Stocks finished mostly lower today after mixed economic news and some selling on the back of yesterday’s odd rally. Overall, the S&P finished with a loss of 0.25%. Daily Futures wraps up the action across all markets:
The S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 cities was up 1.6% in July and down 13.3% from a year ago. It was the third consecutive monthly gain. November lumber fell $2.00 to a new contract low of $168.20.
The Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence fell from 54.5 to 53.1 in September, weaker than expected. The December 2010 eurodollars were down .035 at 98.215.
Grains and Cotton
Overnight temperatures dipped into the 30’s in the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Nebraska. Yesterday’s USDA Crop Progress Report said that only 37% of the corn crop was considered mature and it is especially vulnerable in the northern states. December corn ended up 2.25 cents at $3.41.
Yesterday’s 6 to 10 day forecast from the National Weather Service shows above average temperatures expected in the eastern half of the U.S.
December wheat closed down 8.25 cents at a new contract low of $4.475 ahead of tomorrow morning’s USDA wheat production estimate and quarterly grain stocks reports.
December cotton closed down 1.45 at 61.45, the lowest close in two weeks while the southeastern U.S. tries to dry out from last week’s heavy rains.
December hogs closed up .52 at 50.25, still supported by Friday’s smaller-than-expected inventory numbers.
November feeder cattle fell .77 to 95.77, the lowest close in seven months, pressured by concerns about slow economic demand.
According to Dow Jones Newswires, wet weather in Brazil is delaying the harvest of sugarcane and also possibly hurting its quality. March sugar closed up .84 at 24.94, the highest close in three weeks.
Late yesterday, the USDA said that eight Florida packinghouses had opened and were accepting early oranges already. November orange juice was up .85 at 91.60.
November crude oil was down .13 at $66.71 ahead of tomorrow’s weekly U.S. inventory report. One week ago, gasoline supplies jumped up 5.4 million barrels, a sign of weak demand.
The U.K.’s Office for National Statistics confirmed again that real GDP was down .6% in the second quarter and down 5.5% from a year ago. Also, the Confederation of British Industry said that its index of retail sales hit its highest level in five months in September. The December pound ended up .0070 at $1.5938.
Source: Daily Futures
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.