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The market was all over the map today at one point trading as high as S&P 1050 then down as low as 1030 before settling at 1042.   The S&P finished the day with a 0.6% gain.

U.S. Economy – Surprising Jump in Employment Index
The Institute of Supply Management’s index of manufacturing increased from 52.6 to 55.7 in October, stronger than expected. The employment index increased from 46.2 to 53.1 in October, an unexpected sign of expansion. The December 2010 eurodollars are steady to lower.

The National Association of Realtors said that its index of pending home sales was up 6.1% in September and up 21.2% from a year ago, the biggest annual gain on record. January lumber gained $3.00 to $214.00.

The U.S. Census Bureau said that construction spending was at an annual rate of $940.3 billion in September, up .8% from the pace in August and better than expected.

Ford reported a $997 million profit in the third quarter, the first profit in four and a half years.

The Federal Reserve begins a two-day meeting tomorrow and is expected to keep the federal funds rate unchanged at .125%.

Grains and Cotton
It looks like a better forecast this week for harvest activity in the Midwest – warm temperatures and drier conditions. December corn closed up 16.25 cents at $3.822.

The USDA said that last week’s export inspections of:
Corn totaled 23.4 million bushels, up 1% from a year ago.
Soybeans totaled 63.7 million bushels, up 24% from a year ago.
Wheat totaled 11.9 million bushels, down 16% from a year ago.
November soybeans closed up 19.5 cents at $9.975.

The USDA will report on harvest progress later this afternoon. December cotton traded higher for most of the day, but finished unchanged at 67.64.

A dangerous bacteria in ground beef is being blamed for 28 illnesses and possibly two deaths in the northeastern U.S. The outbreak resulted in a recall of 546,000 pounds of ground beef products from Fairbank Farms in Ashville, New York. December cattle closed up .55 at 86.22.

December coffee jumped up 6.85 cents to $1.4235 with help from a weak U.S. dollar and concerns about the size of Colombia’s crop.

An index of manufacturing in China increased from 55.0 to 55.4 in October, the highest reading in 18 months. December copper ended down 1.05 cents at $2.9450.

December gold closed up $13.60 at $1,054.00, still seen as protection from a weak U.S. dollar.

December crude oil closed up $1.13 at $78.13 with support from several positive manufacturing reports today.

December natural gas fell 22.1 cents to $4.824 with most of the U.S. enjoying a warm, fall day.

An index of manufacturing in the U.K. increased from 49.9 to 53.7 in October, a sign of expansion and the highest score in almost two years. The Bank of England may decide later this week to increase its policy of quantitative easing. The December British pound is steady to lower.

Source: Daily Futures

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