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Economy

Economic Indicators (USA)

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Dow & NASDAQ Retreated While The S&P 500 Added Less Than A Point

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the NASDAQ Composite both lost some ground today, as the S&P 500 Index gained less than one point; crude oil for future delivery got more expensive, as New York Spot Gold crossed the $650 mark. 1,790,418,320 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

For the week, the DJIA gained 0.2%, the NASDAQ Composite Index lost 0.9%, and the S&P 500 lost 0.1%.

For the Month of April, the DJIA gained 2.3%, the NASDAQ Composite Index lost 0.7%, and the S&P 500 gained 1.2%.


Shares of DJIA component and global #1 software producer Microsoft fell by $3.10 to close @ $24.15. The company announced plans to spend more money to combat competition from companies like Google.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,367.14 (-15.37 )

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,322.57 (-22.38)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,310.61 (+0.89)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $71.58/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $17.70 to close @ $651.60/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7915 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2634 U.S. Dollars

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


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Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Advance Released Today for Q1, 2006

U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers for the first-quarter of 2006 were released this morning by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis:

Consensus: 4.9%
Actual: 4.8%

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

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

The "advance" estimates are based on data that are incomplete or subject to future revision. Next month, the Commerce Department will release "preliminary" data for the above referenced quarter, which will be a more accurate report. A "final" GDP report will be released later this year, which will contain the most authoritative data on the above referenced quarter.

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


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Consumer Sentiment for April, 2006

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

Consensus: 89.0
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.


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Thursday, April 27, 2006

The 3 Major Indices Advanced Today As Concern About Future Interest Rate Hikes Waned

The 3 major indexes gained ground today as investors reacted to comments made by Fed Chairman Bernanke, who hinted that the Fed may pause their rate-raising regimen soon. 2,082,685,120 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,382.51 (+28.02)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,344.95 (+11.32)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,309.72 (+4.31)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $70.90/barrel

NY Spot Gold fell by $5.50 to close @ $633.90/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7982 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2528 U.S. Dollars

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


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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of April 22, 2006

The U.S. Department of Labor this morning released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week of April 22, 2006:

Consensus: 305,000
Actual: 315,000

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 Labor Department report.


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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

All 3 Majors Advanced Today

The 3 major indexes advanced today as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) reached a high not seen in 6 years. 1,769,213,610 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,354.49 (+71.24)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,333.63 (+3.33)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,305.41 (+3.67)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $71.92/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $8.30 to close @ $639.40/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8031 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2452 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 April 21, 2006

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on April 21, 2006 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -200,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +20,600,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 345,000,000 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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New Home Sales for March, 2006

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

Consensus: 1,125,000
Actual: 1,213,000

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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Durable Goods Orders Report for March, 2006 Released Today

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

Consensus: +1.7%
Actual: +6.1%

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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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The 3 Majors Lost Some Ground Today As Investors Worried About Interest Rates

The 3 major indexes lost some ground as today's reports on Consumer Confidence and Existing Home Sales had investors worried that the Fed may raise interest rates beyond current expectations in order to keep inflation under control. 1,680,249,040 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,283.25 (-53.07)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,330.30 (-3.08)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,301.74 (-6.37)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $72.76/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $11.30 to close @ $631.10/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8045 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.243 U.S. Dollars

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


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Existing Home Sales for March, 2006

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

Consensus: 6,700,000
Actual: 6,920,000

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 April, 2006

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

Consensus: 105.5
Actual: 109.6

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.

When consumers feel good about the economy, they tend to do more spending, and vice versa.

The Consumer Confidence Index is produced by The Conference Board.

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Redbook Numbers for The Week of April 22, 2006

The Redbook numbers for the week of April 22, 2006 were released this morning:

Actual: +5.1%

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 by 5.1% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in April of 2005.

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


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Monday, April 24, 2006

The 3 Major Indices Lost Some Ground Today

The 3 major indexes lost some ground today; 1,509,310,220 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,336.32 (-11.13)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,333.38 (-9.48)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,308.11 (-3.17)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $73.14/barrel

NY Spot Gold fell by $12.70 to close @ $619.80/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8081 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2375 U.S. Dollars

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


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Thursday, April 20, 2006

The DJIA and The S&P 500 Closed Higher, but The NASDAQ Lost Some Ground

The NASDAQ was the only index of the 3 majors to lose ground today; 1,782,219,660 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,342.89 (+64.12)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,362.55 (-8.33)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,311.46 (+1.53)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $72.98/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $3.90 to close @ $623.50/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8117 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.232 U.S. Dollars

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


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Leading Economic Indicators for March of 2006

The Conference Board report on the nation's Leading Economic Indicators for March, 2006 was released this morning:

Consensus: +0.1 %
Actual: -0.1%

The above numbers represent the month-to-month change for the nation's leading economic indicators. The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, 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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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of April 15, 2006

The U.S. Department of Labor this morning released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week of April 15, 2006:

Consensus: 310,000
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 Labor Department report.


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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The 3 Majors Gained Today As Crude Cruised Into $72 Territory & Gold Closed @ $632.70 per Ounce

The 3 major indices gained some ground today as New York Spot Gold closed @ $632.70 per ounce and crude oil for future delivery soared passed the $72 mark. 1,748,623,670 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,278.77 (+10.00)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,370.88 (+14.74)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,309.93 (+2.28)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $72.26/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $13.40 to close @ $632.70/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8113 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2326 U.S. Dollars

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


>  SITEMAP  <

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for March of 2006

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

Consensus: +0.4%
Actual: +0.4%

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

Consensus: +0.2%
Actual: +0.3%

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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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of April 14, 2006

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week of April 14, 2006 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -800,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +26,300,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 345,200,000 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, April 18, 2006

All 3 Majors Advanced Today; The Dow Gained 195 Points As Investors Reacted to FOMC Minutes

The 3 major indices advanced today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) gaining a healthy 195 points in response to the release of minutes from the March 28, 2006 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) monetary policy meeting. 1,842,921,230 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,268.77 (+194.99)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,356.14 (+44.98)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,307.65 (+22.32)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $71.00/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $4.80 to close @ $619.30/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8104 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2339 U.S. Dollars

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


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Housing Starts in March of 2006

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

Consensus: 2,050,000
Actual: 1,960,000

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.


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Producer Price Index (PPI) for March of 2006

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

Consensus: +0.5%
Actual: +0.5%

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

Consensus: +0.2%
Actual: +0.1%


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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Redbook Numbers for The Week of April 15, 2006

The Redbook numbers for the week of April 15, 2006 were released this morning:

Actual: +4.1%

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 by 4.1% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in April of 2005.

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


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Monday, April 17, 2006

All 3 Major Indices Retreated Today As Gold Gained Over $18

The 3 major indices retreated today as New York Spot Gold closed @ $614.50 per ounce and crude oil for future delivery soared passed the $70 mark. 1,274,375,490 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,073.78 (-63.87)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,311.16 (-14.95)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,285.33 (-3.79)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $70.70/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $18.20 to close @ $614.50/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8155 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2262 U.S. Dollars

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


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Friday, April 14, 2006

New York Exchanges Are Closed Today

The New York exchanges, including:

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

are closed today in observance of the Good Friday Holiday.

All New York exchanges will reopen on Monday, April 17, 2006.


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Thursday, April 13, 2006

All 3 Majors Added Points Today

All 3 major indices gained some weight today; 1,240,148,800 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


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 in observance of the Good Friday Holiday.

All New York exchanges will reopen on Monday, April 17, 2006.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,137.65 (+7.68)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,326.11 (+11.43)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,289.12 (+1.00)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $69.45/barrel

NY Spot Gold fell by $1.00 to close @ $596.30/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8257 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2111 U.S. Dollars

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


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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The 3 Major Indices Advanced Today

The 3 major indexes advanced today. 1,395,866,830 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,129.97 (+40.34)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,314.68 (+4.33)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,288.12 (+1.55)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $68.28/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $2.50 to close @ $597.30/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.826 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2106 U.S. Dollars

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


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International Trade Balance Level for February, 2006

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

Consensus: $ -67,000,000,000
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.

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


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Treasury Budget for March, 2006

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

Consensus: -$85,000,000,000
Actual: -$85,500,000,000

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  <

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The 3 Majors Lost Ground Today

The 3 major indices lost ground today. 1,579,041,570 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.

Summary of The New York Markets:

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

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,089.63 (-51.70)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,310.35 (-22.92)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,286.57 (-10.03)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $68.80/barrel

NY Spot Gold fell by $2.60 to close @ $594.80/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.823 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.215 U.S. Dollars

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


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Redbook Numbers for The Week of April 8, 2006

The Redbook numbers for the week of April 8, 2006 were released this morning:

Actual: +3.3%

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

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


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Monday, April 10, 2006

The Dow and The S&P 500 Advanced; The NASDAQ Retreated

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the S&P 500 Index both gained some ground today despite crude oil for future delivery threatening to pass the $70 mark. The NASDAQ Composite Index lost 5.75 points. 1,346,830,610 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Shares of DJIA component Boeing gained $1.22 to close @ $80.79 on news that the company may have orders for an estimated 80 jets from Chinese carriers lined up. Boeing is the global #2 commercial jet manufacturer.

Shares of DJIA component Alcoa gained $2.03 to close @ $34.86 on news of strong first quarter profits.

Shares of DJIA component Exxon Mobil gained $0.61 to close @ $61.94. Exxon Mobil is the global #1 oil company.


Shares of Valero Energy gained $1.19 to close @ $62.59. Valero is the U.S. #1 oil refining company.


Shares of Raytheon lost $0.88 to close @ $44.52. Raytheon is the global #1 missile manufacturer by size.


Shares of Myogen lost $2.67 to close @ $33.15 on news that the company's experimental drug Ambrisentan didn't stem the advance of a serious lung disorder.


Shares of Bank of New York lost $1.79 to close @ $35.04.


Metals continue to gain in value, with New York Spot Gold threatening to surpass the $600 per ounce mark. Mining companies are doing well as a result.

Shares of Newmont Mining advanced by $0.16 to close @ $52.90. Newmont Mining is the global #2 gold producer by size.

Shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold gained $1.08 to close @ $62.08.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,141.33 (+21.29)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,333.27 (-5.75)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,296.62 (+1.12)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $69.33/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $9.60 to close @ $597.40/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.825 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.212 U.S. Dollars

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


>  SITEMAP  <

Friday, April 07, 2006

The 3 Major Indices Lost Ground Today As Investors Reacted to The Labor Department's Employment Situation Report

All 3 major indexes retreated today as investors reacted to the Labor Department's Employment Situation report for March, 2006: the strong employment numbers may prompt The Fed to raise the benchmark Fed Funds Rate beyond 5% later this year. 1,528,061,230 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Shares of aluminum giant and Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) component Alcoa gained $0.34 to close @ $32.50.


Shares of Research In Motion lost $4.60 to close @ $79.78 on news that company projections for new BlackBerry subscribers for this quarter will miss analyst expectations.


Shares of Apple Computer fell by $1.45 to close @ $69.79.


Shares of Constellation lost $1.47 to close @ $23.99. Constellation is the global #1 wine producer.


Shares of ConocoPhillips lost $1.29 to close @ $65.96.


Shares of New York City's Consolidated Edison (ConEd) lost $0.83 to close @ $42.39.

Shares of Exelon Corp fell by $1.37 to close @ $51.95.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,120.04 (-96.46)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,339.02 (-22.15)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,295.50 (-13.54)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $67.43/barrel

NY Spot Gold fell by $6.80 to close @ $587.80/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8269 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2093 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate is 7.75%


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February 2006 Consumer Credit Status Report (Preliminary) Released Today

The preliminary Consumer Credit status report for February, 2006 was released by the Federal Reserve earlier this afternoon:

Consensus: +$4,000,000,000
Actual: +$3,300,000,000


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

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

Click here to view the full Federal Reserve report.


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Employment Situation Report for March, 2006

The Employment Situation report for March, 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: +0.2%

Non-farm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Consensus: +185K
Actual: +211K

Average Workweek
Consensus: 33.8 hrs
Actual: 33.8 hrs


Unemployment Rate
Consensus: 4.8%
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.

Click here to view the full Department of Labor report.


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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Of The 3 Major Indices, The NASDAQ Composite Was The Only Gainer Today

The NASDAQ Composite was the sole index to advance today of the 3 majors. 1,573,846,480 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Shares of Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) component Merck fell by $1.15 to close @ $34.84 on news that a jury sided with a man who claimed that Vioxx gave him a heart attack.

Shares of DJIA component 3M gained $3.92 to close @ $81.38 on news that first quarter profit outperformed company projections.


Shares of Apple Computer gained $4.03 to close @ $71.24.


Shares of Kohl's gained $1.93 to close @ $54.44.

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond gained $2.50 to close @ $40.82 on news of better-than-expected fourth quarter profits.

Shares of upscale retailer Nordstrom gained $1.87 to $40.71.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,216.50 (-23.05)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,361.17 (+1.42)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,309.04 (-2.52)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $67.51/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $7.00 to close @ $594.60/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8197 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.22 U.S. Dollars

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


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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week Ending on April 1, 2006

The U.S. Department of Labor this morning released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week ending on April 1, 2006:

Consensus: 305,000
Actual: 299,000

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 Labor Department report.


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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

All 3 Majors Advanced Today, Despite Crude for Future Delivery Crossing the $67 Mark

The 3 major indices gained ground today despite the fact that NYMEX crude oil for future delivery passed the $67 mark and continued upward. 1,614,481,840 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Shares of Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) component Alcoa gained $0.81 (2.62%) to close @ $31.67.


Are You Ready for Boot Camp?

Apple announced new software called Boot Camp that can be downloaded and installed on the new, Intel-based Macintosh computers which will allow users to boot to either the Mac operating system, or to Windows XP (you can't have both running at the same time, however.) Users who want to take advantage of these new powers would have to purchase a copy of Windows XP separately.

Shares of Apple gained $6.04 to close @ $67.21 in regular trading; the stock then added an additional $0.19 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of DJIA component Microsoft gained $0.10 to close @ $27.74 in regular trading; the stock then added an additional $0.10 in after-hours trading.


Shares of PMC-Sierra gained $0.99 to close @ $13.25 on news that the company is planning to purchase semiconductor producer Passave Inc.


Shares of Career Education Corporation gained $5.04 to close @ $41.70. Career Education is the U.S. #2 (by size) operator of for-profit colleges.


Shares of Medtronic fell by $0.82 to close @ $50.58. Medtronic is the global #1 producer of heart devices.

Shares of heart device manufacturer St. Jude Medical fell by $5.05 to close @ $36.25.

Shares of Bausch & Lomb lost $2.39 to close @ $58.02.

Shares of Tenet Healthcare gained $1.12 to close @ $9.02.


Shares of Sears Holdings gained $6.19 to close @ $137.87 on news that the company will buyback $500 million worth of shares. Sears is the U.S. #1 department store chain.


As you might have guessed, many energy stocks did well as the price of crude escalated today.

Shares of ConocoPhillips gained $1.41 to close @ $66.56.

Shares of Valero Energy gained $2.66 to close @ $62.50.


Summary of The New York Markets
:

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

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,239.55 (+35.70)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,359.75 (+14.39)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,311.56 (+5.63)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $67.47/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $1.90 to close @ $587.60/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8141 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2284 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 31, 2006

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week of March 31, 2006 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +2,100,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +25,700,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 342,800,000 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, April 04, 2006

The 3 Major Indices Advanced Today As Crude for Future Delivery Got Cheaper

The 3 major indexes gained ground today as crude oil for future delivery got cheaper. 1,512,407,510 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Shares of DJIA component Caterpillar climbed $1.80 to close @ $75.30. Keep an eye on Caterpillar: the stock may continue to perform well as the business of separating crude oil from Canadian sand increases.

Shares of DJIA component 3M gained $1.16 to close @ $77.00 on news that the company may be selling a drug-producing unit.


Shares of Apple Computer fell by $1.48 to close @ $61.17.

Shares of Google gained $14.64 to close @ $404.34.


Shares of Biomet gained $3.38 to close @ $38.16.


Shares of Computer Sciences gained $2.51 to close @ $59.80.

Shares of Check Point Software Technologies fell by $1.07 to close @ $18.76.


Shares of Best Buy advanced by $1.56 to close @ $57.00

Shares of Circuit City Stores gained $0.76 to close @ $24.17.


Shares of Lowe's gained $1.33 to close @ $65.51.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,203.85 (+58.91)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,345.36 (+8.62)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,305.93 (+8.12)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $66.19/barrel

NY Spot Gold fell $3.60 to close @ $585.70/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.816 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2255 U.S. Dollars

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


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Redbook Numbers for The Week of April 1, 2006

The Redbook numbers for the week of April 1, 2006 were released this morning:

Actual: -1.1%

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 down 1.1% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in April of 2005.

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


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Monday, April 03, 2006

Dow and S&P Closed Up; NASDAQ Lost Ground

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the S&P 500 Index both advanced today, but the NASDAQ Composite retreated. 1,701,354,630 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.


Shares of DJIA component Caterpillar gained $1.69 to close @ $73.50.

Shares of DJIA component General Motors lost $1.13 to close @ $20.14 on news that the company is selling its General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) unit to a group led by Cerberus Capital Management in a deal worth about $7.4 billion.


Shares of U.S. Steel gained $1.51 to close @ $62.19.

Shares of Joy Global gained $3.34 to close @ $63.11. Joy Global makes equipment for coal mining.

Shares of Terex Corporation gained $7.23 to close @ $86.47.

Shares of Phelps Dodge gained $3.20 to close @ $83.73.


Plenty of merger action so far this week, most notably between Alcatel and Lucent.

Service Corporation International announced plans to buy Alderwoods Group Incorporated in a deal worth about $856 million.

Shares of Alderwoods gained $1.45 to close @ $19.35.

Shares of Service Corporation gained $0.70 to close @ $8.50. Service Corporation is the U.S. #1 proprietor of cemeteries and funeral homes.


Ameristar Casinos has offered to purchase Aztar Corporation for an estimated $1.51 billion.

Shares of Aztar Corporation gained $2.61 to close @ $44.60. Aztar owns the Tropicana casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

Shares of Ameristar Casinos lost $1.78 to close @ $24.01.


Shares of Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM) gained $1.56 to close @ $35.21. The stock may continue to make gains this year as the demand for ethanol increases. ADM is the U.S. #1 producer of corn-based ethanol.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,144.94 (+35.62)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,336.74 (-3.05)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,297.81 (+2.98)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $66.42/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $7.80 to close @ $589.30/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.8235 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2144 U.S. Dollars

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


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

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

Consensus: 13,400,000
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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Construction Spending for February, 2006

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

Consensus: +0.5%
Actual: +0.8%

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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