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Stocks were mostly unfazed by the potential of greater financial regulation, impending lawsuits against more financial firms and the big decline in Chinese stocks. Your regularly scheduled Monday melt-up continued today as the market rallied 0.45% marking the 26th Monday rally in the last 33 Monday’s – a truly staggering stat.  A look under the hood shows a bit of weakness, however.  Volume was relatively heavy compared to previous weeks, but much of the heavy volume came during a brief morning sell-off.  Breadth was also weak at 2:1.  High beta names were down on the day as investors sold into the recent strength in tech shares and small cap names.  All in all, not a terrible day for the bulls considering the many negatives, but for a Monday, this was a disappointment.

From Daily Futures:

U.S. Economy
Citigroup said that they earned $4.43 billion in the first quarter, up from $966 million a year ago, helped by fewer losses from bad loans. Some are citing this as evidence of improvement among the big banks, in general.

The Conference Board’s index of leading indicators was up 1.4% in March, stronger than expected and the twelfth consecutive monthly increase. The June 2011 eurodollars ended down .035 at 98.585.

Grains and Cotton
Weather.com shows several chances of rain across the central U.S. this week. Yesterday’s 6 to 10 day forecast from the National Weather Service expects above average precipitation in the Midwest.

The USDA said that 120,000 tons of U.S. corn were sold to unknown destinations and 110,000 tons were sold to South Korea. July corn fell 16.75 cents to $3.572.

The USDA also said that a sale of 165,000 tons of U.S. soybeans to China in 2009-2010 was cancelled and replaced by a sale for the same amount in 2010-2011. July soybeans were down 8.5 cents at $9.865.

The USDA said that last week’s export inspections of:
Corn totaled 37.7 million bushels, down 8% from a year ago.
Soybeans totaled 15.7 million bushels, down 28% from a year ago.
Wheat totaled 17.7 million bushels, up 17% from a year ago.
July wheat broke Friday’s optimism and closed down 23 cents at $4.795, pressured by today’s higher dollar.

It is somewhat impressive that July cotton traded lower for most of the day while the U.S. dollar was higher, but then closed up .01 at 81.60.

July lumber closed up its $10 daily limit for the second consecutive day at $335.60. The existing home sales report is due out on Thursday and the new home sales report on Friday.

It looks like sugar prices are finding support at 16 cents. July sugar bounced back from Friday’s loss and closed up .87 at 17.05.

June crude oil fell $1.54 to $83.13, spooked by a few things:
1. Air traffic over Europe is still restricted due to Iceland’s volcano.
2. Market nervousness about the SEC action against Goldman Sachs.
3. Firmer U.S. dollar, supported by ongoing debt problems in Europe.

Eurostat said that construction output in the EU-27 was down 2.9% in February and down 10.2% from a year ago. Also, European officials are supposed to meet with the Greek government later this week. The June euro finished down .0023 at 1.3475.

The June Canadian dollar ended down .02 at 98.51, influenced by weakness in the prices of gold and crude oil.

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