A negative reading on retail sales and the ECRI’s leading index wasn’t enough to scare investors out of the market today. Stocks climbed 0.5% on the day after a better than expected reading on consumer confidence and further confidence that the Euro crisis fears are overblown. Volume was extremely light all day and breadth was mixed. Stocks will close out the week with a gain of nearly 2.5%.
From Daily Futures:
The U.S. Census Bureau said that retail sales were down 1.2% in May and up 6.9% from a year ago, weaker than expected. The June 2011 eurodollars ended up .055 at 98.88.
The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment increased from 73.6 to 75.5 in June, stronger than expected and the highest in over two years.
Grains and Cotton
Canada’s Wheat Board projected that the western Canadian seeded area for all wheat will amount to only 19.15 million acres this year, down 18% from a year ago and the smallest area since 1971, due to too much rain. July wheat finished up 7.5 cents at $4.407.
The USDA said that 40,000 tons of U.S. soybean oil was sold to China in the current 2009-2010 season. July soybean oil was up .15 at 36.90.
December corn closed up 6.5 cents at $3.71, still supported by yesterday’s reduced ending stocks estimate from the USDA and hopes that China will be a big buyer this year.
The Renewable Fuels Association said that the U.S. exported 124 million gallons of ethanol in the first four months of 2010, more than all of last year.
After the close, the USDA estimated this week’s beef production at 496.8 million pounds, down 2.8% from a year ago. Pork production was estimated at 412.7 million pounds, down 1.9% from a year ago. August hogs were up .30 at 80.35.
Coffee Jumps Higher
July coffee jumped up 7.95 cents to $1.4495 with talk of tight world supplies and a possibility that Vietnam’s producers have been holding back coffee from the market. This also the time of year when concerns of cold weather in Brazil begin and, if that’s not enough, there was also a rumor of a big buyer in the robusta market.
China’s Bureau of Statistics said that industrial output was up 16.5% in May from a year ago, down from an annual gain of 17.8% in April. Consumer prices were up 3.1% in May from a year ago, the most in over a year and a half. July copper, which is sensitive to news about China, finished up 4.15 cents at $2.9040.
The head of the U.S. Geological Survey said that British Petroleum’s fractured oil well is pouring 20,000 to 40,000 barrels of oil per day into the Gulf of Mexico, far more than previously estimated. August crude oil dropped $1.34 to $75.34.
Yesterday’s 6 to 10 day forecast from the National Weather Service expects above average temperatures and below average precipitation in the south-central U.S. August natural gas closed up 12.7 cents at $4.833.
Statistics Canada said that industries operated at 74.2% of capacity in the first quarter of 2010, up from 71.3% in the fourth quarter and more than expected.
The U.K.’s Office for National Statistics said that its index of manufacturing was down .4% in April and up 3.4% from a year ago. Also, the producer price index was up .3% in May and up 5.7% from a year ago. The September British pound closed down 1.92 cents at $1.4510.
Industrial production in India was up 17.6% in April from a year ago, more than expected.
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.