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It was another slow day for the markets.  Chicago PMI was strong on the day which likely implies relatively good ISM readings next week.  The market ended the day flat on extraordinarily light volume.  The real action won’t begin until next Monday.  Daily Futures wraps up the day:

U.S. Economy
The Chicago Purchasing Managers’ index increased from 56.1 to 60.0 in December, stronger than expected and the highest since January of 2006. The March 2011 eurodollars closed up .04 at 98.15.

The U.S. Treasury sold $32 billion of 7-year T-notes at a median yield of 3.29% with a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.72. The March U.S. T-bonds were up 15/32nds at 115.28/32nds.

Grains and Cotton
China continues to buy soybeans – The USDA said today that China bought 348,000 tons of U.S. soybeans for 2009-2010. March soybeans ended down 2.5 cents at $10.445.

After the close, the USDA said that there were 65.807 million hogs and pigs in inventory as of December 1st, down 2% from a year ago, but a little more than expected. The September to November pig crop was up .2% from a year ago. February hogs ended up .20 at 65.62.

The government of India said that it will extend its ban on trading sugar futures contracts from tomorrow until September 30, 2010 due to tight supplies. March sugar closed up .19 at 26.96.

Orange juice
The chances for freezing temperatures in central Florida look less likely in today’s forecast. March orange juice fell 3.75 cents to $1.3690.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) said that crude oil supplies were down 1.5 million barrels last week to 326.0 million barrels. Supplies of gasoline were down 300,000 barrels and heating oil supplies were down 1.9 million barrels. March crude oil ended up .44 at $80.03.

The DOE also said that refinery use increased from 80.0% to 80.3% of capacity last week. Over the past four weeks, gasoline demand was up 1.1% from a year ago while distillate demand was down 2.8% from a year ago.

March copper closed up 3.15 cents at $3.345 after workers voted to strike at the Chuquicamata mine in Chile, starting on January 4th.

An index of retail sales in the Euro area from Markit Economics increased from 48.9 to 50.3 in December, a sign of expansion. The March euro was down .0017 at $1.4333.