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MARKET WRAP

Stocks closed unchanged on another low volume day. Daily Futures has the action:

U.S. Economy
Bill Gross of PIMCO told CNBC that he does not expect the federal funds rate to be increased in 2010.

The Institute of Supply Managements’ index of services increased from 48.7 to 50.1 in December, a sign of slight expansion.

According to ADP Employer Services, the private sector lost 84,000 jobs in December, more than expected. However, it was an improvement from the loss of 145,000 jobs in November.

The Federal Reserve released the minutes from their latest meeting this afternoon. They said the economic recovery was “gaining momentum” and they still expect moderate growth in 2010. The March 2011 eurodollars ended higher.

Grains and Cotton
March wheat closed up 14.25 cents at $5.672 with concerns about the effects of extremely cold conditions on the winter wheat crop.

Livestock
February cattle ended down .37 at 85.95 in spite of a big snowstorm in the central U.S. and ongoing bitter cold temperatures.

As of January 1st, Russia banned poultry imports from the U.S. because they object to the use of chlorine in processing.

Orange juice
According to Florida Citrus Mutual, Florida’s citrus crop probably escaped this morning’s cold temperatures with little damage. Forecasters are still saying that temperatures will dip below 30 degrees in central Florida on Saturday morning. March orange juice was down a cent and a half at $1.4205.

Sugar
March sugar closed up .74 at 28.38, another new contract high thanks to tight world supplies and a weak U.S. dollar.

Energies
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) said that crude oil supplies were up 1.3 million barrels last week to 327.3 million barrels. Gasoline supplies were up 3.7 million barrels and heating oil supplies were down 1.3 million barrels. March crude oil finished up $1.34 at $83.75.

The DOE also said that refinery use slipped from 80.3% to 79.9% of capacity last week. Over the past four weeks, gasoline demand was up .3% from a year ago while distillate demand was down 1.0% from a year ago.

March natural gas closed up 34.8 cents at $5.94 while the U.S. continues to endure below-average temperatures.

Metals
Workers at the Chuquicamata copper mine in Chile agreed to a pay increase and ended their two-day strike. March copper closed up 8.10 cents at $3.4945, the highest close in seventeen months.

February gold closed up $17.80 at $1136.50, the highest in four weeks.

Currencies
Eurostat said that industrial new orders in the EU-27 were down 1.6% in October and down 14.1% from a year ago.

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