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MARKET WRAP – RELIEF RALLY SENDS STOCKS HIGHER

U.S. markets finished higher by 0.4% on the day as it looks as though Ben Bernanke will garner enough support for 4 more years of non-stop money printing.   Volume was about average and breadth was positive at 3:2.  All in all, this looks like another low conviction buying day – a trend we have seen through much of January on up days.   Interestingly, high beta names were poor relative performers on the day as the risk trade appears to be a bit muted.  The rest of the week is loaded with data, earnings, a Fed meeting and what will almost certainly be a very tough talking President Obama at his first State of the Union address on Wednesday evening.  Investors remain somewhat cautious heading into the week.

From Daily Futures:

U.S. Economy
The National Association of Realtors said that U.S. existing home sales were at an annual rate of 5.45 million units in December, down 16.7% on the month and much less than expected.

The Dallas Federal Reserve’s regional index of manufacturing increased from 3.2 to 8.3 in January.

Grains and Cotton
The USDA said that last week’s export inspections of
Corn totaled 20.7 million bushels, down 33% from a year ago.
Soybeans totaled 42.2 million bushels, up 10% from a year ago.
Wheat totaled 16.9 million bushels, up 3% from a year ago.
March soybeans are steady to lower.

Livestock
April cattle are steady to lower after Friday’s report showed cattle on-feed down 2% from a year ago and a little less than expected.

Friday afternoon’s cold storage report showed frozen pork supplies down 15% from a year ago, a little less than expected. April hogs are trading lower.

Lumber
Statistics Canada said that lumber production by sawmills totaled 3.929 million cubic meters in November, down 14% from a year ago. March lumber is steady to higher.

Energies
The 6 to 10 day forecast from the National Weather Service is expecting below average temperatures for most of the U.S., especially the central states. March natural gas is steady.

Currencies
The Bank of Japan meets tomorrow and is expected to keep the interest rate unchanged at .10%. The March yen is steady to lower with some expecting some form of monetary easing on the way.

Eurostat said that its index of new industrial orders for the EU-27 was up 2.6% in November; not 1.8%, as reported on Friday.

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