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 Post subject: August 18th Wednesday 2010 Emini TF ($TF_F) points +3.30
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:52 am 
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Special thanks to Bloomberg, CNNMoney and Yahoo! Finance for their market summaries. gm

U.S. Stocks Advance on Merger and Acquistion Speculation: Video
Aug. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg's Courtney Donohoe reports on the performance of the U.S. equity market today. Stocks rallied, taking the Standard & Poor's 500 Index higher for a third day, as takeover speculation swirling around homebuilders and commodity producers overshadowed an energy-company slump as oil prices dropped.

Stocks Rally For Second Day In A Row
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By Annalyn Censky, staff reporter
August 18, 2010: 4:51 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- U.S. stocks posted their second consecutive day of gains Wednesday, turning the market around after a week's worth of losses.

After starting out the day lower, the Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) rose 10 points, or 0.1%, to 10,416 the S&P 500 (SPX) inched up 2 points, or 0.2%, to 1,094 and the Nasdaq (COMP) composite rose 6 points, or 0.3%, to 2,216.

Those gains built on Wall Street's strong advance the day before. But with no major economic releases on tap Wednesday, the market was having trouble finding direction as stocks jumped around throughout the day.

Target seemed to lift the retail sector when the company offered a profit outlook for the current quarter that was in line with analysts' estimates, even though its latest earnings were lackluster.

Otherwise, a sheer lack of other economic reports seemed to buoy markets, said Bruce McCain, senior vice president and chief investment strategist of Key Private Bank.

"This is just the eye of the storm where there's not a lot of economic information that's roiling the markets," he said. "An absence of anything terribly bad has buoyed expectations."

Bonds: Treasury prices eased Wednesday, pushing yields up. The yield on the 10-year note rose to 2.64% from 2.63% late Tuesday. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Companies: Discount retailer Target (TGT, Fortune 500) reported a profit that rose 14% from a year earlier and was in line with expectations, but the company missed revenue forecasts.

After falling earlier in the session, shares of Target rose 2.7% in afternoon trading as investors welcomed the company's outlook for its current quarter -- which is in line with analyst expectations. On a call with investors in the morning, Target management hinted at improved sales this fall.

Meanwhile, energy companies Chevron (CVX, Fortune 500) and Exxon Mobil (XOM, Fortune 500) dragged on the Dow's gains. Their stocks fell about 1% after the government announced both crude and gasoline inventories were at unusually high levels for August.

Speculators are concerned that demand for fuel is not keeping up with growing U.S. stockpiles.

Mining giant BHP Billiton (BHP) said Wednesday it was taking its takeover offer for Potash (POT) directly to the fertilizer giant's shareholders. On Tuesday, Potash's board rejected BHP's $38.6 billion bid.

Potash shares, which were up nearly 28% Tuesday, gained another 3.6% Wednesday, while BHP was down 2.9% after a 2% drop the day before.

Deere (DE, Fortune 500) posted better-than-expected profit and revenue for its third fiscal quarter, but the farm-equipment maker's earnings forecast for the current quarter of $375 million is below the $385 million analysts were looking for. Shares of Deere fell 1.8%.

Just before the closing bell, General Motors filed for an initial public offering that could drastically reduce the holdings of the U.S. government, which currently owns 61% of the company, and repay some taxpayer money used to bail the company out. The company did not disclose how many shares it will sell, or at what price.

World markets: Markets in Asia ended the session mixed. Japan's benchmark Nikkei jumped 0.9%. But the Hang Seng in Hong Kong and the Shanghai Composite both finished the session with losses.

European markets all closed lower, with France's CAC 40 dropping 0.4%, the FTSE 100 in Britain falling 0.9% and Germany's DAX losing 0.3%.
0:00 /11:10How Obama can help big business

Currencies and commodities: The dollar gained against the euro, but fell against the U.K. pound and the Japanese yen.

Oil futures for September delivery fell 35 cents to settle at $75.42 a barrel. Gold for December delivery rose $3.10 to settle at $1,231.40.

Image

Yahoo! Finance

4:30 pm : For the second straight session the 1100 line kept a cap on the S&P 500, but the benchmark index still managed to make a modest gain despite a lack of legitimate catalysts.

Early weakness had stocks start the session in negative territory. At its low the S&P 500 was down 0.6% as support just above the 1085 line helped limit losses.

A modest bid for tech stocks helped pull the major averages out of their midmorning funk. Financials eventually joined in the effort and soon the broader market was sporting a solid gain. Despite their leadership, the S&P 500 failed to breach the 1100 line and faded into the close for the second straight session.

Shares of retailers held on to enviable gains, though. Led by Target (TGT 51.95, +1.27), which reported in-line earnings and expressed comfort with the consensus earnings forecast in its conference call, the group finished with a 1.7% gain.

The latest quarterly announcement from Deere & Co (DE 65.98, -1.25) featured a better-than-expected bottom line and a strong outlook, but shares of the industrial play fell behind.

Potash (POT 147.93, +4.76) continued to attract attention amid news that an acquisition proposal from BHP Billiton (BHP 68.18, -2.03) has been taken directly to POT shareholders.

Energy stocks were the worst performers of the day. The sector surrendered 1.1% as oil and gas equipment plays and drillers were shunned.

Lower oil prices didn't help the energy sector's prospects, but the commodity still slashed its losses. Crude oil futures prices closed 0.5% lower at $75.42 per barrel after they were down more than 2% in the early going. The price swing followed the latest oil inventory data, which actually showed a smaller-than-expected draw of 818,000 barrels.

Gold prices also made a swing for the better. Prices were as low as $1218 per ounce, but settled with a 0.3% gain at $1231.40 per ounce. The move flew in the face of the greenback's bounce from a 0.4% loss to a 0.1% gain.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury Note finished flat after a solid start, but the 30-year Bond closed with a gain of about 16 ticks.

Advancing Sectors: Consumer Discretionary (+0.9%), Telecom (+0.7%), Tech (+0.5%), Materials (+0.4%), Financials (+0.4%), Industrials (+0.1%), Consumer Staples (+0.1%)
Declining Sectors: Energy (-1.1%), Utilities (-0.5%), Health Care (-0.1%)DJ30 +9.69 NASDAQ +6.26 NQ100 +0.3% R2K +0.3% SP400 +0.3% SP500 +1.62 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1315/1.67 bln/1282 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1760/922 mln/1234

3:30 pm : Five of the six major commodity groups closed near the neutral line - only livestock made a strong move as it rallied 2.4% amid a 3.3% climb in lean hogs - so the CRB Commodity Index settled with a slight loss of just 0.1%. It had been down as much as 1.1%.

September crude oil futures prices closed lower by 0.5% at $75.42 per barrel. Though that marked oil's sixth slide in seven days, the loss wasn't nearly as severe as what had appeared to be taking shape in the early going, when prices were down more than 2%.

Oil prices improved their position following the release of oil inventory data for the week ending August 13. The data showed a smaller-than-expected draw of 818,000 barrels.

Natural gas prices never found much support. Instead, the commodity closed with a 0.8% loss at $4.24 per MMBtu.

Among precious metals plays, December gold futures rebounded from session lows of $1218 per ounce to settle with a 0.3% gain at $1231.40 per ounce. September silver tried to stage a swing, but it still logged a 1.1% loss as it settled at $18.40 per ounce. DJ30 +18.54 NASDAQ +7.64 SP500 +2.29 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1316/1.31 bln/1282 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1756/631 mln/1231

3:00 pm : This session's trading volume is heaviest among tech stocks and financial stocks, which are also the two biggest sectors by market weight. Specifically, Citigroup (C 3.87, +0.02), Bank of America (BAC 13.44, +0.23), Cisco (CSCO 22.48, +0.43), Intel (INTC 19.76, +0.23), and Microsoft (MSFT 24.89, +0.18) make up the top five most actively traded names by volume.

However, overall volume remains low as fewer than 600 million shares have traded hands this session, and only an hour remains before the closing bell sounds. DJ30 +41.70 NASDAQ +13.88 SP500 +4.92 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1482/1.18 bln/1088 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1931/569 mln/1043

2:30 pm : Retailers remain strong. As a group they now sport a 2.1% gain. They have been out in front of the broader market all session.

Though not quite as impressive, materials stocks have made their way to a 0.9% gain, which marks a session high. Potash (POT 147.65, +4.48) remains in focus due to news that BHP Billiton (BHP 68.39, -1.82) has taken its takeover proposal for POT directly to the company's shareholders. DJ30 +46.02 NASDAQ +15.93 SP500 +5.38 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1534/1.09 bln/1027 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1939/525 mln/1016

2:00 pm : Stocks remain near session highs as the S&P 500 faces resistance at the 1100 line. Stocks had shadowed the line in the prior session before eventually fading into the close.

Though the broader market has had a hard time extending its move, financial stocks have jumped out to a 1.1% gain, which puts it at a fresh session high. The sector's strength is underpinned by diversified banks (+1.3%) and diversified financial services stocks (+1.6%). DJ30 +66.30 NASDAQ +19.45 SP500 +7.23 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1562/1.00 bln/981 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 2022/481 mln/936

1:30 pm : Treasuries have retreated a bit since this morning. Specifically, the benchmark 10-year Note, which was up as much as a dozen ticks this morning, is now up just four ticks at the moment. As for the 30-year Bond, it is still looking strong with a 28-tick gain, but that's as impressive as the 40-tick gain that it had sported in the early going. DJ30 +62.97 NASDAQ +18.95 SP500 +6.79 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1559/922 mln/980 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 2004/440 mln/929

1:00 pm : The S&P 500 recently made a nice push to a solid gain after plodding along the neutral line for the past hour.

The mixed action of late comes after a rather weak start that saw all three of the major indices fall to a modest loss. However, a bounce by tech stocks has since helped take the Nasdaq to a solid gain.

Given its market weight, tech has also helped the broader market. Financials have also provided some support. Both sectors are up 0.5%.

The consumer discretionary sector is in the strongest shape. It is up 1.1% as shares of for-profit education providers rebound from the 52-week lows that many of them set in the past couple of sessions.

Retailers are also strong. Target (TGT 52.08, +1.40) overcame a sluggish start to provide leadership to the space after expressing comfort with the consensus earnings forecast for third and fourth quarters.

In contrast, Deere (DE 65.70, -1.53) posted an upside earnings surprise and issued strong guidance, but its shares have succumbed to the efforts of sellers.

Energy stocks have been a heavy drag on trade all day. The sector is down 1.0% as oil prices grapple with selling pressure of their own. Oil prices were down more than 2% at their session low, but the commodity began to improve its position following news of a smaller-than-expected inventory draw. Oil currently trades at $74.85 per barrel with a 1.2% loss.

Gold prices have rallied to $1231.60 per ounce, which gives them a 0.4% gain, after they had been as low as $1218 per ounce this morning.

Gold's gain comes in the face of a bounce by the dollar, which is now down only fractionally against competing currencies. DJ30 +23.73 NASDAQ +13.37 SP500 +3.48 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1444/834 mln/1051 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1850/397 mln/1068

12:30 pm : Gold prices have rallied since a marked loss early this morning. The precious metal was as low as $1218 per ounce, but it now sports a 0.4% gain at almost $1232 per ounce, which marks a fresh session high.

Gold's gain comes even though the dollar is on the mend. Specifically, the greenback had lagged a basket of competing currencies this morning, but it is now flat. DJ30 -7.19 NASDAQ +7.76 SP500 +0.10 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1222/748 mln/1235 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1588/358 mln/1317

12:00 pm : The S&P 500 recently poked into positive territory for the first time this session. The move has been led by tech stocks, which are up 0.4%, and consumer discretionary stocks, which are up 1.0%.

Energy stocks continue to act as a drag on broader trade. The sector is down 1.3% at the moment. Most of that loss is owed to weakness in oil well services and equipment plays like Schlumberger (SLB 59.13, -1.18), Diamond Offshore (DO 61.00, -1.19), and Noble (NE 32.61, -0.70). Though oil prices have gradually improved from this morning's low of $73.83 per barrel, oil is still down 1.2% at $74.85 per barrel and weighing on the energy sector. DJ30 -4.54 NASDAQ +7.92 SP500 +0.31 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1244/680 mln/1188 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1603/325 mln/1291

11:30 am : Strength in retailers (+1.0%) has helped the consumer discretionary sector make its way to a 0.6% gain, which is more than any other major sector in the S&P 500. Shares of Target (TGT 51.78, +1.10) recently ripped higher so that they now sport a gain of more than 2% after opening the session in the red. The swing follows management's comments during today's conference call that the current consensus forecast for third and fourth quarter earnings is responsible and within a range of possible outcomes.

In contrast, BJ's Wholesale Club (BJ 41.44, -1.87) remains under pressure after the company came short of the consensus earnings estimate for the latest quarter, then compounded the offense by lowering its outlook. DJ30 -25.73 NASDAQ +1.61 SP500 -1.26 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1101/588 mln/1313 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1443/280 mln/1409

11:05 am : Stocks have spent the morning chopping along without any clear direction. That has left the major indices to remain in negative territory with modest losses.

Treasuries have been strong, however. Gains are most pronounced at the long end of the yield curve. Specifically, the 5-year Note is up a rather tame four ticks, but the 10-year Note is up a dozen ticks and the 30-year Bond has climbed 40 ticks. Their yields stand at 1.41%, 2.59%, and 3.69%, respectively. DJ30 -42.27 NASDAQ -3.36 SP500 -3.54 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 933/480 mln/1436 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1270/223 mln/1568

10:30 am : Oil prices were down more than 2% just minutes ago, but news that crude oil inventory for the week ended August 13 had a draw of 818,000 barrels when a draw of 1 million barrels had been expected has actually pulled prices up a bit. Oil now trades at $74.40 per barrel with a 1.8% loss.

Elsewhere in the commodities space, natural gas prices are down 0.5% at $4.24 per MMBtu.

Precious metals are under stiff pressure. Specifically, gold prices have dropped 0.7% to $1218 per ounce, while silver was last quoted with a 1.7% loss at $18.28 per ounce.

Such broad weakness among commodities has the CRB Commodity Index down 0.9%. DJ30 -64.10 NASDAQ -7.50 SP500 -6.01 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 696/362 mln/1623 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 961/167 mln/1825

10:00 am : As a group, education services stocks dropped 1.5% to a 52-week low in the prior session, but they have caught a bid in the face of broader market weakness this morning. The bid has favored the likes of Apollo Group (APOL 41.50, +1.14), DeVry (DV 39.56, +1.15), Corinthian Colleges (COCO 5.21, +0.21), and Career Education Corp (CECO 18.34, +0.46).

Tech stocks have made an upward turn so that the sector now trades with a fractional gain. The move has helped the tech-rich Nasdaq trim its loss, though it still remains in the red with the other headline indices. Tech stocks are currently led by semiconductor plays, which are up 0.4% at the moment. DJ30 -48.74 NASDAQ -4.55 SP500 -4.01 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 692/220 mln/1499 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 922/101 mln/1755

09:45 am : Stocks are under moderate pressure in the first few minutes of trade. The weak state comes in contrast to the rather flat tone of premarket trade.

Energy stocks are under the most pressure. The sector has already shed 1.3% as oil prices drop 2.2% to $74.10 per barrel ahead of the weekly oil inventory report at 10:30 AM ET.

Retailers have managed to limit their losses. The space is down 0.2%, collectively, as home improvement retailers (+0.7%) stage enviable gains. Target (TGT 50.07, -0.61) is a drag on the group, though the company posted in-line earnings results for its latest quarter. DJ30 -74.02 NASDAQ -11.96 SP500 -6.46 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 543/148 mln/1589 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 696/75 mln/1994

09:15 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +0.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -1.30. Stock futures point to a flat start for trade on Wednesday. The tepid tone comes after stocks staged strong gains in the prior session, though technical resistance capped the move. There hasn't been any data or inspiring headlines to give stocks much direction this morning. A strong quarterly report from Deere (DE) hasn't done anything to influence the mood of traders. In fact, the stock is down 0.5% in premarket trade. In other earnings news, Target (TGT) posted in-line results, but its shares are down some 3% ahead of the open. The dollar is down for the third straight session. Such a streak of losses makes for a poor follow up to last week's 3.1% gain, which marked its best weekly performance since May. The dollar's latest loss comes at the hand of a stronger euro and stronger yen. Trade among overseas markets is mixed.

09:00 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +1.60. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -1.50. Stock futures are in step with fair value. Meanwhile, the dollar has dipped to a fresh morning low, where it trades with a 0.3% loss against a basket of major foreign currencies. Weakness among commodities has the CRB Commodity Index down 0.3%. Oil has been under particularly stiff selling pressure, such that the commodity is down 1.1% to $74.95 per barrel ahead of the latest weekly inventory count at 10:30 AM ET.

08:30 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +0.10. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -4.00.

Futures for the S&P 500 have picked up a couple of points in the past few minutes. Meanwhile, Germany's is now flat after recovering from a modest loss in the wake of a 1.6% climb during the prior session. In the latest episode of action, financials (-0.6%) and consumer goods stocks (-0.5%) are weak, but health care stocks (+0.5%) and technology plays (+0.3%) have provided some support. K+S AG is a strong performer for the second straight session, such that the stock is up more than 7% since Monday's close. In France, the CAC is down just 0.1% since rallying 1.8% on Tuesday. Of its major sectors, health care (+0.7%) and industrials (+0.3%) are providing the most support, while materials (-0.6%) drag. Britain's FTSE booked a 1.4% gain in the prior session, but in the latest round of trade it is down 0.6% as declining issues outnumber advancers by 3-to-2. HSBC (HBC) is one of the heaviest drags on trade, while Inmarsat PLC provides support.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei rallied to a 0.9% gain after it settled the prior session at a multimonth closing low. Honda Motor (HMC) and Fast Retailing were leaders, while Shiseido was a drag. Renewed support for the yen, which is currently near 85.3 yen per dollar, hampered exporters. Mainland China's Shanghai Composite shed 0.2% as heavyweights PetroChina (PTR), China Petroleum (SNP), and Industrial & Commercial Bank succumbed to further selling. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.5% as industrial plays (-0.9%) and energy plays (-0.8%) weighed heavily on trade. Consumer goods stocks (+0.8%) attracted support, though.

08:00 am : S&P futures vs fair value: -1.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -6.30. The stock market booked a big gain on Tuesday, but there hasn't been much follow through. In turn, stock futures are flat this morning. On the earnings front, Deere (DE) posted a better-than-expected bottom line and issued strong guidance for its top line, while Target (TGT) announced results that were in-line with Wall Street's consensus forecast. No economic data is on tap for today, but weekly oil inventory figures will be released at 10:30 AM ET. In overseas trade, Europe's major bourses are down with varied losses after they climbed in the previous session. Asia's Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng slid, but the Nikkei bounced back from a multimonth closing low to settle with an impressive gain.

06:45 am : S&P futures vs fair value: -2.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -8.00.

06:45 am : Nikkei...9240.54...+78.90...+0.90%. Hang Seng...21022.73...-114.70...-0.50%.

06:45 am : FTSE...5315.02...-35.50...-0.70%. DAX...6189.32...-17.10...-0.30%.

Special thanks to Bloomberg, CNNMoney and Yahoo! Finance for their market summaries. gm

Best Regards,
M.A. Perry
Trader and Founder of WRB Analysis (wide range body analysis)
Image@ http://twitter.com/wrbtrader and http://stocktwits.com/wrbtrader

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