The S&P 500 rallied 0.4% on the day after yesterday’s big rally. Investors are looking for a huge job’s number tomorrow on the back of signs of private sector recovery and a sizable contribution from the government census hiring. Volume was fairly low on the day and breadth was positive at 1.5:1.
From Daily Futures:
The U.S. Labor Department said that jobless claims were down 10,000 last week to 453,000, roughly as expected. The June U.S. T-bonds were down 13/32nds at 122.16/32nds ahead of tomorrow’s monthly unemployment report.
The Labor Department also revised non-farm productivity lower, from an annual rate of 3.6% growth in the first quarter to an annual rate of 2.8% growth. Unit labor costs were down 4.2% in the first quarter from a year ago.
The Institute of Supply Management’s index of services stayed at 55.4 in May, the fifth consecutive month of expansion.
ADP Employer Services said that the private sector added 55,000 jobs in May, less than expected. In April, the number of new jobs was revised higher, from 32,000 to 65,000.
The Commerce Department said that factory orders were up 1.2% in April.
The June 2011 eurodollars ended down .005 at 98.66 after Atlanta Fed President Lockhart said that the time to raise interest rates is not here yet, but is getting close. It seems too early yet, but Kansas City’s Fed President said that he favors raising the federal funds rate to 1.0%.
Grains and Cotton
The USDA said that wheat exports ended the 2009-2010 season down 16% from the previous year, a little less than their latest estimate for a 15% decline. July wheat ended down three-quarters of a cent at $4.417.
July soybean meal bucked the recent selling trend in grains and jumped up $12.60 to $284.00. Old crop soybeans are in relatively tight supply before this fall’s crop is available.
The U.N. said in today’s Food Outlook that they expect world bovine production to be up .3% in 2010 and world pigmeat production to be up 2.0%. Overall, they expect the world’s per capita meat consumption to be up .6% in 2010. August cattle closed down .62 at 90.12.
Today’s biennial Food Outlook from the U.N. said that “preliminary projections for (world sugar in) 2010/11 indicate a small production surplus for the first time since 2007/08, providing some downward pressure on prices.” July sugar was up .05 at 13.99.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) said that underground supplies of natural gas were up 88 billion cubic feet last week to 2.357 trillion cubic feet, a little less than expected. Supplies are now up 2% from a year ago. July natural gas jumped up 26.6 cents to $4.69, the highest close in eleven weeks.
The DOE said that crude oil supplies were down 1.9 million barrels last week to 363.2 million barrels. Supplies of gasoline were down 2.6 million barrels and heating oil supplies were down 900,000 barrels. July crude oil closed up $1.75 at $74.61.
The DOE also said that refinery use slipped from 87.8% to 87.5% of capacity last week. Over the past four weeks, gasoline demand was up .5% from a year ago while distillate demand was up 17.1% from a year ago.
July copper fell 9.40 cents to $2.9465, blamed on concerns that China’s economy may be slowing down.
Eurostat said that retail sales volume in the EU-27 was down 1.2% in April and down 1.6% from a year ago, weaker than expected.
The Euro zone’s composite purchasing managers’ index fell from 57.3 to 56.4 in May, still a sign of expansion. The June euro fell .0062 to a new contract low of $1.2178.
Japan’s Finance Ministry said that capital spending was down 11.5% in the first quarter of 2010, weaker than expected. Also, Japan’s Democratic Party meets on Friday to pick the next Prime Minister and many are saying that it will be Finance Minister Naoto Kan. The June Japanese yen dropped .0059 to 1.0790.
Is China slowing down? Australia’s Bureau of Statistics said that exports were up 11% in April while imports were unchanged. The June Australian dollar closed up .67 at 84.21.
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.