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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

All 3 Majors Advanced On Cheaper Crude

The 3 major indices advanced today as crude oil for future delivery got cheaper; the specter of another Fed interest rate hike wasn't enough to produce a pall of bearishness in the New York equities markets today. 1,985,792,270 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


Shares of #2 Texas power provider NRG (NRG) gained $6.74 to close @ $49.75 on news of a unsolicited, $7.86 billion buyout offer by Mirant.


Shares of Freddie Mac (FRE) fell by $1.54 to close @ $60.04.


Shares of Monsanto (MON) gained $1.98 to close @ $84.16.


Shares of Rambus (RMBS) fell by $1.58 to close @ $24.26.


Summary of The U.S. Markets
:

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

DJIA: Closed @ 11,168.31 (+73.88)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,178.88 (+14.14)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,270.09 (+10.25)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $70.95/barrel

NY Spot Gold fell by $7.30 to close @ $643.50/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7839 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2756 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate (Fed Prime Rate) is 8.00%


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Redbook Numbers for The Week of May 27, 2006

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on May 27, 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 by 2.5% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in May of 2005.

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


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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

All 3 Major Indices Retreated Today; Every Component in The DJIA Lost Value

The 3 major indexes lost ground today as crude for future delivery got more expensive and a Conference Board report showed that Consumer Confidence is waning; all 30 components in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost value today. 1,549,400,130 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


Shares of global #1 retailer and DJIA component Wal-Mart (WMT) lost $1.35 (2.72%) to close @ $48.30.


Shares of DJIA component General Motors (GM) lost $1.51 (5.38%) to close @ $26.57.


Shares of DJIA component Home Depot (HD) lost $0.97 (2.51%) to close @ $37.70.


Shares of pipeline concern Kinder Morgan (KMI) gained $15.90 (18.84%) to close @ $100.31 on news that company co-founder Richard Kinder is spearheading a takeover effort with investors.


President Bush has nominated Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson to be the next Treasury Secretary.

Shares of Goldman Sachs Group (GS) fell by $3.11 (2.03%) to close @ $149.83.


Shares of Tribune Co. (TRB) gained $2.01 (7.21%) to close @ $29.90 on news that the company will buy back $2 billion worth of stock (about 25 percent of shares.) Tribune is the U.S. #2 publisher of newspapers.


Summary of The U.S. Markets
:

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

DJIA: Closed @ 11,094.43 (-184.18)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,164.74 (-45.63 )

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,259.84 (-20.32)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $72.01/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $3.50 to close @ $654.30/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7778 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2858 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate (Fed Prime Rate) is 8.00%


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Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) Report for May, 2006

The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for this month (May, 2006) was released by The Conference Board this morning:

Consensus: 101.0
Actual: 103.2

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

Every month, The Conference Board sends a questionnaire to 5,000 U.S. households. Survey participants are polled about their feeling regarding the current U.S. economy, the future of the U.S. economy, and about their own fiscal circumstances. On average, 3,500 participants complete and return the 5-question survey.

The baseline "100" score for the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) is pegged to 1985 survey data.

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

Based in New York City, The Conference Board is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to, "create and disseminate knowledge about management and the marketplace to help businesses strengthen their performance and better serve society."

Last month, the CCI was 109.6.

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Monday, May 29, 2006

The 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 Memorial Day holiday.

All New York exchanges will reopen tomorrow. Have a great day!


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Friday, May 26, 2006

The New York Exchanges Will Be Closed on Monday

The New York exchanges, including:

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

will be closed on Monday, May 29, 2006, in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.

All New York exchanges will reopen on Tuesday, May 30, 2006.


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Reduced Fears About Inflation Helped The 3 Majors Advance Today

The 3 major indexes advanced today, thanks in part to a Consumer Spending report which eased investors' concerns about inflation. A relatively slow trading day: 1,337,600,010 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.

For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) gained 1.2%, the NASDAQ Composite Index gained 0.8%, and the S&P 500 Index gained 1%.


Milestone: The world's most recognizable market index--the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)--turns 110 years old today. Currently, there are no plans to modify the current list of companies which constitute the DJIA.


Shares of Las Vegas Sands (LVS) gained $5.96 (9.36%) to close @ $69.63 on news that the company managed to outbid competitors and will build a resort in Singapore.


Shares of truck manufacturer Navistar International (NAV) gained $4.16 (16.74%) to close @ $29.01 on news that MAN AG may acquire a stake in Navistar.


Shares of Goldman Sachs Group (GS) gained $5.62 (3.81%) to close @ $152.94; the stock then added an additional $0.46 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of Merrill Lynch & Co. (MER) gained $1.31 (1.83%) to close @ $72.79.


Summary of The U.S. Markets
:

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

DJIA: Closed @ 11,278.61 (+67.56)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,210.37 (+12.13)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,280.16 (+7.28)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $71.29/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $2.50 to close @ $650.80/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7851 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2738 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate (Fed Prime Rate) is 8.00%


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Personal Income & Consumer Spending for April, 2006

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

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

Consensus: +0.6%
Actual: +0.6%

Personal Income
Consensus: +0.7%
Actual: +0.5%

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in Consumer Spending and Personal Income 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 Commerce Department report (PDF).


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Consumer Sentiment for May, 2006

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

Consensus: 79.0
Actual: 79.1

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. 200 questions are asked, e.g. "Do you think that right now is a good time to purchase a major household item, like a new microwave oven, TV set, or a new sofa?"

The Consumer Sentiment Index uses a 1966 baseline, i.e. for 1966, the Consumer Sentiment Index = 100. So any number that is below the 1966 baseline of 100 means that the folks who were polled recently aren't as optimistic about the U.S. economy as the sample that was polled back in 1966.

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, May 25, 2006

The 3 Major Indexes Gained, Buoyed by The Release of Preliminary U.S. GDP Numbers for Q1

All 3 major indices advanced today, buoyed by the release of preliminary GDP numbers for the first-quarter. 1,734,583,180 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


Shares of global #1 retailer and Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) component Wal-Mart (WMT) gained $1.42 to $49.45.


Shares of DJIA component General Motors (GM) gained $1.39 (5.24%) to close @ $27.90.


Crude oil for future delivery cruised past the $71 mark today.

Shares of oil giant and DJIA component Exxon Mobil (XOM) gained $1.42 to close @ $61.52; the stock then gained an additional $0.47 in after-hours action this evening.

Shares of Chevron (CVX) gained $1.89 to close @ $59.49.


MasterCard IPO

MasterCard raised $2.39 billion in their IPO yesterday on 61.5 million shares sold. Today, shares of MasterCard (MA) gained $7.00 (17.95%) to close @ $46.00. MasterCard plans on using the IPO cash to buy out the 1,400 financial institutions which currently own the company.


Shares of Vonage (VG) fell by $1.85 (12.46%) to close @ $13.00.


Shares of Yahoo! and eBay surged after a strategic partnership between the two Internet giants was announced today.

Shares of Yahoo! (YHOO) gained $1.13 (3.55%) to close @ $32.92.

Shares of eBay (EBAY) gained $3.68 (12.19%) to close @ $33.88.


Shares of Stone Energy (SGY) gained $9.19 (22.55%) to close @ $49.95.

Shares of Big Lots (BLA) gained $2.80 (20.73%) to close @ $16.31.

Shares of Mittal Steel (MT) gained $2.76 (9.34%) to close @ $32.31.


Summary of The U.S. Markets
:

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

DJIA: Closed @ 11,211.05 (+93.73)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,198.24 (+29.07)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,272.88 (+14.31)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $71.48/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $10.90 to close @ $648.30/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7804 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2814 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate (Fed Prime Rate) is 8.00%


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

The preliminary, real U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report for the first-quarter of 2006 was released this morning:

Consensus: +5.9 %
Actual: +5.3 %

The above percentages represent the quarter-to-quarter change in the Gross Domestic Product for the United States. The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the actual or real figure. The GDP report is produced by the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The final GDP report for Q1, 2006, which will contain the most authoritative data for the first-quarter, will be released on June 29, 2006.

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

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

"Real gross domestic product--the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States--increased at an annual rate of 5.3 percent in the first quarter of 2006, according to preliminary estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 1.7 percent.

The GDP estimates released today are based on more complete source data than were available for the advance estimates issued last month. In the advance estimates, the increase in real GDP was 4.8 percent (see "Revisions" on page 3).

The increase in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, equipment and software, and federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

The acceleration in real GDP growth in the first quarter primarily reflected an upturn in PCE for durable goods, an acceleration in exports, an upturn in federal government spending, and an acceleration in equipment and software that were partly offset by a downturn in private inventory investment.

Final sales of computers contributed 0.05 percentage point to the first-quarter growth in real GDP after contributing 0.33 percentage point to the fourth-quarter growth. Motor vehicle output subtracted 0.11 percentage point from the first-quarter growth in real GDP after subtracting 0.64 percentage point
from the fourth-quarter growth."


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Existing Home Sales for April, 2006

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

Consensus: 6,750,000
Actual: 6,760,000

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 May 20, 2006

The U.S. Department of Labor this morning released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on May 20, 2006:

Consensus: 315,000
Actual: 329,000

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, May 24, 2006

The 3 Majors Advanced In Response to Strong New Home Sales for April, Cheaper Crude Oil and A Decline In NY Spot Gold

The 3 major indices gained some ground today on strong New Home Sales for April; crude oil for future delivery fell below the $70 mark and New York Spot Gold got $36 cheaper. 2,264,374,230 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


Shares of global #2 passenger jet maker and Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) component Boeing (BA) fell by $2.77 to close @ $82.38.


Shares of DJIA component General Motors (GM) gained $2.03 (8.29%) to close @ $26.51.


Shares of global #1 software maker and DJIA component Microsoft (MSFT) gained $0.71 to close @ $23.50.


IPO News

Today's initial public offering for Vonage Holdings (VG) has the unenviable distinction of being the worst performing IPO in the last 6 months: shares of Vonage lost $2.15 to close @ $14.85. The Vonage IPO raised over $531 million.

The MasterCard IPO is priced @ $39; the stock is expected to perform well. Stay tuned...


Shares of XM Satellite Radio Holdings (XMSR) fell by $1.76 to close @ $13.75.


Summary of The U.S. Markets
:

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

DJIA: Closed @ 11,117.32 (+18.97)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,169.17 (+10.41)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,258.57 (+1.99)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $69.74/barrel

NY Spot Gold fell by $36.00 to close @ $637.40/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7843 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.275 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate (Fed Prime Rate) is 8.00%


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New Home Sales for April, 2006

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

Consensus: 1,150,000
Actual: 1,198,000

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 April, 2006 Released Today

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

Consensus: -0.5%
Actual: -4.8%

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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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of May 19, 2006

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on May 19, 2006 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -3,000,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +11,500,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 343,900,000 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.


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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

All 3 Major Indices Lost Ground As Commodities Got More Expensive

The 3 major indexes retreated today as the cost of crude for future delivery, gold and other commodities rose. 1,907,657,830 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


Shares of Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) component Caterpillar (CAT) gained $0.85 to close @ $73.72.


Shares of DJIA component Home Depot (HD) lost $0.65 to close @ $37.84.


Shares of Whirlpool (WHR) gained $3.38 to close @ $88.00 on news that the company plans on selling its Hoover® vacuum cleaner subsidiary. Whirlpool recently bought Maytag, and is now the global #1 appliance manufacturer.


Shares of copper producer Phelps Dodge (PD) gained $3.26 to close @ $83.06.

Shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX) gained $1.26 to close @ $55.53.

Shares of Allegheny Technologies (ATI) gained $3.51 to close @ $63.87.


Shares of ketchup king H.J. Heinz (HNZ) gained $2.05 to close @ $42.98.


Summary of The New York Markets
:

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

DJIA: Closed @ 11,098.35 (-26.98)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,158.76 (-14.10)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,256.58 (-5.49)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $71.29/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $16.30 to close @ $673.40/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7811 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2803 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate (Fed Prime Rate) is 8.00%


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Redbook Numbers for The Week of May 20, 2006

The Redbook numbers for the week that ended on May 20, 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 May of 2005.

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


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Monday, May 22, 2006

All 3 Majors Retreated As Crude Oil Jumped Back Up Into $70 Territory

The 3 major indices lost ground today as NYMEX crude oil for future delivery jumped back up into $70 territory. 2,048,034,910 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


Shares of NYSE Group (NYX) lost $1.65 to $62.85 on news that the company has made a $10.2 billion offer (cash and stock) for Euronext. Euronext is based in Paris, and is the #2 stock exchange in Europe. The NYSE Group owns the New York Stock Exchange®.

If the deal happens, the combined company would be:

  • the first transatlantic securities market,
  • worth $21.2 billion.
  • a truly massive exchange: the total value of listed companies would be about $27 trillion.
If Euronext accepts the NYSE Group offer, the deal would still require a collective thumbs-up from both NYSE Group and Euronext shareholders, and a green light from both American and European regulators.

Just In: Deutsche Börse has just submitted a competing bid for Euronext. Stay tuned...


Shares of global #1 aluminum producer and Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) component Alcoa (AA) fell by $0.83 to close @ $31.15.


Shares of Yahoo! (YHOO) gained $0.93 to close @ $30.46.


Shares of Lowe's (LOW) fell by $2.82 to close @ $59.82.


Shares of Dow Chemical (DOW) fell by $0.92 to close @ $40.12. Dow Chemical is the U.S. #1 chemical manufacturer.


Shares of U.S. Steel (X) fell by $3.18 to close @ $60.82.


Shares of KLA-Tencor (KLAC) fell by $4.70 to close @ $40.54.


Summary of The New York Markets
:

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

DJIA: Closed @ 11,125.33 (-18.73)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,172.86 (-21.02)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,262.07 (-4.96)

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NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $70.34/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $0.10 to close @ $657.10/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7773 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2864 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate (Fed Prime Rate) is 8.00%


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Friday, May 19, 2006

The 3 Majors Closed with Modest Gains Today As Crude Oil & Gold Got Cheaper

The 3 major indices closed with modest gains today as both New York Spot Gold and NYMEX crude oil for future delivery got cheaper; the dollar gained against the euro. 2,216,245,150 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell by 2.1%, the NASDAQ Composite Index fell by 2.2%, and the S&P 500 fell by 1.9%.


Dell announced that it will start using Opteron processors made by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) in some high-end servers by the end of this year. This is big news for AMD, as Dell was the only major PC manufacturer that wasn't using AMD chips. Dell's exclusivity agreement with Intel--which lasted 22 years--is no more.

Shares of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) gained $3.60 (11.48%) to close @ $34.95.

Shares of Dell (DELL) gained $0.62 to close @ $24.57.

Shares of DJIA component Intel (INTC) fell by $0.29 to close @ $18.36.


Shares of Marvell Technology Group (MRVL) gained $6.51 to close @ $56.22 on news of strong revenue in the first-quarter.


Shares of the global #2 biotech concern Genentech Inc. (DNA) gained $4.10 to close @ $80.03. The company expects FDA approval of Lucentis®, a drug that treats wet, age-related macular degeneration, at the end of next month.

Shares of Caremark Rx Inc. (CMX) fell by $3.34 to close @ $45.55. Caremark Rx is the U.S. #2 drug benefits management company.


Summary of The New York Markets
:

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

DJIA: Closed @ 11,144.06 (+15.77)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,193.88 (+13.56)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,267.03 (+5.22)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $68.53/barrel

NY Spot Gold fell by $23.60 to close @ $657.00/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7826 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2778 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate (WSJ Prime Rate) is 8.00%


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Thursday, May 18, 2006

All 3 Major Indexes Declined Again Today On Continued Concerns About Inflation and The Possibility of Another Fed Rate Hike

All 3 major indices declined again today as investors continued to worry that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) may opt to raise the benchmark Fed Funds Target Rate again at the end of June. 1,832,376,700 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


Shares of Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) component Caterpillar lost $1.29 to $74.62.


Shares of Burlington Northern Santa Fe fell by $3.71 to close @ $72.42. Burlington Northern Santa Fe is the U.S. #2 railroad.


Shares of Deere & Co. fell by $2.84 to close @ $83.61. Deere is the global #1 manufacturer of tractors, combines and harvesters.


Shares of Sears gained $17.89 (12.97%) to close @ $155.85 on news of strong first-quarter net income. The stock gained an additional $1.15 in after-hours action this evening.


Shares of Countrywide Financial lost $1.45 to close @ $39.67. Countrywide Financial is the U.S. #1 mortgage lender by size.


Summary of The New York Markets
:

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

DJIA: Closed @ 11,128.29 (-77.32)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,180.32 (-15.48)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,261.81 (-8.51)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $69.60/barrel

NY Spot Gold fell by $11.50 to close @ $680.60/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7783 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2848 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate (Fed Prime Rate) is 8.00%


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New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of May 13, 2006

The U.S. Department of Labor this morning released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on May 13, 2006:

Consensus: 310,000
Actual: 367,000

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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Leading Economic Indicators for April, 2006

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

Consensus: +0.2 %
Actual: -0.1%

The above numbers represent the month-to-month change for the nation's leading economic indicators. The "consensus" is what economists were expecting, 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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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

All 3 Major Indexes Lost Ground Today As Investors Worried About Future Interest Rate Hikes by The Fed

All 3 major indices lost ground today: The Labor Department's Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for April, 2006 indicates that inflation appears to be accelerating at a faster pace than many economists and investors were expecting; this may lead to the Fed opting to raise the benchmark Fed Funds Target rate again at the end of June. 2,085,742,890 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


Shares of aluminum giant and Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) component Alcoa fell by $1.48 to close @ $32.16 for


Shares of global #2 PC maker and DJIA component Hewlett-Packard gained $1.05 to close @ $32.16 on news of a strong profits forecast for Q3.


Shares of DJIA component General Motors fell by $1.07 to close @ $24.46 on news that Chief Accounting Officer Peter Bible will resign, and Controller Paul Schmidt will retire.


Shares of Bank of America fell by $1.08 to close @ $48.56.

Shares of Merrill Lynch fell by $2.21 to close @ $70.49.
Shares of Goldman Sachs fell by $4.49 to close @ $148.21.

Shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold fell by $3.69 to close @ $56.94. Freeport-McMoRan owns the global #1 gold mine and the global #2 copper mine, by size.


Shares of Exxon Mobil fell by $1.78 to close @ $60.18.


Shares of XM Satellite Radio fell by $1.01 to close @ $16.62 on news that the company is being sued by music labels over copyright infringement and unauthorized delivery of digital music.


Summary of The New York Markets
:

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

DJIA: Closed @ 11,205.61 (-214.28)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,195.80 (-33.33)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,270.32 (-21.76)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $68.46/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $0.30 to close @ $692.10/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7842 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2752 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate (Fed Prime Rate) is 8.00%


>  SITEMAP  <

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for April, 2006

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

Consensus: +0.6%
Actual: +0.6%

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.)

Click here to view the full Labor Department report
.


>  SITEMAP  <

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of May 12, 2006

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on May 12, 2006 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: -100,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +12,900,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 346,900,000 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, May 16, 2006

The 3 Majors Indexes Lost Ground As Investors Worried About Signs of Slowing Consumer Spending

The 3 majors indices lost ground today: a government report on Housing Starts showed fewer-than-expected starts last month, which was seen as a possible harbinger of declining consumer spending. 1,686,140,090 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


Shares of home improvement giant and Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) component Home Depot fell by $2.05 (over 5%) to close @ $38.45 on news that first-quarter revenue missed analysts' estimates.


Shares of Apple Computer fell by $2.81 to close @ $64.98 on news that Creative Technology, maker of the Zen digital music player, has filed a lawsuit against Apple with the aim of freezing sales of the immensely popular iPod music player.


Shares of Sepracor gained $6.28 to close @ $51.10 on news that the FDA has postponed the approval of a drug made by Neurocrine and Pfizer that hopes to compete with Sepracor 's LunestaTM sleeping pill.

Shares of Neurocrine fell by $33.87 (62%) to close @ $20.76.


Shares of Deere & Co. gained $1.79 to close @ $89.31 on news of strong Q2 profits. Deere is the global #1 manufacturer of farm machinery.


Shares of Agilent Technologies fell by $3.12 to close @ $34.85 on news of sagging sales. Agilent is the global #1 manufacturer of scientific testing equipment.


Shares of Carnival fell by $3.94 to close @ $42.60. Carnival is the global #1 ocean cruise operator.


Shares of Staples fell by $1.60 to close @ $24.82.


Summary of The New York Markets
:

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

DJIA: Closed @ 11,419.89 (-8.88)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,229.13 (-9.39)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,292.08 (-2.42)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $69.58/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $8.20 to close @ $691.80/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7782 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.285 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate (WSJ Prime Rate) is 8.00%


>  SITEMAP  <

Housing Starts in April, 2006

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

Housing Starts:
Consensus: 1,950,000
Actual: 1,849,000

Building Permits:
Actual: 1,984,000

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.

If you're wondering about the demand for new homes in the U.S., or about the American construction industry in general, then you should pay attention to the monthly Housing Starts report. The monthly Housing Starts report also offers insight into specific types of consumer spending: when housing starts are up, demand for the stuff that a consumer would purchase for a new home (large appliances, consumer electronics, furniture, etc.) tends to also rise--and vice versa.

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


>  SITEMAP  <

Producer Price Index (PPI) for April, 2006

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

Consensus: +0.8%
Actual: +0.9%

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

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.


>  SITEMAP  <

Redbook Numbers for The Week of May 13, 2006

The Redbook numbers for the week of May 13, 2006 were released this morning:

Actual: +3.4%

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 by 3.4% when compared to sales during the corresponding week back in May of 2005.

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


>  SITEMAP  <

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Dow and S&P 500 Advanced In Response To Cheaper Commodities; The NASDAQ Lost Ground

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the S&P500 both advanced today as the cost of commodities fell: New York Spot Gold got $26.90 cheaper while NYMEX crude oil for future delivery fell below the $69 mark. The NASDAQ lost 5.26 points. 1,869,363,790 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


Shares of DJIA component Johnson & Johnson advanced by $1.14 to close @ $59.97 on news that rival medical device maker Boston Scientific is having problems with heart devices produced by its Guidant subsidiary. Johnson & Johnson is the global #1 manufacturer of medical devices.

Shares of aluminum giant and DJIA component Alcoa fell by $1.34 to close @ $33.47.


Shares of Gilead gained $1.54 to close @ $57.08 on news that the company may do better-than-expected with sales of drugs that treat HIV. Gilead makes the influenza drug Tamiflu®.


Shares of Target Corporation fell by $2.19 to close @ $50.02 on news of faltering profits.


Shares of Bausch & Lomb gained $5.64 to close @ $50.08.


Shares of Newmont Mining fell by $2.00 to close @ $54.31.


Summary of The New York Markets
:

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

DJIA: Closed @ 11,428.77 (+47.78)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,238.52 (-5.26)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,294.50 (+3.26)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $68.79/barrel

NY Spot Gold fell by $26.90 to close @ $683.60/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7796 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2826 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate (WSJ Prime Rate) is 8.00%


>  SITEMAP  <

Friday, May 12, 2006

The 3 Major Indices Retreated Today on Fears of Inflation and Future Interest Rate Hikes

All 3 major indexes lost ground today as investors worried about inflation and the potential for future interest rate hikes by the Fed: today's Labor Department report showed that the cost of imports rose at a faster-than-expected pace in April. 1,850,721,870 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.

For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell by 1.7%, the NASDAQ Composite Index fell by 4.2%, and the S&P 500 fell by 2.6%.


Shares of aluminum giant and DJIA component Alcoa fell by $1.21 to close @ $34.81.

Shares of oil giant and DJIA component Exxon Mobil lost $1.22 to close @ $62.24.


Shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold lost $2.80 to close @ $65.42.


Shares of the biotech company Threshold Pharmaceuticals fell by $10.56 to close @ $3.44 on news that an experimental prostate drug performed poorly in a trial.

Shares of Barr Pharmaceuticals fell by $2.66 to close @ $50.98 on news that the company wasn't able to secure a new U.S. patent for the Seasonale birth control pill, which may translate to competition from generics later this year.


Shares of Nvidia lost $2.14 to close @ $26.33.


Shares of Expedia fell by $5.15 to close @ $14.51 on news of slumping U.S. sales and sagging revenue.


Shares of stainless steal maker Allegheny Technologies lost $6.08 to close @ $78.45

Shares of U.S. Steel fell by $3.39 to close @ $70.33.


Summary of The New York Markets
:

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

DJIA: Closed @ 11,380.99 (-119.74)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,243.78 (-28.92)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,291.24 (-14.68)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $71.93/barrel

NY Spot Gold fell by $9.60 to close @ $710.50/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7736 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2926 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate (Fed Prime Rate) is 8.00%


>  SITEMAP  <

U.S. Import and Export Price Indices for April, 2006

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Price Indices for U.S. Imports and Exports this morning:

Import Prices
Consensus: +1.2%
Actual: +2.1%

Export Prices
Actual: +0.6%


The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in prices for

  • Imports: the cost of goods produced in other countries and sold in the U.S.

  • Exports: the cost of goods produced in the U.S. and sold in other countries.


Together, these indices offer insight into the status of inflation in the United States, and for the global economy as well.

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

The following is a snippet from today's Labor Department report:

"Import Goods

Import prices increased 2.1 percent in April after declines of 0.6 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively, in February and March. The advance was driven by an 11.5 percent jump in petroleum prices which followed a comparatively modest 0.5 percent rise the previous month. The April increase in petroleum prices was the largest for the index since a 13.4 percent rise in March 2005. Petroleum prices rose 32.5 percent over the past 12 months. Nonpetroleum prices were unchanged in April after decreases in each of the previous two months that largely resulted from lower natural gas prices. For the year ended in April, nonpetroleum prices increased 0.8 percent while overall import prices advanced 5.9 percent.

Prices for nonpetroleum industrial supplies and materials rose 0.5 percent in April as higher metals prices more than offset lower prices for natural gas, chemicals, and lumber. Nonpetroleum industrial supplies and materials prices increased 6.1 percent for the year ended in April. The price index for automotive vehicles also rose, increasing 0.2 percent for the month and 0.3 percent over the past year.

In contrast, prices for foods, feeds, and beverages and for consumer goods declined in April, falling 0.9 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively. Lower vegetable prices led the decrease in the price index for foods, feeds, and beverages, which still increased 0.3 percent over the past 12 months. Consumer goods prices declined for the second consecutive month and fell 0.3 percent for the year ended in April.

The price index for capital goods was unchanged in April and down 1.5 percent over the past year.

Export Goods

The price index of overall exports rose 0.6 percent in April as a 0.7 percent increase in nonagricultural prices more than offset a 0.6 percent decline in agricultural prices. Nonagricultural prices continued the upward trend over each of the past five months, and increased 2.5 percent for the year ended in April. Overall export prices rose 2.4 percent for the same period.

The increase in nonagricultural prices was led by a 2.0 percent advance in prices for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials, the largest monthly increase since October. A sharp rise in fuel prices drove the increase, but higher metals prices were also a contributing factor. The price index for nonagricultural industrial supplies and materials advanced 8.0 percent over the past 12 months.

Prices for capital goods and for automotive vehicles also rose in April, advancing 0.4 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively. The April increase in capital goods prices matched the January rise, which was the largest monthly advance since April 1995. Despite the recent increase, capital goods prices only rose 0.2 percent over the past 12 months. Automotive vehicle prices increased 1.0 percent over the same period of time. Prices for consumer goods recorded no change last month and rose 0.3 percent for the year ended in April.

In contrast, agricultural export prices fell for the fifth time in the past six months and decreased 0.3 percent over the April 2005-2006 period. Lower soybean prices were the largest contributor to the April decline."

Click here to view the full Labor Department report.


>  SITEMAP  <

Consumer Sentiment for May, 2006

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

Consensus: 87.0
Actual: 79.0

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  <

International Trade Balance Level for March, 2006

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

Consensus: $ -67,000,000,000
Actual: $ -62,000,000,000

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  <

Thursday, May 11, 2006

All 3 Major Indices Retreated Today On Inflation Fears: Gold Hits $720.10 per Ounce

All 3 major indexes lost ground today as investors worried about inflation: the price on New York Spot Gold, which closed @ $720.10 per ounce earlier today, contributed much to the day's bearishness. 1,825,773,090 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


Shares of Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) component AIG fell by $3.39 to close @ $63.15 on news of sagging profits in the first-quarter.


Shares of Movie Gallery gained $1.62 to close @ $4.78 on news of strong first-quarter profits. Movie Gallery is the U.S. #2 video rental company.


Shares of UnitedHealth Group fell by $1.80 to close @ $44.37 on news that the SEC has launched an informal inquiry into the company's stock-options grants. UnitedHealth may have to restate 3 years worth of earnings. UnitedHealth is the U.S. #2 health insurance provider.


Summary of The New York Markets
:

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

DJIA: Closed @ 11,500.73 (-141.92)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,272.70 (-48.04)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,305.92 (-16.93)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $72.59/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $16.40 to close @ $720.10/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7776 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.286 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate (WSJ Prime Rate) is 8.00%


>  SITEMAP  <

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of May 6, 2006

The U.S. Department of Labor this morning released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on May 6, 2006:

Consensus: 315,000
Actual: 324,000

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.


>  SITEMAP  <

U.S. Retail & Food Services Sales Report for April, 2006

The Commerce Department this morning released advanced estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for April, 2006:

Consensus: +0.7%
Actual: +0.5%

Minus Auto Sales
Consensus: +0.8%
Actual : +0.7%


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 April, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $362.7 billion, an increase of 0.5 percent (±0.7%)* from the previous month and up 6.6 percent (±0.8%) from April 2005. Total sales for the February through April 2006 period were up 7.3 percent (±0.3%) from the same period a year ago. The February to March 2006 percent change was unrevised from 0.6 percent (±0.2%).

Retail trade sales were up 0.5 percent (±0.7%)* from March and were 6.6 percent (±0.8%) above last year. Gasoline stations were up 17.4 percent (±2.1%) from April 2005 and sales of nonstore retailers were up 13.3 percent (±4.3%) from last year."
Click here to view the full report.


>  SITEMAP  <

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Dow Was The Only Gainer of The 3 Majors Today; Gold Crossed The $700 per Ounce Threshold

Of the 3 majors indices, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was the only index to advance today, as investors reacted bearishly to the press release issued by the Fed following today's rate hike. New York Spot Gold crossed the $700 mark. 1,611,030,830 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


The shining star in the DJIA today was General Motors: shares of GM gained $1.04 to close @ $26.59 in response to positive news related to the company's bond status.


Shares of money manager Legg Mason fell by $8.46 to close @ $108.06.


Shares of U.S. #1 life insurance company MetLife advanced by $1.10 to close @ $53.19.


Shares of global #4 truck manufacturer Navistar International gained $2.68 to close @ $27.99 on news of strong sales.


Summary of The New York Markets
:

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

DJIA: Closed @ 11,642.65 (+2.88)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,320.74 (-17.51)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,322.85 (-2.29)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $72.42/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $4.00 to close @ $703.70/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.785 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2739 U.S. Dollars

The U.S. Prime Rate (Fed Prime Rate) is 8.00%


>  SITEMAP  <

Treasury Budget for April, 2006

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

Consensus: +$120,000,000,000
Actual: +$118,900,000,000

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 and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the actual or real figure.


>  SITEMAP  <

Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of May 5, 2006

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on May 5, 2006 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +300,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +17,300,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 347,000,000 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.


>  SITEMAP  <

Monday, May 08, 2006

DJIA and NASDAQ Advanced; S&P 500 Lost A Little Over One Point

The NASDAQ and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) gained some ground, while the S&P 500 lost a bit more than a point today as investors' minds focused on the Fed monetary policy meeting coming this Wednesday. 1,550,473,210 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


Wachovia is buying Golden West Financial.

Shares of Golden West Financial gained $4.39 to close @ $74.90.

Shares of Wachovia fell by $3.97 to close @ $55.42.


Thermo Electron is buying Fisher; the combined company will be the global #1 medical laboratory equipment supplier.

Shares of Fisher gained $2.22 to close @ $75.95.

Shares of Thermo Electron fell by $0.91 to close @ $38.54.


Copper prices are so high that it now costs the American government $0.0123 to make a penny: the government is making pennies at a loss!

Global #1 zinc miner Teck Cominco has made an unsolicited, $16 billion purchase offer for nickel and copper producer Inco.

Inco is interested in purchasing Falconbridge, a merger that would created the world's largest nickel producer.

Shares of Inco gained $8.01 to close @ $67.09.


Shares of aluminum giant and DJIA component Alcoa gained $1.02 to close @ $36.12 on speculation that mining companies may be interested in buying Alcoa.

Shares of global #2 aluminum producer Alcan rose by $2.05 to close @ $56.05.


Shares of oil and natural gas concern EOG Resources fell by $1.76 to close @ $74.55.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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

DJIA: Closed @ 11,584.54 (+6.80)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,344.99 (+2.42)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,324.66 (-1.10)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $69.92/barrel

NY Spot Gold fell by $5.00 to close @ $677.40/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7877 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2696 U.S. Dollars

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


>  SITEMAP  <

Friday, May 05, 2006

The 3 Majors Advanced; The Dow Achieves Third-Highest Close In Its History

The 3 major indices advanced today as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed with the third-highest point value in its history. Crude for future delivery closed below the $70 mark and New York Spot Gold reached $682.40 per ounce. 1,684,599,160 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.

For the week, the DJIA gained 1.9%, the NASDAQ Composite Index gained 0.9%, and the S&P 500 gained 1.2%.


Shares of DJIA component Caterpillar gained $1.17 to a record $79.98 on news of strong profits and a bright future for the company's gas drilling equipment.


Shares of DJIA component United Technologies added $1.14 to close @ a record high $64.91. Q1 profits beat analysts' predictions, and the company recently raised its profit forecast for 2006.


Shares of eBay lost $1.72 to close @ $32.39.


Shares of insurance broker Aon lost $3.95 to close @ $37.84.


Shares of mortgage giant Fannie Mae gained $0.99 to close @ $51.41.

Shares of Countrywide gained $1.48 to close @ $41.38. Countrywide is the #1 U.S. mortgage company by size.


Shares of the #1 Texas electricity provider TXU gained $1.85 to $58.14.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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

DJIA: Closed @ 11,577.74 (+138.88)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,342.57 (+18.67)

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,325.76 (+13.51)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future closed @ $69.97/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $7.80 to close @ $682.40/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7857 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2727 U.S. Dollars

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


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Employment Situation Report for April, 2006

The Employment Situation Report for April, 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: +0.5%

Non-farm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Consensus: +200K
Actual: +138K

Average Workweek
Consensus: 33.8 hrs
Actual: 33.9 hrs

Unemployment Rate
Consensus: 4.7%
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.


>  SITEMAP  <

March 2006 Consumer Credit Status Report (Preliminary) Released Today

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

Consensus: +$4,000,000,000
Actual: +$2,500,000,000


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.


>  SITEMAP  <

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The 3 Majors Gained Ground As Crude Oil Prices Fell

The 3 major indices gained ground today as crude oil for future delivery fell below the $70 mark. 1,740,156,780 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


Shares of Whole Foods gained $8.27 to close @ $70.42 on strong profits related to new store openings.

Shares of Electronic Arts fell by $5.95 to close @ $48.55. Electronic Arts is the global #1 video game manufacturer.

Shares of Starbucks gained $1.44 to close @ $38.79 The company has recently opened 424 new stores and has added a number of green tea items to their beverage menu.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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

DJIA: Closed @ 11,438.86 (+38.58)

NASDAQ: Closed @ 2,323.90 (+19.93 )

S&P 500: Closed @ 1,312.25 (+4.40)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $70.34/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $8.60 to close @ $674.60/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7881 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2689 U.S. Dollars

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


>  SITEMAP  <

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of April 29, 2006

The U.S. Department of Labor this morning released the New Unemployment Insurance Claims report for the week that ended on April 29, 2006:

Consensus: 310,000
Actual: 322,000

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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Productivity and Labor Cost Report for Q1, 2006 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 first-quarter of 2006:

Non-farm Productivity
Consensus: +3.0 %
Actual: +3.2 %

Unit Labor Costs
Consensus: +1.3 %
Actual: +2.5 %

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

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

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

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

Click here to view the full report (PDF.)


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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The 3 Majors Lost Ground; Gold Climbed Higher; Crude Oil Got Cheaper

The 3 major indexes retreated today as investors worried that higher-than-expected Factory Orders may give The Fed impetus to raise interest rates beyond current predictions in order to keep inflation under control. 1,735,485,280 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


Shares of Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) component Procter and Gamble lost $1.89 to close @ $56.22.


Shares of Bausch & Lomb fell by $4.78 to close @ $43.97 on news that other versions of the company's ReNu brand of contact lens cleaners have been associated with an eye infection that can cause blindness.


Shares of Adobe Systems fell by $3.29 to close @ $35.06. Adobe is the global #1 graphic design software maker.


Shares of WellPoint Incorporated fell by $4.50 to close @ $67.55. WellPoint is the U.S. #1 health insurance provider.

Shares of Cigna fell by $15.50 to close @ $90.00.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,400.28 (-16.17)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,303.97 (-5.87 )

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,307.85 (-5.36)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $72.08/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $1.80 to close @ $666.00/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7915 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2634 U.S. Dollars

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


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Crude Oil Inventories Report for Week of April 28, 2006

The U.S. Crude Oil Inventories report for the week that ended on April 28, 2006 was released this morning:

Weekly Change: +1,700,000 Barrels

Yearly Change: +19,700,000 Barrels

Current U.S. Crude Oil Stocks: 346,700,000 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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U.S. Factory Orders Report for March, 2006

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

Consensus: +4.0%
Actual: +4.2%

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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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The 3 Majors Advanced; Gold Crossed The $660 mark; The Dollar Dipped

The 3 major indexes advanced today as New York Spot Gold hit $664.20 and crude oil for future delivery threatened to reach $75. 1,720,434,230 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange®.


Shares of Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) component General Motors gained $0.57 to close @ $23.21 on news of strong sales of large SUV's in April.


Shares of TXU gained $7.59 to close @ $57.50. TXU is the #1 power producer in Texas by size.


Shares of Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM) gained $3.90 to close @ a record high $41.90. ADM is prospering as demand for ethanol increases in the face of skyrocketing gas prices. ADM is the U.S. #1 producer of ethanol.


Shares of Apple Computer advanced by $2.02 to close @ $71.62 on news that the company has renewed contracts with big music labels to continue selling songs for $0.99 via iTunes.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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

DJIA: Closed Higher @ 11,416.45 (+73.16)

NASDAQ: Closed Higher @ 2,309.84 (+5.05)

S&P 500: Closed Higher @ 1,313.21 (+8.02)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $74.95/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $6.60 to close @ $664.20/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7907 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2647 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 April, 2006

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

Consensus: 13,100,000
Actual: 12,900,000

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


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Redbook Numbers for The Week of April 29, 2006

The Redbook numbers for the week of April 29, 2006 were released this morning:

Actual: +6.5%

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 by 6.5% 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, May 01, 2006

The 3 Major Indexes Retreated Today On Interest Rate Concerns

The 3 major indices lost ground today as comments made by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke caused investors to rethink the future of interest rates; today's government reports on Consumer Spending and Construction Spending fueled interest rate concerns. 1,730,736,040 shares were traded @ The New York Stock Exchange® today.

Shares of Google fell by $19.04 to close @ $398.90 on news that Amazon.com has switched from Google to Microsoft for Internet search services.

Shares of Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) component Wal-Mart gained $0.90 to close @ $45.93 on news of strong same-store sales in April.


Summary of The New York Markets:

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

DJIA: Closed Lower @ 11,343.29 (-23.85)

NASDAQ: Closed Lower @ 2,304.79 (-17.78)

S&P 500: Closed Lower @ 1,305.19 (-5.42)

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

NYMEX Crude Oil Future is currently @ $73.71/barrel

NY Spot Gold gained $6.00 to close @ $657.60/ounce

Currently, The U.S. Dollar buys 0.7959 Euros

Currently, The Euro buys 1.2564 U.S. Dollars

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


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Personal Income & Consumer Spending for March, 2006

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

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

Consensus: +0.4%
Actual: +0.6%

Personal Income
Consensus: +0.4%
Actual: +0.8%

The above percentages represent the month-to-month change in Consumer Spending and Personal Income 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 Commerce Department report.


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Construction Spending for March, 2006

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

Consensus: +0.4%
Actual: +0.9%

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 Census Bureau report.


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