnson Redbook Index report is produced by Redbook Research.


>  SITEMAP  <

Monday, March 06, 2006

All 3 Majors Indices Closed Lower Today Despite Falling Oil Prices

All 3 major indices retreated today even with a decline in crude oil prices. An estimated 1.65 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.


AT&T will purchase BellSouth in a deal worth about $67 billion. AT&T will take possession of Cingular Wireless as a result of this deal; Cingular is the U.S. #1 cell phone company.

Shares of AT&T fell by $0.97 to close @ $27.02, which was the worst performing stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) today.

Shares of BellSouth gained $3.04 to close @ $34.50.


Shares of Research In Motion gained $10.84 to close @ $82.76.


Shares of Public Storage Inc. added $1.10 to close @ $79.46 on news that the company is in talks to purchase its #1 competitor Shurgard Storage Centers Inc. Public Storage is the U.S. #1 self- storage company.


Shares of Education Management gained $4.66 to close @ $41.64.


Shares of TXU Corp. fell by $2.26 to close @ $50.67; TXU is the #1 power company in the state of Texas.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 10,958.59 (-63.00)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,286.03 (-16.57)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,278.26 (-8.97)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil is currently @ $62.41/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Lower @ $555.20/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8334 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.1999 U.S. Dollars

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


>  SITEMAP  <

U.S. Factory Orders Report for January, 2006

The U.S. Census Bureau this morning released their monthly report on Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories & Orders--also known as Factory Orders--for January, 2006:

Consensus: -5.4%
Actual: -4.5%

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in orders for both durable and nondurable goods from U.S. manufacturers. The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the actual or real figure.

Click here to view the full Census Bureau report.


>  SITEMAP  <

Friday, March 03, 2006

All 3 Majors Closed Lower On the Day; The NASDAQ Composite Was The Only Major Index to Gain On The Week

All 3 major indexes retreated today as an estimated 1.57 billion shares were traded on The Big Board.

For the week, The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell by 0.4%, The NASDAQ Composite Index gained 0.7% and The S&P 500 Index fell by 0.2%.


Boeing may close a deal to sell 17 super-efficient 787 passenger jets to Russian commercial carriers.

Shares of Boeing gained $0.59 to close @ $73.39. Boeing is the global #2 commercial jet manufacturer.


Shares of Novell fell by $1.63 (17%) to close @ $7.90.


Shares of FedEx gained $2.10 to close @ $111.50.


Shares of Wendy's International gained $2.10 to close @ $60.54 on news that the company may sell its Baja Fresh subsidiary.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,021.59 (-3.92)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,302.60 (-8.51)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,287.23 (-1.91)

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NYMEX Crude Oil closed @ $63.67/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Lower @ $565.80/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8303 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2044 U.S. Dollars

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


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Consumer Sentiment for February 2006

The Consumer Sentiment numbers for February, 2006 were released this morning:

Consensus: 87.5
Actual: 86.7

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.


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Thursday, March 02, 2006

All 3 Majors Declined As The Cost of Crude Rose

All 3 major indices closed lower today as the price on crude oil for future delivery went up. An estimated 1.79 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.


Shares of Dana fell by $0.81 (44%) to close @ $1.04; the stock will no longer be listed on the S&P 500 Index.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,025.51 (-28.02)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,311.11 (-3.53)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,289.14 (-2.10)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $63.69/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Higher @ $568.30/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8321 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2018 U.S. Dollars

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


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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of February 25, 2006

The U.S. Department of Labor has released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week of February 25, 2006:

Consensus: 285,000
Actual: 294,000

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, March 01, 2006

All 3 Majors Advanced On Encouraging Economic Data

An encouraging report on Consumer Spending contributed to a bullish day decently bullish day on Wall Street as all 3 major indices advanced. An estimated 1.63 billion shares were traded on The Big Board today.


Today's Numbers:

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,053.53 (+60.12)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,314.64 (+33.25)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,291.24 (+10.58)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $62.19/barrel

New York Spot Gold closed Higher @ $563.40/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8391 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.1918 U.S. Dollars

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


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Personal Income & Consumer Spending for January, 2006

The U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis this morning released their monthly report on Consumer Spending and Personal Income for January, 2006:

Personal Consumption Expenditures
(a.k.a. Consumer Spending)

Consensus: +1.0%
Actual: +0.9%

Personal Income
Consensus: +0.6%
Actual: +0.7%

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in Consumer Spending and Personal Income. The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the actual or real figure.

Click here to view the full report.


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U.S. Motor Vehicle Sales Report for February, 2006

The monthly domestic Motor Vehicle Sales report for February, 2006 was released this afternoon:

Consensus: 13,200,000
Actual: 13,100,000

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.


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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of February 24, 2006

The Crude Oil Inventories report for the week of February 24, 2006 has been released:

Actual: +500,000 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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Construction Spending for January, 2006

The U.S. Census Bureau--which is part of the U.S. Commerce Department--this morning released their monthly Construction Spending report for January, 2006:

Consensus: +1.1 %
Actual: +0.2 %

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in new public and private construction activity for the United States. The "consensus" is what Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the actual or real figure.

Click here to view the full report.


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