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The S&P 500 traded 0.4% higher as investors try to position themselves for the onslaught of earnings later in the week.  Oil rallied for the 5th consecutive day, copper was essentially flat and the VIX traded flat as well.  Volume was well under a billion shares at the NYSE as the holiday trading proved to be light.  Daily Futures wraps up the action from all markets:

U.S. Economy
U.S. government offices were closed for Columbus day, but the markets were open.

A survey by National Association of Business Economists showed that 80% of respondents believed that the recession is over and the economy is growing again. The December 2010 eurodollars were up .025 at 98.275.

Grains and Cotton
December corn closed up 19 cents at $3.812 and November soybeans closed up 35 cents at $9.99 after several northern Midwest states experienced snow, rain, and freezing temperatures over the weekend.

Due to Columbus day, the USDA’s Crop Progress and Export Inspections Reports will be released tomorrow.

Even December wheat closed up 26.25 cents at $4.942, in sympathy with the recent harvest problems for corn and soybeans.

December cotton jumped up 1.66 cents to 64.68 with ongoing patterns of rain in the southeastern U.S., especially over the Mississippi River delta.

Tonight, Larry King hosts a discussion of meat safety in the U.S. December cattle were up .35 at 85.30. November feeder cattle ended down .30 at 94.17, pressured by higher corn prices.

December cocoa fell $175 to $3,068 in spite of today’s weaker U.S. dollar. The European Cocoa Association (ECA) said on Friday that third-quarter grindings were up 16.5% from a year ago, but then later said that there were errors in the reported data. The ECA is expected to release a corrected report on Tuesday and North American grindings are expected to come out late Thursday.

Orange juice
January orange juice closed up 3.40 cents at $1.1525, the highest close in two months, still strong after Friday’s bullish USDA estimate of the upcoming Florida orange crop.

Industrial production in India was up 10.4% in August from a year ago, stronger than expected and the biggest monthly gain in almost two years. December copper closed up 1.90 cents at $2.8570.

December gold finished up $8.90 at a new record high of $1,057.50.

December crude oil gained $1.49 to $73.74, helped by the weak dollar and improved economic news.

The December Canadian dollar closed up .87 at 96.67, the highest in a year, still enjoying the good news from Friday’s jobs report.

Real GDP in Singapore was up .8% in the third quarter from a year ago, the first annual gain in a year.

Source: Daily Futures