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A revenue miss by J & J and a Goldman Sachs downgrade out of Meredith Whitney Advisors had investors looking for some safety during today’s trade.  Stocks closed lower by 0.25%, but equities remain largely in wait and see mode.   Earnings from Intel this evening, JP Morgan tomorrow morning and the Commerce Department’s report on retail sales will be the catalysts for the next market move.   Daily Futures wraps up the action from across all markets:

U.S. Economy
The U.S. Treasury sold $30 billion of 3-month T-bills at a median rate of .05% and $30 billion of 6-month T-bills at a median rate of .14%. The December 2010 eurodollars closed up .10 at 98.375.

Grains and Cotton
More rain is falling today in Texas and around the Mississippi River Delta and the Palmer Drought map already shows excessively moist conditions in Arkansas and Mississippi. December cotton closed up 1.20 cents at 65.88, the highest close in a year.

The USDA said that last week’s export inspections of:
Corn totaled 20.5 million bushels, down 35% from a year ago.
Soybeans totaled 14.7 million bushels, down 17% from a year ago.
Wheat totaled 17.8 million bushels, down 27% from a year ago.

The northern states of the Midwest were all below freezing this morning. The USDA’s Crop Progress report will be released later this afternoon. December corn was lower for most of the day, but ended up a half-cent at $3.817.

December cattle fell .62 to 84.67 after last night’s Larry King show on meat safety in the U.S.

After yesterday’s close, the U.S. Meat Export Federation said that beef exports were down 26% in August from a year ago and down 4% in the first eight months of 2009 from a year ago. Pork exports were down 17% in August and down 17% in the first eight months of 2009 from a year ago. December hogs ended down .15 at 53.67.

The European Cocoa Association is expected to release a corrected third-quarter grindings report on Wednesday and North American grindings are expected to come out late Thursday. December cocoa ended up $28 at $3,096.

March sugar closed up 1.16 cents to 22.79, bouncing back from last week’s sell-off while world supplies remain tight.

OPEC’s Oil Market Report for October increased their estimates of world oil demand from 84.05 to 84.24 million barrels per day (mbd) in 2009 and from 84.56 to 84.93 mbd in 2010. They also kept the 2009 estimate of world GDP growth at -1.2%, but increased the 2010 estimate from +2.5% to +2.7%. December crude oil closed up .97 at 74.71, the highest close in seven weeks.

According to Bloomberg news, the CEO of Rio Tinto expects world production of copper to match consumption in 2010 and fall a little short in 2011. December copper closed down 6.25 cents at $2.7945.

The U.K.’s Office for National Statistics said that consumer prices were up 1.1% in September from a year ago, down from a 1.6% annual gain in August and the lowest increase in five years. The December British pound finished up a penny at $1.5888.

Source: Daily Futures