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A very uneventful session saw stocks decline on the day by 0.25%.  Volume was very light as the holiday season leaves investors with little to trade on.  This should be the theme over the coming 3 weeks.  Daily Futures has the action from all markets:

U.S. Economy
The March U.S. dollar index was down .16 at 75.81 in the aftermath of Friday’s surprisingly positive unemployment report. The March 2011 eurodollars closed up .10 at 98.375, taking back part of Friday’s big decline.

Grains and Cotton
The USDA said that last week’s export inspections for:
Corn totaled 25.92 million bushels, up 4% from a year ago.
Soybeans totaled 58.3 million bushels, up 40% from a year ago.
Wheat totaled 13.0 million bushels, down 2% from a year ago.
January soybeans were up a dime at $10.53.

February cattle were up just .10 at 83.30 with a major winter storm on its way through the Central Plains states.

This weekend’s commodity article in Barron’s was titled, “Rally in Coffee Is Brewing.” March coffee finished up 5.25 cents at $1.4660, its highest price in six weeks, with increased talk of tight world supplies and approaching winter weather in the U.S.

February gold closed down $5.50 at $1,164.00 with more profit-taking after Friday’s unemployment report.

Bloomberg news reported that London inventories of copper increased to 452,550 tons today, up 33% so far, in 2009. March copper fell 2.85 cents to $3.2090.

An arctic blast is hitting the northwestern quarter of the U.S. today. Yesterday’s 6 to 10 day forecast is expecting normal temperatures for most of the U.S. January natural gas jumped up 38.5 cents at $4.971.

January crude oil closed down $1.54 at $73.93, possibly pressured by concerns of slow economic demand.

The German Economy Ministry said that factory orders were down 2.1% in October, weaker than expected.

Statistics Canada said that building permits totaled C$6.12 billion in October, up 18% on the month and more than expected. It was also the most permits in over a year. The March Canadian dollar closed up .56 at 94.96.

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