The U.S. Commerce Department said that real GDP was up 1.4% in the fourth quarter and up slightly from a year ago. For all of 2009, real GDP was down 2.4%. The June 2011 eurodollars ended up .045 at 98.405.
The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment stayed at 73.6 in March, a little better than expected.
Grains and Cotton
Yesterday’s 6 to 10 day forecast from the National Weather Service is expecting above average temperatures over most of the Midwest with normal to above-average precipitation. May corn was up 1.75 cents at $3.567.
Livestock – Hogs Should Be Higher On Monday
After the close, the USDA said that there were 63.988 million head of hogs and pigs in the U.S. on March 1st, down 2.8% from a year ago, less than expected. Hogs kept for breeding were down 3.9% from a year ago. June hogs closed down 1.60 cents at 78.02 ahead of this afternoon’s report.
The USDA said that beef production totaled 1.96 billion pounds in February, down 2% from a year ago. Pork production totaled 1.76 billion pounds, down 3% from a year ago. June cattle closed down .55 at 91.57.
After the close, the USDA estimated this week’s beef production at 470.7 million pounds, down 3.5% from a year ago. Pork production was estimated at 444.3 million pounds, up .8% from a year ago.
A South Korean ship sunk in the Yellow Sea, possibly due to an onboard explosion. The latest comments are that North Korea was not involved, as initially suspected. April gold closed up $11.40 at $1,104.30.
May copper finished up 2.25 cents at $3.4030, helped by today’s lower U.S. dollar.
May crude oil closed down .53 at $80.00, possibly a sign of disappointment with today’s lukewarm GDP report.
Late yesterday, Euro zone officials reached an agreement to provide emergency aid to Greece, if necessary. One third of the funds would come from the International Monetary Fund and the rest from the members of the Euro zone with France and Germany kicking in the most. The bottom line is that it appears to take away the risk of Greece defaulting on its bonds. The June euro closed up 1.09 cents at $1.3400.
Japan’s Statistics Bureau said that consumer prices were down 1.1% in February from a year ago. The June yen was up .0031 at 1.0813.
Canada’s Department of Finance said that the federal government posted a deficit of $265 million in January, the smallest deficit in the current fiscal year and a strong sign of economic improvement. The June Canadian dollar dropped .56 to 97.22.
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.