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Despite meager losses the bulls have to come away from today feeling pretty satisfied.   The S&P closed at the flatline after being down almost 1% earlier in the day.   Investors are using every dip to pour more money into this market.  It now appears obvious that fund managers are chasing the year-end performance and using any dip to boost their poor performance.   The market has an almost irrational feel to it right now.  A “can’t lose” feel.   That generally worries me, but with strong seasonal trends and greedy fund managers at the helm until the end of 2009 you just never know what will happen in the near-term.  Daily Futures has all the action:

U.S. Economy
The U.S. Labor Department said that the consumer price index was up .3% in October, slightly more than expected. From a year ago, consumer prices were down .2%. The December 2010 eurodollars were up .02 at 98.795.

The U.S. Census Bureau said that housing starts were at an annual rate of 529,000 in October, down 10.6% on the month and much weaker than expected. January lumber closed down $9.00 at $230.50 after closing limit-up the previous two days.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said that its index of mortgage applications was down 2.5% last week, to 611.7.

St. Louis Federal Reserve President, James Bullard, said that interest rates may not go up until early-2012.

Grains and Cotton
Rain continues to pester Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. December corn dropped 4 cents to $3.98. December soybean meal, however, closed up $1.80 at $310.50, its highest close in three months.

According to Bloomberg news, farmers in India are withholding their sugar from the mills in anticipation of higher prices ahead. March sugar closed up .20 at 23.30 ahead of tomorrow afternoon’s USDA report.

Orange juice
The Florida Department of Citrus said that there were 103.53 million gallons of frozen orange juice concentrate in inventory on November 7th, up 6% from a year ago. January orange juice ended up .0045 at $1.1285.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) said that crude oil supplies were down 900,000 barrels last week to 336.8 million barrels. Supplies of gasoline were down 1.7 million barrels due to low imports and heating oil supplies were up 300,000 barrels. December crude oil ended up .44 at $79.58.

The DOE also said that refinery use slipped from 79.9% to 79.4% of capacity last week. Over the past four weeks, gasoline demand was down .4% from a year ago while distillate demand was down 11.4% from a year ago.

December gold closed up $1.80 at another new contract high of $1,141.20.

Statistics Canada said that consumer prices were up .1% in October from a year ago, the first annual gain in five months.

Eurostat said that construction output was down 1.1% in the EU-27 in September.

An index of leading indicators in Australia was up .9% in September, stronger than expected.

Source: Daily Futures

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