Stocks rallied off of morning lows to finish the day unchanged. Fears over China continued to roil the markets, but the bulls used the morning weakness as an opportunity to buy. High beta names were particularly weak this morning on the back of sizable gains over the last 4 weeks. Volume was very weak on the day as investors eye tomorrow’s Fed meeting. Breadth continued to show signs of weakness as decliners outpaced advancers by 1.5:1. All in all it was a pretty good day for the bulls, who at one point, looked as though they were going to go out heavy losers on the day.
From Daily Futures:
The Federal Reserve said that industrial production was up .1% in February, slightly better than expected. The June 2011 eurodollars ended up .05 at 98.425.
The New York Federal Reserve’s regional index of manufacturing fell from 24.9 to 22.9 in March, better than expected.
The National Association of Homebuilders sentiment index fell from 17 to 15 in March, weaker than expected. May lumber closed down its $10 daily limit at $273.00.
The June U.S. dollar index closed up .425 at 80.50, said to be supported by disappointment that Europe has not yet come up with an aid package for Greece.
Grains and Cotton
The USDA said today that South Korea bought 275,000 tons of U.S. corn. May corn was down a penny at $3.632.
The USDA said that last week’s export inspections of:
Corn totaled 36.5 million bushels, up 4% from a year ago.
Soybeans totaled 31.5 million bushels, up 32% from a year ago.
Wheat totaled 9.2 million bushels, down 29% from a year ago.
May soybeans ended up 4.5 cents at $9.30.
July wheat fell 6 cents to $4.92, pressured by plentiful supplies and a slow pace of exports.
June cattle closed up .80 at a new contract high of 93.60, supported by declining cattle inventories and a pickup in beef demand.
May cocoa dropped $54 to $2,866, pressured by today’s stronger U.S. dollar.
May copper fell 6.50 cents to $3.315 with more talk that both China and India are trying to restrain their economies.
Statistics Canada said that new vehicle sales were roughly unchanged in January at 128,426 units. Also, national net worth increased .3% in the fourth quarter to C$6 trillion. The June Canadian dollar finished down .25 at 98.02.
Canada’s Real Estate Association said that existing home sales were down 1.5% in February.