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 Post subject: Dec 31st Mon Emini TF, EuroFX 6E & Oil CL Futures $3920.00
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:46 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:06 pm
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Trade Results of M.A. Perry
Trader and Founder of WRB Analysis (wide range body/bar analysis)
Price Action Trading (no technical indicators)

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click on the above image to view today's performance verification

Price Action Trade Performance for Today: Emini TF ($TF_F) futures @ $2880.00 dollars or +28.80 points, EuroFX 6E futures @ $0.00 dollars or +0.0000 ticks and Light Crude Oil CL (WTI) futures @ $1040.00 dollars or +1.04 points. Total Profit @ $3920.00 dollars.

Russell 2000 Emini TF Futures: 1 tick or 0.10 = $10.00 dollars and there's more contract information @ The ICE
Light Crude Oil CL (WTI) Futures: 1 tick or 0.01 = $10.00 dollars and there's more contract information @ CMEGroup
CME EuroFX 6E Futures: 1 tick or 0.0001 = $12.50 dollars and there's more contract information @ CMEGroup
S&P 500 Emini ES Futures: 1 tick or 0.25 = $12.50 dollars and there's more contract information @ CMEGroup

In addition, all trades were posted real-time in the free #TheStrategyLab chat room. You can read today's #TheStrategyLab trading chat room logs for details (e.g. time, price, contract size) about each one of my trades from entry to exit along with price action commentary as the trade traversed in comparison to what's shown in the above image...all archived @ http://www.thestrategylab.com/ftchat/forum/viewtopic.php?f=111&t=1401

Also, posted below are direct links to information about my price action trade methodology and trading plan (there's a difference between the two) that enables me to identify key trading areas in the price action that represent changes in supply/demand and volatility along with being able to exploit these changes via WRB Analysis (wide range body/bar analysis). I'm primarily a day trader because it suits my personal lifestyle but I do occasionally swing trade and position trade.

Image Price Action Analysis via WRB Analysis Tutorials @ http://www.thestrategylab.com/WRBAnalysisTutorials.htm and there's a free study guide of the WRB Analysis Tutorial Chapters 1, 2 and 3 @ http://www.thestrategylab.com/tsl/forum/viewtopic.php?f=119&t=718

Image Trade Signal Strategies via Volatility Trading Report (VTR) @ http://www.thestrategylab.com/VolatilityTrading.htm and there's a free trade signal strategy @ http://www.thestrategylab.com/tsl/forum/viewforum.php?f=89 so that you can freely test drive one of our price action trade strategies with support prior to purchasing the Volatility Trading Report (VTR).

Image Trading Plan Daily Routine @ http://www.thestrategylab.com/tsl/forum/viewtopic.php?f=197&t=1686

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Market Summaries

The below summaries by Bloomberg, CNNMoney, Reuters and Yahoo! Finance helps me to do a quick review of the fundamentals, FED/ECB/IMF actions or any important global economic events (e.g. Eurozone, MarketWatch.com) that had an impact on today's price action. Simply, I'm a strong believer that key market events causes key changes in supply/demand and volatility resulting in trade opportunities (swing points and strong continuation price actions) that reach profit targets. Thus, I pay attention to these key market events while using WRB Analysis from one trade to the next trade to give me the market context before the appearance of my technical analysis trade signals. Therefore, I maintain these archives to allow me to understand what was happening on any given trading day in the past involving key market events to help better understand my trade decisions (day trading, swing trading, position trading)...something I can not get from my broker statements alone.

Stocks Rally On Hopes Congress Might Act

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click on the above image to view today's price action of key markets

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
U.S. stocks rallied Monday, ending a volatile year on a high note, as investors welcomed signs a fiscal cliff deal is taking shape in Washington.

On the final day of 2012, the Dow Jones Industrial average rose 1.3%, or more than 167 points. The S&P 500 added 1.7%. The Nasdaq rose 2%, with shares of Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) gaining 4.6%.

The advance came on light volume, since many professional investors are away from their desks for the holidays, traders said. While an official agreement has yet to be announced, investors were relieved that lawmakers appear to be moving toward an agreement to prevent tax hikes and spending cuts from taking effect Jan. 1.

"Investors were expecting the worst, so anything positive coming out of Washington is greeted with buying," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank.

President Barack Obama said an agreement to prevent taxes from going up on middle-class households "is within sight, but it's not done."

"There are still issues left to resolve, but we are hopeful that Congress can get it done," the president told a gathering of "folks" at the White House.

Obama chided lawmakers for waiting until the last possible minute, acknowledging that he will not be leaving town for the New Year holiday. "It looks like I will be spending New Year's here, in D.C.," he said.

After the president's speech, Senator Mitch McConnell said lawmakers are "very, very close" to a deal.

Congress appears to be near an agreement to raise the income tax rate on top earners to what it was during President Bill Clinton's last term in office, according to sources close to the process.

The deal would also increase estate taxes, extend unemployment benefits and potentially put off the $110 billion in automatic spending cuts called for under the fiscal cliff, sources told CNN.

The proposal, assuming lawmakers in both chambers approve it, would prevent the full force of the fiscal cliff from hitting the economy. But it does not address the nation's long-term fiscal problems and will not resolve the uncertainty hanging over the market, said Ron Florance, managing director of investment strategy at Wells Fargo Private Bank.

"They are a day late and several trillion dollars short of solving this problem," said Florance. "It's an embarrassment."

If a deal is announced after U.S. markets close today, global investors will not have an opportunity to respond until the Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng markets open for trading Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.

All major global markets will be closed Jan. 1 in observance of New Year's Day.

Related: Fear & Greed Index ends the year in greed

Despite all the uncertainty, U.S. stocks have had a pretty good year overall, with all three indexes up between 7% and 16%. By comparison, stocks ended 2011 almost exactly where they began the year, although there was a lot of movement in between.

Stocks rallied in the first quarter of 2012 on hopes the Federal Reserve would step up its stimulus policies. But the market took a tumble in May as concerns about Europe's debt crisis resurfaced and the U.S. economy stalled. After bouncing back in the summer, stocks hit a high for the year in September, when the Fed announced more asset purchases.

In November, stocks fell anew after Obama beat out Republican challenger Mitt Romeny in the race for the White House. Investors have been sidelined by the fiscal cliff ever since, with stocks ending little changed in December.

The ongoing battle over taxes and spending in Washington will continue to cause volatility in the market over the short term, said Florance. But he said stocks are still priced at attractive levels relative to expectations for corporate earnings next year.

"We see a pretty healthy environment for stock investors next year," said Florance. "We're not exuberant, but modestly bullish."

Related: S&P 500 winners and losers 2012

On Friday, European markets ended mixed. Stocks in London and Frankfurt fell, while the Paris market advanced. Asian stocks got a boost from strong manufacturing data out of China. The Shanghai Composite, one of the world's worst performing indexes, managed to eke out a 3% gain for the year and the Nikkei, which was closed Monday, ended the year with a 20% gain.

Meanwhile, oil prices eased and gold prices edged higher. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 1.72%. The U.S. dollar gained versus the euro and the yen, but fell against the British pound.

One of the only pieces of company news was a $665 million deal announced late Sunday to buy investment banking firm Duff & Phelps (DPG) by a joint venture led by the Carlyle Group (CG). The offer price represented a 19% premium over Duff & Phelps' stock close Friday.

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Market Update

4:10 pm : Equities began today's session on a slightly lower note after the weekend failed to advance the budget negotiations. The talks have now entered the 11th hour, and the likelihood of a timely, comprehensive agreement remains distant. However, recent reports out of Washington indicated the two sides have made some progress on revenues, but the debate over spending cuts is scheduled to continue. Equities rallied broadly amid low volume and the S&P 500 finished higher by 1.7%. The materials sector outperformed after the Chinese HSBC Manufacturing PMI report beat expectations. The strong PMI reading was received as a positive sign for the country's economy, which in turn would be a positive for the future demand for basic materials. Technology stocks also outperformed and Apple (AAPL 532.17, +22.58) rose by 4.4%.

With 2012 coming to a close, we would like to take a minute and reflect on the year that was.

2012 proved to be a positive year for world equities despite a number of macroeconomic challenges. Markets across the globe registered strong gains as Germany's DAX and Greece's ASE General Index both added over 30%. Domestically, the S&P 500 registered a solid 12% gain, and was slightly outperformed by the Nasdaq and Russell 2000. The renewed worries regarding the weakening fundamentals of the Eurozone persisted into the summer and weighed on market sentiment. However, late-summer efforts from the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve alleviated some of the fears, and propelled the markets to a strong second-half performance. The rally was cut short after the election, when the market focus turned to the budget debate, which lasted into the New Year. Below we summarize some of the key developments, which contributed to market sentiment.

Central Banks Maintained Accommodative Policy Course, With Diminishing Returns

Taking a look at past QE operations from the Fed, the first QE program saw the S&P gain nearly 70%. During QE II, the index gained 23%. So far, following the announcement of QE III--which was unveiled in September of 2012--the S&P has lost 4% as concerns over the Fiscal Cliff weighed. Taking a look at Fed's actions in 2012:
January 25th - The Fed said it would keep rates low through 2014.
June 20th - The FOMC extended its 'operation twist' program until the end of 2012.
September 13th -- The Federal Reserve announced its decision to increase policy accommodations by purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 bln per month.
December 12th -- The Fed announced ‘Operation Twist' will be replaced by a Treasury purchasing program with an initial rate of $45 billion per month. The key interest rate was expected to remain at exceptionally low levels until a target unemployment rate of 6.5% is reached.
Looking ahead to 2013, the Fed voters will change at the end of this year and will become slightly more dovish overall.
Incoming voters include, Charles Evans, Eric Rosengren, James Bullard, and Kansas City Fed's Esther George.
Others rotating off include Cleveland Fed President Sandra Pianalto, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart and San Francisco Fed President John Williams.

Politics Added Volatility to Markets

U.S. Presidential Election
Key indices rallied into the election and the S&P 500 advanced nearly 1% on Election Day, only to fall 6% in the two weeks following.
The loss of optimism post-election was attributed to questions whether a Democratic president and a split Congress can strike a budget deal to avoid going over the fiscal cliff.
Fiscal Cliff Arrived at Year's End
Following the U.S. presidential election, the attention turned to the budget debate. The automatic spending cuts and tax hikes scheduled to take place if no budget agreement is reached became known as the 'Fiscal Cliff.'
The markets maintained their upward bias through the bulk of the debate, but the final week of the year resulted in a sell-off as the likelihood of a timely compromise diminished.

U.S. Stocks Led by Homebuilders and Financials

Housing was a bright spot in the broader economy; as such homebuilders saw robust returns and the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) surged 49%.
Among major individual builders, Lennar (LEN, +87%), PulteGroup (PHM, +172%), D.R. Horton (DHI, +49%), Standard Pacific (SPF, +119%) all saw outsized gains.
Despite the observed uptrend in housing data, it should be noted that housing starts, new, and pending home sales remain below historical averages entering 2013. In addition, foreclosure rates remain elevated.
Financials Outperformed Despite Debt Worries and some notable trading issues
Financial shares beat the market with the XLF ETF gaining 24% for the year versus a 12% gain in the S&P 500. The better than expected recovery that we discussed in housing contributed to the gains. The financial sector saw strong returns despite a handful of challenges.
JP Morgan London Whale Trade: After the bell on May 10, the U.S. financials were rattled by the news indicating JPMorgan Chase (JPM) had significant mark-to-market losses in its synthetic credit portfolio. It took nearly 5 months for JPM to recover.
Knight Capital (KCG) Trading Glitch and Sale: On August 1st, a trading glitch at KCG caused nearly 150 stocks to behave erratically. Just before the end of the year, KCG and GETCO Holding announced a merger at $3.75 per share in cash. Knight Capital (KCG) shares finished the year lower by 71%.
Investors Focused on the Largest Tech Stock - Apple
With years of strong performance and solid fundamentals, Apple (AAPL) was favored by investors in early 2012, and it had become a top hedge fund holding.
Apple surged nearly 65% through the first three quarters of the year, and marked its all-time high in the $705 area.
After climbing to its all-time high, the stock tumbled 30%, but still managed to finish the year 24% higher.
The notable slide came amid numerous factors including disappointing product launch, stepped up competition and the once-rich profit margins have compressed through the year.

European Markets Saw Strongest Overall Performance

Despite continued uncertainty and ongoing debt problems, broad Euro region equity averages returned more than 15% this year.
The spring reignited worries regarding Greek solvency. Despite the mid-summer uncertainty, the Greek ASE returned 33%, and was the best performing global index.
Concerns about Spain followed Greece; Spain's IBEX fared much worse with a 5% loss on the year.
The country's heavily-strained banking system caused the 10-yr benchmark yield to cross above 7.00% before a bank recapitalization package was approved by the European Central Bank.
The approval of the bank recapitalization combined with ECB's Outright Monetary Transactions helped ease the pressure on yields, which slipped back below 7.00%.

Asian Region Fared Well With Strength in India (+31%), Japan (+22%) and Hong Kong (+23%)

In Japan, Shinzo Abe was elected prime minister on the platform of promoting economic growth and bringing the country out of its economic malaise.
Mr. Abe had previously held the post in 2006. The country's new prime minister vowed to defeat inflation and promised to increase government spending. The Japanese market cheered the plans and the Nikkei registered the bulk of its gains in the final six weeks of the year.

Looking Ahead to 2013

As mentioned in Briefing.com's Market View (published 12/17/2012), A year has made a lot of difference for equity investors in a good way. Unfortunately, we are not as hopeful about the market outlook entering 2013. Once again, we can point to three factors in particular driving our perspective:
Economic growth is decelerating
Fiscal austerity is just beginning in the US and there is too much complacency about its outcome
Earnings growth estimates are too high

Those factors may not conspire to produce a negative return for the stock market in 2013, yet they present real obstacles for achieving another strong gain and raise the importance of managing against downside risk. Fiscal austerity will bite, as we have seen in the eurozone, political friction will persist both here and abroad, and earnings growth is unlikely to measure up to currently high expectations.

2013 is loaded with potential to be a fundamentally disappointing year. That might not translate directly in terms of stock market returns given the Fed's influence, yet investors should take care nonetheless to manage against downside risk.

Wishing you the very best in 2013!

-The Briefing.com TeamDJ30 +166.03 NASDAQ +59.20 SP500 +23.76 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 2051/1.49 bln/491 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 2651/692.2 mln/434

3:30 pm : Crude oil trended higher as investors tracked progress of fiscal cliff negotiations that are nearing the year-end deadline. The energy component rose to a session high of $91.95 per barrel and settled at $91.78 per barrel for a 1.1% gain. Despite today's advance, oil lost about 7.1% over the year.

Natural gas fell deeper into negative territory and closed at its session low of $3.35 per MMBtu with a 3.5% loss. Still, it booked a gain of ~11.3% for the year. Precious metals also advanced during today's pit trade on the last-minute fiscal cliff negotiations.

Gold popped to a session high of $1681.00 per ounce and settled at $1676.00 per ounce for a gain of 1.2%, ending the year about 7% higher.

Silver rallied to a session high of $30.47 per ounce but pulled-back slightly as it headed into the close. Still, it booked a 0.9% gain for the session, and ended the year ~8.3% higher as it closed at $30.25 per ounce.DJ30 +99.42 NASDAQ +46.65 SP500 +16.16 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1871/1169.5 mln/649 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 2457/403 mln/575

3:00 pm : The major averages have risen to fresh highs as headlines from Washington continue to roll in. The latest headlines have quoted Senator Mitch McConnell as saying the agreement on all tax issues has been reached. Currently, the S&P 500 is higher by 1.5%.

A handful of companies will report their quarterly results during the first week of 2013. Most notably, Family Dollar (FDO 63.24, +0.54) and Mosaic (MOS 56.55, +1.34) are among the names scheduled to report. On Thursday morning, Family Dollar will reveal its results and the Capital IQ consensus expects the retailer to report earnings of $0.75 on $2.38 billion in revenue.

On Friday morning, Mosaic is expected to report earnings of $0.98 on revenue of 2.56 billion.

Also of note, athletic footwear manufacturer Finish Line (FL 32.08, +0.28) and steelmaker Worthington (WOR 26.07, +0.97) will also report their earnings this week.DJ30 +152.21 NASDAQ +60.38 SP500 +21.88 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1912/1.05 bln/590 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 2501/364.1 mln/527

2:30 pm : The S&P 500 has returned near its session high and the benchmark index is firmer by 0.9%.

The volatility index, or VIX, came into focus during recent sessions as investors sought out more downside protection in the event Washington lawmakers fail to reach a timely budget compromise. As a result, the volatility measure crossed and held above 20 for the first time in five months.

With the broader market registering gains today, the VIX is surrendering over 11.0%, but the volatility index remains above the 20 level.DJ30 +64.92 NASDAQ +40.13 SP500 +12.88 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1779/934.2 mln/710 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 2352/324.6 mln/654

2:00 pm : President Obama has just concluded his brief press conference. During his remarks, the president said that an agreement is ‘in sight,' but several hurdles remain in the way. Mr. Obama also said that an agreement to deal with automatic spending cuts must be balanced, and revenues must be part of an agreement in order to turn off the sequester. In response to the president's comments, the major averages slipped off their respective highs. Currently, the S&P 500 is firmer by 0.7%.DJ30 +49.79 NASDAQ +32.75 SP500 +10.36 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1696/866.3 mln/774 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 2243/303.2 mln/754

1:30 pm : The major averages are holding near their respective highs and the S&P 500 is firmer by 1.2%.

The Dow Jones Transportation Average is adding 0.8% as all twenty components trade higher. Airlines are registering notable gains and Delta Air Lines (DAL 11.94, +0.44) is the top performer, up 3.8%. In addition, trucking stocks are outperforming as JB Hunt (JBHT 59.45, +0.97), CH Robinson (CHRW 62.97, +0.82), and Landstar System (LSTR 52.65, +1.03) all see gains in excess of 1.0%.DJ30 +56.01 NASDAQ +35.29 SP500 +11.08 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1734/771.2 mln/730 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 2255/269.9 mln/731

1:00 pm : Today's session began on a slightly lower note after the weekend failed to advance the budget negotiations. The talks are now entering the 11th hour, but the likelihood of a timely, comprehensive agreement has become dim. However, recent reports from Washington have indicated the two sides may be nearing a deal on revenues. President Obama is scheduled to make a statement at 13:30 ET.

The materials sector is the top performer as steelmakers display relative strength. Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF 37.96, +2.38) is rising by 6.7% and the Market Vectors Steel ETF (SLX 48.41, +0.98) is adding 2.1%. The metal producers are enjoying an upbeat session after last night's Chinese HSBC Manufacturing PMI report beat expectations. The strong PMI reading was received as a positive sign for the country's economy, which in turn would be a positive for future steel demand.

Technology stocks are outperforming, and the SPDR Technology Select Sector ETF (XLK 28.66, +0.30) is adding 1.1%. The notable strength among tech names comes as Apple (AAPL 526.87, +17.28) trades higher by 3.3%.

Elsewhere, Intel (INTC 20.45, +0.22) is firmer by 1.1% after earlier reports indicated the company is readying the launch of a set-top box which would allow consumers to stream video and access additional digital content.

Also of note, Facebook (FB 26.53, +0.61) is higher by 2.4% after Stifel Nicolaus reiterated its ‘Buy' rating on the stock. In addition, the investment bank raised the price target for Facebook to $31.

Financials saw an uptick in recent trade after reports indicated the president is scheduled to speak at 13:30 ET. Bank of America (BAC 11.49, +0.13) and Morgan Stanley (MS 18.81, +0.18) are seeing respective gains of 1.2% and 1.0%. On balance, the financial sector saw notable strength in 2012, and the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF (XLF 16.26, +0.08) is poised to register a 22% gain for the year.DJ30 +45.36 NASDAQ +28.52 SP500 +8.25 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1679/680.5 mln/775 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 2149/240.4 mln/820

12:30 pm : Equities have shown little change in recent trade and the S&P 500 is adding 0.3%.

The outcome of the on-going budget debate is likely to have an effect on defense stocks. Today, the PHLX Defense Sector Index is flat after gaining nearly 14% on the year. Among large cap defense names, Boeing (BA 74.34, -0.35), Embraer (ERJ 28.02, -0.14), and Lockheed Martin (LMT 90.80, -0.53) are all down near 0.5%.DJ30 +1.78 NASDAQ +21.50 SP500 +4.33 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1622/575.8 mln/822 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 2045/208.1 mln/899

12:00 pm : Equities are holding their levels and the S&P 500 is adding 0.2%.

Financial stocks are mixed as the market continues to receive headlines from the capital. Bank of America (BAC 11.43, +0.07) is a notable outperformer among the majors as the stock trades higher by 0.7%. Meanwhile, Citigroup (C 38.85, -0.16) and Goldman Sachs (GS 125.06, -0.46) are both shedding 0.4%.

Despite the mixed performance during today's trade, financials have seen notable strength in 2012. The SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF (XLF 16.17, -0.01) is poised to register a 22% gain for the year.DJ30 -7.53 NASDAQ +18.83 SP500 +3.21 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1558/510.1 mln/851 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1963/188.1 mln/944

11:30 am : The S&P 500 is higher by 0.2% as quiet morning trade continues.

The consumer staple sector is the weakest S&P 500 space. Cal-Maine Foods (CALM 40.10, -4.36) is slipping 9.8% after reporting mixed earnings. During the second quarter, the food distributor earned $0.60, which was $0.37 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate. However, the company's revenue of $328.9 million beat expectations. Peers Hain Celestial (HAIN 52.57, -0.11) and Mondelez International (MDLZ 25.03, -0.23) are both down near 0.5%.

Elsewhere, beverage producers are weighing on staple stocks. Pepsico (PEP 67.43, -0.59) is slipping 0.9% and Coca-Cola (KO 35.76, -0.21) is off by 0.6%.DJ30 -6.88 NASDAQ +17.41 SP500 +2.98 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1558/437.8 mln/832 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1994/167.1 mln/890

11:00 am : The major averages are holding their recent levels, and the S&P 500 is adding 0.2%.

The technology sector is among the top performers, and the SPDR Technology Select Sector ETF (XLK 28.52, +0.16) is adding 0.6%. The notable outperformance among technology stocks comes as Apple (AAPL 525.41, +15.82) trades higher by 3.1%.

Elsewhere, Intel (INTC 20.28, +0.05) is adding 0.2% after earlier reports indicated the company is readying the launch of a set-top box which would allow consumers to stream video and access additional digital content.

Lastly, Facebook (FB 26.41, +0.49) is adding 1.9% after Stifel Nicolaus reiterated its ‘Buy' rating on the stock. In addition, the investment bank raised the price target for Facebook to $31.DJ30 -11.51 NASDAQ +15.76 SP500 +2.74 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1386/350.9 mln/971 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1869/139.9 mln/994

10:30 am : Fiscal Cliff headlines have helped create some additional volatility today in commodities, especially a recent headline from Senator Corker (after Senator Corker on CNBC said he thinks they'll get a cliff deal, although there won't be meaningful moves on deficit reduction).

Crude oil prices have rallied higher since hitting its LoD of $90.00 about three hours ago, while natural gas prices continue to trade near its session low.

Feb crude oil pushed through the $91 level in recent trade and is now +0.4% at $91.18/barrel. Feb nat gas fell as low as $3.37 this morning and is now -2.4% at $3.39/MMBtu.

Precious metals are higher this morning with Feb gold now +0.5% at $1664.40/oz and Mar silver +0.5% at $30.14/oz. Mar copper is higher as well, currently showing a gain of 0.8% at $3.62/lb.DJ30 +9.95 NASDAQ +23.01 SP500 +4.99 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1519/265.5 mln/788 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1992/113 mln/836

10:00 am : The S&P 500 is adding 0.3% as the benchmark index trades near its session high. Recent reports out of Washington have included quotes from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who said discussions are ‘progressing.' However, Senator Reid also said hedged his optimism by saying ‘we are not there yet, though.'

The materials sector is seeing relative strength as steelmakers outperform. Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF 37.21, +1.63) is rising by 4.6% and the Market Vectors Steel ETF (SLX 47.84, +0.41) is adding 0.9%. The metal producers are enjoying an upbeat session after last night's Chinese HSBC Manufacturing PMI report beat expectations. The strong PMI reading was received as a positive sign for the country's economy, which in turn would be a positive for future steel demand.DJ30 +6.29 NASDAQ +17.08 SP500 +4.19 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1227/158.3 mln/998 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1556/81.3 mln/1183

09:45 am : The major averages have risen off their opening levels and the S&P 500 is adding 0.1%.

Looking at the early sector alignment, technology and materials are leading the way. Meanwhile, utilities and health care stocks are underperforming.

The largest tech company, Apple (AAPL 517.80, +8.21) is higher by 1.6% as it outperforms the broader market.DJ30 -3.19 NASDAQ +9.47 SP500 +1.63 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1080/91.6 mln/1067 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1443/61.5 mln/1256

09:15 am : S&P futures vs fair value: -3.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -3.50. Heading into the open, the S&P 500 futures continue to trade higher by 0.7%. Though equity futures are advancing, they remain slightly below fair value thus indicating a marginally lower open.

As mentioned before, the lack of meaningful weekend progress in the budget negotiations suggests that no "grand bargain" will be accomplished in time. However, with Congress in session today, there are indications that a patchwork deal could be struck, and push concrete talks into the first weeks of the new year.

Glancing at pre-market advancers, Intel (INTC 20.43, +0.20) is adding 1.0% after reports indicated the company is readying the launch of a set-top box which would allow consumers to stream video and access additional digital content.

09:01 am : [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -1.40. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: flat. Equity futures have risen to fresh pre-market highs following comments from Senator Bob Corker. During his appearance on CNBC, Senator Corker said he believes an agreement will be reached, but he doesn't expect meaningful moves to take place in regards to deficit reduction. The S&P 500 futures are now higher by 0.8%.

Looking at pre-market movers, Cal-Maine Foods (CALM 42.07, -2.39) is slipping 5.4% after reporting mixed earnings. During the second quarter, the food distributor earned $0.60, which was $0.37 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate. However, the company's revenue of $328.9 million beat expectations.

08:29 am : [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -6.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -13.00.

U.S. equity futures are seeing modest gains as the S&P 500 futures trade near their pre-market highs.

The major Asian bourses finished mixed amid a quiet holiday trade; however, notable outperformance came from the Shanghai Composite (+1.6%) after China's HSBC Final manufacturing PMI climbed to a 19-month high of 51.5 (50.9 expected). The better than expected number came despite continued weakness in new exports. Also propelling the index higher was a report suggesting Chinese insurers would be able to set up mutual funds. There were scattered closings across the region as markets shuttered an extra day for the New Year. Other data to emerge from the region showed Australia's private sector credit hold steady on expectations of a 0.3% month-over-month gain.
In Japan, the Nikkei was closed.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished unchanged in holiday-shortened trade. Insurers outperformed the broader index as China Life jumped 3.1% to lead the way.
In China, the Shanghai Composite settled higher by 1.6% as insurance and brokerage firms paced the advance. New China Life surged the daily limit, 10%, while rival China Life Insurance rallied 5.8%. Elsewhere, Everbright Securities tacked on 3.6% to lead the sector higher.

European markets finished the abbreviated final session of the year on a mixed note. Economic data released across the region was limited to British housing equity withdrawals. The report pointed to a GBP8 billion quarter-over-quarter decline, while the reading was broadly expected to slip by GBP9.1 billion. In news, weekend reports indicated pensioners and savers whose funds were invested in Bankia will likely seek legal recourse. Elsewhere, the French Supreme Court has struck down the proposed 75% tax on citizens earning over EUR 1 million.
In the United Kingdom, the FTSE shed 0.5% and financials underperformed. Admiral Group shed 1.4% and Lloyds Banking Group lost 1.6%. On the upside, consumer stocks saw relative strength. Kingfisher and Wolseley saw respective gains of 0.8% and 0.6%.
France's CAC added 0.6% as utilities paced the advance. Electricite de France, GDF Suez, and Veolia Environnement all gained between 1.0% and 1.3%. On the downside, real estate investment trust Unibail-Rodamco lost 1.6% and was the weakest performer.
Germany's DAX was closed.

08:01 am : [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -8.10. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -15.50.

U.S. equity futures are mixed amid abbreviated overseas trade. Note that weakness into Friday’s cash close continued in the after-hours futures market, and a lower open is expected as a result. The S&P 500 futures are currently surrendering nine points as compared to fair value, indicating a 0.7% decline. The pre-market sentiment comes after the weekend failed to produce meaningful advancements in the budget negotiation. Comments made by top lawmakers yesterday suggested entitlement programs remain as one of the main points of contention. The Senate is expected to resume work today at 11:00 ET and frequent updates from Capitol Hill can be expected.

Taking a look at overseas markets:

Asian markets finished mixed: Hong Kong's Hang Seng settled with fractional losses, and ended the year with a 22% return. Meanwhile, China's Shanghai Composite gained 1.6%, and finished the year flat. Japan's Nikkei was closed, but the index gained 23% during 2012.
Reviewing the region's economic data:
China's HSBC Manufacturing PMI came in at 51.50, which was well ahead of the reading of 50.90 expected by the general consensus.
In news:
Chinese financials outperformed after the country's Securities Regulatory Commission said brokerages and insurance firms would be permitted to manage mutual funds.

European markets finished the shortened session on a mixed note. The United Kingdom's FTSE shed 0.7%, bringing its annual return to 7.0%. France's CAC added 0.8%, and registered a 19% gain for the year. Lastly, Germany's DAX was closed, but the index booked a 32% gain for 2012.
Economic data was limited:
The United Kingdom's Housing Equity Withdrawal report indicated a GBP8 billion quarter-over-quarter decline, while the general consensus expected the reading to decrease by GBP9.1 billion.
In news:
The French Supreme Court has rejected the country's 75% tax on those earning over EUR1 million.
Reports out of Spain indicate savers and pensioners whose funds were invested in the troubled Bankia are likely to seek legal recourse.

In U.S. corporate news:

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY 32.45, +0.55) is higher by 1.7% after Atlantic Equities upgraded the stock to ‘Neutral' from ‘Underweight.'

There is no economic data scheduled to be released today.

06:19 am : [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -7.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -14.80.

06:19 am : Nikkei...Holiday......... Hang Seng...22656.92...-9.70...0.00.

06:19 am : FTSE...5908.54...-16.80...-0.30%. DAX...Holiday.........

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

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

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