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The market surged after earnings from Intel and JP Morgan showed that analysts and investors in general are still too gloomy about the profits recovery.  The trend from last quarter is largely intact – investors could care less about revenues so long as firms are beating on the bottom line and sounding optimistic about the future.  The market jumped a whopping 1.75% today.  Daily futures wraps up the action from across all markets:

U.S. Economy
The U.S. Commerce Department said that retail sales were down 1.5% in September, not as big a decline as expected. Excluding autos, sales were up .5% on the month. The December 2010 eurodollars fell .065 to 98.31.

JP Morgan surprised analysts by saying they earned $3.6 billion in the third quarter, much more than expected. Late yesterday, Intel also reported better-than-expected third quarter earnings and said they expect a strong fourth quarter. The December U.S. dollar index closed down .44 at a new contract low of 75.72.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said that its index of mortgage applications was down 6.8% last week from a year ago. January lumber closed up its $10 daily limit at $197.70 anyway.

After the close, Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s meeting in September said, “Data from the housing sector indicated that a gradual recovery in activity was under way.” Even so, committee members unanimously agreed that “economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period.”

Grains and Cotton
Rain continues to fall east of the Mississippi River, in a wide path from Wisconsin to South Carolina. December cotton closed up 1.20 cents at 67.08, the highest close in over a year.

The USDA said that 110,000 tons of U.S. soybeans were sold to China. Also, 200,000 tons of wheat were sold to Iraq. November soybeans were up a penny at $9.94.

According to Dow Jones Newswires, the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange pegged its first estimate of Argentina’s 2009-2010 wheat crop at 7.5 million tons, down from a five-year average of 14.8 million tons, due to dry conditions. December wheat was higher for most of the day, but ended up just 1.75 cents at $5.13.

The European Cocoa Association released corrected figures today, saying that the cocoa grind totaled 343,471 tons in the third quarter, down 1.5% from a year ago. That was a big improvement from the 11.3% annual drop in the second quarter. December cocoa closed up $53 at $3,149.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s weekly inventory report will be released tomorrow morning due to the Columbus day holiday. December crude oil finished up .89 at $75.60, the highest close in seven weeks, playing off of the weaker dollar and yesterday’s higher demand estimates from OPEC.

December copper closed up a nickel at $2.8445 after China said that their copper imports were up 23% in September.

The U.K.’s Office for National Statistics said that the June to August unemployment rate remained at 7.9%, better than expected. The December British pound closed up .0076 at $1.5964.

Source: Daily Futures

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