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 Post subject: December 12th Wednesday TF, 6E & CL Futures $1870.00
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:50 pm 
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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 @ $1100.00 dollars or +11.00 points, EuroFX 6E futures @ $0.00 dollars or +0.0000 ticks and Light Crude Oil CL (WTI) futures @ $770.00 dollars or +0.77 points. Total Profit @ $1870.00 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=1390

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 Stung By Bernanke Buzzkill

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

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
Fed chairman Ben Bernanke couldn't spark a stock rally this time.

With an investor base numb to the Fed's multi-year long stimulus programs, U.S. stocks closed slightly lower Wednesday, despite the Federal Reserve's announcement that its economic stimulus programs would continue.

Stock indexes receded during Bernanke's press conference as the Fed chief failed to say what else the central bank could do to help prop up the market.

Peter Boockvar, an analyst at Miller Tabak, said investors grew spooked as they've been seeing diminishing returns overall from Fed policy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed flat. The S&P 500 eked out small gains, giving it its sixth straight positive day, while the Nasdaq dropped 0.3%. Bond prices fell, pushing the yield on the 10-year Treasury note to 1.71% from 1.66%.

The central bank's decision to continue its so-called quantitative easing was widely expected by investors. Several analysts said investors were simply selling the news.

The Fed said it will be purchasing longer-dated Treasuries after Operation Twist ends later this month. Fed officials said they would buy $45 billion of Treasuries each month beginning in 2013, and would also continue buying $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities.

Citing moderate economic activity, the central bank said it will continue buying bonds until the unemployment rate hits 6.5%. It currently stands at 7.9%. In its growth forecasts, the Fed said the unemployment rate will fall to between 7.4% and 7.7% by the end of 2013.

Related: Fed sets new jobless goal

The Federal Reserve also lowered its 2013 growth outlook to between 2.3% and 3%, down from its September forecast of at least 2.5% growth.

Aside from the Fed, investors have been keeping close tabs on fiscal cliff negotiations.

During a morning press conference, House Speaker John Boehner and Republican members of Congress gave investors few reasons to be optimistic about bipartisan cooperation over the fiscal cliff negotiations. "The longer the White House slow walks this discussion, the closer our economy gets to the fiscal cliff and the more American jobs are placed in jeopardy," said Boehner.

Lawmakers must reach a compromise to avoid the tax increases and spending cuts that are set to kick in automatically on Jan. 1. Without a deal, many economists worry that the U.S. economy could fall back into a recession.

Fear & Greed Index

On the corporate front, Costco (COST, Fortune 500) posted better-than-expected earnings and revenue for its fiscal first quarter, yet its stock closed lower.

DuPont (DD, Fortune 500) shares gained ground after the chemical company announced a $1 billion share buyback program and updated its 2012 earnings guidance to the high end of its previous range.

Nasdaq (NDAQ) announced plans to acquire three investing communications divisions from Thomson Reuters (TRI) for $390 million. Shares of both companies closed higher.

Shares of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA, Fortune 500) were briefly halted ahead of an announcement that Warren Buffett's firm bought 9,200 of its Class A shares for $131,000 apiece from the estate of a long-time shareholder.

Netflix (NFLX) shares rose after Morgan Stanley analysts increased their price target on the video rental company.

Shares of Netflix rival Coinstair (CSTR) also rose after it announced plans to team up with Verizon (VZ, Fortune 500) on a product to compete with Netflix's offerings.

European markets ended modestly higher. Asian markets continued their winning streak, even as North Korea fired a long-range rocket -- an unnerving event for many countries in the region.

The dollar fell against the euro and the British pound, but gained versus the Japanese yen.

Oil prices for January delivery added 98 cents to $86.77 a barrel, while gold priced for February delivery rose $8.4 to $1,716.60.

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Market Update

4:15 pm : Equities began the day on a slightly higher note in anticipation of the latest policy statement from the Federal Reserve. The major averages spiked to session highs upon the release of the central bank's directive. However, stocks surrendered all of their gains, and the S&P 500 finished flat.

As expected, the Federal Open Market Committee held its Federal Funds Rate steady at 0-0.25%. In addition, the Fed announced ‘Operation Twist' will be replaced by a Treasury purchasing program with an initial rate of $45 billion per month. Also of note, the key interest rate is expected to remain at exceptionally low levels until a target unemployment rate of 6.5% is reached.

In addition, the central bank has released its December projections. The outlook painted a cautious picture as the high end of its 2012 GDP growth forecast was lowered to 1.8% from 2.0%. Further, the low end of its 2013 growth expectations was reduced to 2.3% from 2.5%. Inflation expectations remain anchored and PCE inflation is not expected to exceed 2.0% over the next three years. Regarding unemployment, the Federal Reserve projects the rate to decline to 6.5% in 2015.

Following the news from the Fed, Ben Bernanke spoke in front of the media. During his press conference, the Chairman said asset purchases are expected to continue until a substantial improvement in the economy is observed. He also noted that if the effectiveness of the purchasing program declines, appropriate modifications will be made.

Gold miners have enjoyed a strong start to the session ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy statement. Following the central bank's announcement, mining shares firmed while gold saw little change. AngloGold (AU 30.92, +0.71) and Royal Gold (RGLD 83.64, +2.22) finished higher by 2.4% and 2.7%, respectively.

Among technology stocks, Apple (AAPL 539.00, -2.39) finished lower by 0.4%. Elsewhere in the space, Coinstar (CSTR 51.96, +1.15) advanced 2.3% after Northland upgraded the stock to ‘Outperform' from ‘Market Perform' with a $62 price target. In addition, Coinstar provided an update regarding its joint venture with Verizon Communications (VZ 44.79, +0.35) aimed at improving the offerings at Coinstar's Redbox video rental kiosks. The two companies also announced plans to launch an online video streaming service early next year.

Entering today, hard drive makers had risen steadily in recent days. However, Seagate (STX 27.75, -0.90) broke its winning streak and fell 3.1% after JP Morgan downgraded the stock to ‘Underweight' from ‘Neutral.' Peer Western Digital (WDC 37.86, -0.05) shed 0.1%.

Coal stocks saw broad strength and the Market Vectors Coal ETF (KOL 24.90, +0.35) advanced 1.4%. The space registered gains after two major producers received upgrades from Tudor Pickering. Arch Coal (ACI 7.65, +0.16) rose 2.1% after being upgraded to ‘Buy' from ‘Accumulate.' Meanwhile, Alpha Natural Resources (ANR 9.36, +0.26) advanced 2.9% following the upgrade to ‘Accumulate' from ‘Hold.'

In notable news, Molycorp (MCP 10.99, -0.34) slid 3.0% after announcing the departure of Chief Executive Officer Mark Smith. The company's Board of Directors has appointed Costantine Karayannopoulos as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer.

This morning, Wal-Mart (WMT 68.94, -1.95) Chief Executive Officer made cautious comments about the ongoing holiday shopping season. Wal-Mart stock lost nearly 3.0% in reaction to the comments, and the weakness spilled over to apparel retailers. The industry has a heightened sensitivity to discretionary spending, and disappointing holiday sales would prove to be a drag on the space. Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF 46.26, -0.99), Gap (GPS 31.43, -0.39), and Foot Locker (FL 33.39, -1.24) all lost between 1.2% and 3.6%.

Export prices, excluding agriculture, decreased by 0.7% in November after they had increased by 0.2% in the prior month. Excluding oil, import prices decreased by 0.2%, which follows the 0.3% increase experienced in the prior month.

The November Treasury budget showed a $172.1 billion deficit, which was wider than the deficit of $172 billion expected by the Briefing.com consensus. The report has mattered little to market participants as equity indices did not respond to the news.

Looking at tomorrow's economic data, weekly initial and continuing claims will be reported at 8:30 ET. In addition, November retail sales, retail sales ex-auto, PPI, and core PPI will also be released at 8:30 ET. Lastly, October business inventories will cross the wires at 10:00 ET.DJ30 -2.99 NASDAQ -8.49 SP500 +0.64 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 988/1.70 bln/1504 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1478/694.8 mln/1564

3:25 pm : Crude oil dipped to a pit session low of $86.06 per barrel following weaker-than-anticipated inventory data that showed a build of 0.843 mln barrels when a draw of 2.4 mln barrels was expected. However, the energy component lifted to a session high of $87.68 per barrel as the Fed announced that "Operation Twist" will be replaced by a Treasury purchasing program, OPEC agreed to retain its 30 mln bpd output target, and the dollar index struggled in negative territory. Despite slightly pulling-back in late afternoon action, crude booked a solid 1.2% gain as it closed at $86.79 per barrel.

Precious metals also rose in choppy trade as investors digested the launch of QE IV. Gold dipped to a session low of $1708.50 per ounce in morning pit action and rallied to a session high of $1725.00 per ounce following the Fed announcement. However, the yellow metal pulled-back as it headed into the close and settled with a 0.5% gain at $1718.20 per ounce. Silver popped to a session high of $33.88 per ounce and settled at $33.79 per ounce for a 2.4% gain.

Natural gas, on the other hand, extended yesterday's losses as it plunged as low as $3.37 per MMBtu in today's floor trade. It briefly poked into positive territory and brushed a session high of $3.44 per MMBtu, but ultimately settled 0.9% lower at $3.38 per MMBtu.DJ30 +7.56 NASDAQ -4.68 SP500 +2.28 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1097/1.39 bln/1402 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1563/459.7 mln/1477

3:00 pm : The S&P 500 is higher by 0.4% as trade enters the final hour.

Homebuilders are enjoying a strong session and the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB 25.94, +0.51) is rising by 2.0%. Individual builders were strong going into Federal Reserve's policy statement, and they have extended their gains since. DR Horton (DHI 19.29, +0.73), Lennar (LEN 37.98, +1.59), and PulteGroup (PHM 17.24, +0.76) are all up between 3.9% and 4.7%.DJ30 +39.63 NASDAQ +3.26 SP500 +6.10 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1242/1.26 bln/1233 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1746/420.1 mln/1276

2:30 pm : The key indices have slipped off their highs as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke addresses the media. During his remarks, Mr. Bernanke said asset purchases are expected to continue until a substantial improvement in the economy is observed. He also noted that if the effectiveness of the purchasing program declines, it will be modified appropriately.

In addition, the Central Bank has released its December projections. The outlook painted a cautious picture as the high end of 2012 GDP growth forecast was lowered to 1.8% from 2.0%. In addition, the low end of 2013 growth expectations was reduced to 2.3% from 2.5%. Inflation expectations remain low and PCE inflation is not expected to exceed 2.0% over the next three years. Regarding unemployment, the Federal Reserve projects the rate to decline to 6.5% in 2015.DJ30 +43.24 NASDAQ +4.48 SP500 +6.32 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1278/1.17 bln/1200 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1737/389.5 mln/1276

2:05 pm : The major averages are holding their levels following the release of the latest Treasury Budget.

The November Treasury Budget showed a $172.1 billion deficit, which was wider than the deficit of $113 billion expected by the Briefing.com consensus. The report has mattered little to market participants as equity indices did not respond to the news.DJ30 +64.88 NASDAQ +6.88 SP500 +8.69 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1323/1.08 bln/1132 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1866/360.5 mln/1143

1:30 pm : The major averages continue to trade near their respective highs and the Dow is rising by 0.6% The Dow Jones Transportation Average is adding 0.4% and most components are moving higher. Delta Air Lines (DAL 10.94, +0.28) is the best performing transportation stock. The air carrier is advancing 2.7% after gaining over 5.0% yesterday.

Elsewhere, railroads are outperforming. Union Pacific (UNP 125.87, +2.28) is rising by 1.9% and Norfolk Southern (NSC 62.14, +0.59) is adding 1.0%. The general strength comes after BMO Capital Markets made optimistic comments about the expected next year performance of coal and select railroad stocks.DJ30 +72.19 NASDAQ +10.05 SP500 +9.77 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1397/997.8 mln/1065 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1945/334.9 mln/1047

1:05 pm : Equities began today's session on a slightly higher note in anticipation of the results of Federal Reserve's policy meeting. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Central Bank held the Federal Funds Rate steady at 0.25%. In addition, the Fed announced ‘Operation Twist' will be replaced by a Treasury purchasing program with an initial rate of $45 billion per month. Lastly, interest rates are expected to remain at exceptionally low levels until a target unemployment rate of 6.5% is reached. The S&P 500 responded to the news by rallying to its session highs, and is firmer by 0.7% at midday.

Financials extended their early-session gains following the Federal Reserve's announcement. The SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF (XLF 16.27, +0.20) is higher by 1.2% as the sector leads the broader market. Citigroup (C 37.77, +0.77) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM 43.32, +0.68) are the top performing majors as they trade higher by 2.0% and 1.6%, respectively.

Tech stocks were under pressure early due to weakness in Apple (AAPL 543.42, +2.04). However, the stock has risen off its lows in recent trade, and it lifted the sector with it.

Elsewhere in tech, Coinstar (CSTR 53.23, +2.42) is higher by 4.8% after Northland upgraded the stock to ‘Outperform' from ‘Market Perform' with a $62 price target. In addition, Coinstar provided an update regarding its joint venture with Verizon Communications (VZ 44.83, +0.39) aimed at improving the offerings at Coinstar's Redbox video rental kiosks. The two companies also announced plans to launch an online video streaming service early next year.

In notable analyst comments, Take-Two (TTWO 13.10, +0.33) is higher by 2.7% after Piper Jaffray upgraded the stock to ‘Overweight' from ‘Neutral.'

Hard drive makers have enjoyed a strong week. However, Seagate (STX 28.05, -0.60) trades lower by 2.1% after JP Morgan downgraded the stock to ‘Underweight' from ‘Neutral.' Peer Western Digital (WDC 38.15, +0.24) is adding 0.6%.

Coal stocks are seeing broad strength and the Market Vectors Coal ETF (KOL 25.15, +0.60) is advancing 2.4%. The space is registering gains after two major producers received upgrades from Tudor Pickering. Arch Coal (ACI 7.81, +0.32) is rising by 4.4% after being upgraded to ‘Buy' from ‘Accumulate.' Meanwhile, Alpha Natural Resources (ANR 9.64, +0.54) is advancing 6.0% following the upgrade to ‘Accumulate' from ‘Hold.'

In notable news, Molycorp (MCP 10.90, -0.42) is sliding 3.7% after announcing the departure of Chief Executive Officer Mark Smith. The company's Board of Directors has appointed Costantine Karayannopoulos as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer.

Export prices, excluding agriculture, decreased by 0.7% in November after they had increased by 0.2% in the prior month. Excluding oil, import prices decreased by 0.2%, which follows the 0.3% increase experienced in the prior month.

The U.S. Treasury will release its November budget at 14:00 ET. Lastly, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will address the assembled media at 14:15 ET.DJ30 +65.59 NASDAQ +8.65 SP500 +9.48 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1360/892.5 mln/1064 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1937/304.6 mln/1040

12:35 pm : The S&P 500 ticked higher after the Federal Reserve released its latest policy statement. As expected, the Central Bank held the Federal Funds Rate steady at 0.25%. In addition, the Fed announced ‘Operation Twist' will be replaced by a Treasury purchasing program with an initial rate of $45 billion per month. Lastly, the interest rate is expected to remain at exceptionally low levels until a target unemployment rate of 6.5% is reached.

Gold miners have enjoyed a strong session ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy statement. Following the Central Bank's policy announcement, gold, as well as mining shares firmed up. AngloGold (AU 30.37, +0.16), Newmont Mining (NEM 45.42, +0.19), and Royal Gold (RGLD 82.80, +1.38) are all up between 0.3% and 1.5%.DJ30 +35.90 NASDAQ +2.23 SP500 +5.36 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1292/790.1 mln/1133 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1781/268.5 mln/1157

12:00 pm : The S&P 500 is adding 0.1% as markets await the Federal Reserve's interest rate decision due out in 30 minutes. The central bank is expected to announce an unsterilized Treasury purchase program to replace ‘Operation Twist.'

Earlier, Wal-Mart (WMT 69.33, -1.56) Chief Executive Officer made cautious comments about the ongoing holiday shopping season. Wal-Mart stock is down over 2.0% in reaction to the comments and the weakness is spilling over to apparel retailers. The industry is highly sensitive to discretionary spending and disappointing holiday sales would be a drag on the space. Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF 46.58, -0.67), Gap (GPS 31.55, -0.27), and Foot Locker (FL 33.64, -0.99) are all down between 0.8% and 3.0%.DJ30 +6.91 NASDAQ -2.41 SP500 +2.35 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1200/671.9 mln/1186 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1683/231.5 mln/1245

11:30 am : The major averages are holding their recent levels and the S&P 500 is higher by 0.2%.

Coal stocks are seeing broad strength and the Market Vectors Coal ETF (KOL 24.85, +0.30) is advancing 1.3%. The space is registering gains after two major producers received upgrades from Tudor Pickering. Arch Coal (ACI 7.81, +0.32) is rising by 4.4% after being upgraded to ‘Buy' from ‘Accumulate.' Meanwhile, Alpha Natural Resources (ANR 9.48, +0.38) is advancing 4.2% following the upgrade to ‘Accumulate' from ‘Hold.'DJ30 +20.93 NASDAQ +1.34 SP500 +3.37 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1223/572.6 mln/1111 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1715/202.3 mln/1188

11:05 am : The S&P 500 is adding 0.1% after slipping from its session high.

Tech stocks saw strength at the start of the session, but the sector has retreated since. Apple (AAPL 538.01, -3.37) is down 0.6% as the stock remains in focus.

Elsewhere in tech, Coinstar (CSTR 52.26, +1.45) is higher by 2.9% after Northland upgraded the stock to ‘Outperform' from ‘Market Perform' with a $62 price target. In addition, Coinstar provided an update regarding its joint venture with Verizon Communications (VZ 44.60, +0.16) aimed at improving the offerings at Coinstar's Redbox video rental kiosks.

In notable rating changes, Take-Two (TTWO 13.34, +0.57) is higher by 4.5% after Piper Jaffray upgraded the stock to ‘Overweight' from ‘Neutral.'

Hard drive makers have enjoyed a strong week. However, Seagate (STX 28.00, -0.65) trades lower by 2.3% after JP Morgan downgraded the stock to ‘Underweight' from ‘Neutral.' Peer Western Digital (WDC 37.98, +0.07) is adding 0.2%.DJ30 +11.33 NASDAQ -0.73 SP500 +2.01 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1202/495.5 mln/1117 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1686/177.9 mln/1199

10:40 am : Jan crude oil rallied to a pit session high of $87.16 on OPEC's decision to leave its 30 mln bpd output target unchanged. It began to pull-back as equity markets opened and sold-off slightly following weaker-than-anticipated inventory data that showed a build of 0.843 mln barrels when a draw of 2.4 mln barrels was expected. It is currently up 0.8% at $86.51.

Jan natural gas is extending yesterday's losses as it lost momentum after trading as high as $3.45 in overnight electronic trade. It dropped into negative territory and to a session low of $3.38 and is currently down 0.8% at $3.39.

Precious metals are getting a boost from a weaker dollar index. Feb gold climbed to a floor session high of $1720.40 but has sold-off in recent action. It is currently at $1714.30, or up 0.3%. Mar silver popped to a session high of $33.47 shortly after equity markets opened. It has pulled-back recently and is now at $33.29, or up 0.9%.DJ30 +10.93 NASDAQ +1.60 SP500 +2.32 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1191/394.5 mln/1074 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1634/148.9 mln/1190

09:55 am : The S&P 500 is adding 0.3% as it continues to trade near its high.

Financials are seeing gains ahead of Federal Reserve's rate decision scheduled for a 12:30 ET release. The SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF (XLF 16.18, +0.11) is higher by 0.7% as the sector leads the broader market. Citigroup (C 37.34, +0.34) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM 43.20, +0.56) are the top performing majors as they trade higher by 0.9% and 1.3%, respectively.

On the downside, Morgan Stanley (MS 17.67, -0.08) is off by 0.4% as it lags its peers.DJ30 +35.04 NASDAQ +4.06 SP500 +4.05 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1163/203.5 mln/983 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1715/97.2 mln/1025

09:45 am : Equities have maintained their bullish pre-market sentiment and the S&P 500 is higher by 0.2%.

Looking at the early sector alignment, industrials and energy stocks are outperforming. Meanwhile, consumer staples are lagging. The sector weakness is partly due to Wal-Mart (WMT 69.42, -1.47). The retailer is down 2.0% after the company's Chief Executive Officer spoke cautiously about holiday sales at Wal-Mart stores.DJ30 +38.32 NASDAQ +7.57 SP500 +4.28 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1199/148.1 mln/896 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1712/78.6 mln/982

09:14 am : [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +7.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +15.00. Heading into the open, equity futures are pointing to a higher start.

Looking at pre-market movers, Apple (AAPL 547.28, +5.89) is advancing 1.1% as the stock remains in focus.

Wal-Mart (WMT 70.26, -0.63) is slipping 0.9% after its Chief Executive Officer made cautious comments about the company's holiday sales.

Seagate (STX 27.78, -0.87) is lower by 3.0% after JP Morgan downgraded the stock to ‘Underweight' from ‘Neutral.' Peer Western Digital (WDC 37.60, -0.31) is shedding 0.8%.

The Federal Open Market Committee will announce the Federal Funds Rate at 12:30 ET, and the statement will be followed by Ben Bernanke's press conference at 14:15 ET. In addition, the U.S. Treasury will report its November budget at 14:00 ET.

08:56 am : [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +6.90. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +13.30. Equity futures have retreated off their highs, but they continue to trade in the black. The S&P 500 futures are adding 0.2%.

The major Asian bourses finished mostly higher as all but India's Sensex (-0.2%) and the Philippines' PSI (-0.2%) saw gains. The overnight bid came ahead of today's FOMC meeting where it is expected the Fed will announce an unsterilized bond buying program to replace its expiring ‘Operation Twist.' Gains came despite North Korea launching a rocket that crossed over the Japanese island of Okinawa. Japanese leaders resisted their urge to shoot down the projectile, something that would have escalated the situation even more. Overnight data was heavy as Japanese core machinery orders missed estimates (2.6% month-over-month actual versus 3.1% month-over-month expected), Australia's Westpac Consumer Sentiment disappointed (-4.1% versus -5.2% previous), India's industrial production beat (8.2% year-over-year actual versus 4.5% expected), and South Korea's unemployment rate held steady (3.0% actual versus 3.1% expected).

In Japan, the Nikkei closed higher by 0.6% to end at its best level in almost eight months. Exporters gained as the yen slipped to an eight-month low against the greenback. Honda Motor tacked on 1.3% and Canon jumped 2.6%. Elsewhere, Panasonic rallied 7.2% on reports the co was in talks to sell its camera business to a private equity fund by year-end.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng gained 0.8% as commodity-related names led the way. Baoshan Iron & Steel climbed 3.0% after announcing it will raise prices at the beginning of the year. Meanwhile, PetroChina added 0.4% after announcing a $1.63 billion takeover of BHP Billiton's stake in a liquefied natural gas project.

China's Shanghai Composite added 0.4% as financials and spirit makers extended their gains. China Merchants Bank rallied for a seventh consecutive session, tacking on another 0.6%. The stock has gained 11% during its recent rally. Elsewhere, Kweichow Moutai jumped 4.7% after its parent company purchased shares in the secondary market.

European markets are generally higher, though volumes are running below average. Regional economic data was limited, but Germany's CPI was reported in-line with expectations. Elsewhere, United Kingdom's claimant count change declined by 3,000, but the unemployment rate remained at 7.8%. In Greece, the debt buyback was a partial success as the country was unable to reduce its debt by the full target amount. Greek debt holders agreed to sell EUR31.9 billion in bonds at 33.8% of the face value.

In France, the CAC is flat. Utilities are outperforming as GDF Suez and Electricite de France trade higher by 0.3% and 2.1%, respectively. Meanwhile, consumer stocks are seeing relative weakness. Accor is sliding 0.8% and L'Oreal is off by 1.1%.

In the United Kingdom, the FTSE is higher by 0.3% and miners are seeing strength. Anglo American and Polymetal are up 2.4% and 5.0%, respectively. On the downside, consumer stocks are underperforming. Smith & Nephew is shedding 0.3% and Reckitt Benckiser is lower by 0.6%.

Germany's DAX is rising by 0.4% and ThyssenKrupp is leading the index. The steelmaker is higher by 4.2% after Jefferies upgraded the stock. Financials are also outperforming. Allianz and Commerzbank are seeing respective gains of 0.6% and 1.7%.

08:32 am : [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +6.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +12.80. Equity futures are holding their levels following the release of November import and export prices. The S&P 500 futures are higher by 0.1%.

Export prices, excluding agriculture, decreased by 0.7% in November after they had increased by 0.2% in the prior month. Excluding oil, import prices decreased by 0.2%, which follows the 0.3% increase experienced in the prior month.

07:59 am : [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +7.60. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +13.80. U.S. equity futures are modestly higher ahead of Federal Reserve's policy announcement scheduled for 12:30 ET. In addition, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a press conference at 14:15 ET.

Overnight, the global equity markets were mostly higher. Asian indices were under pressure during the morning session when North Korea launched an Unha-3 rocket. Although some expected Japan to intercept the missile, the launch ended up being a success. China's Shanghai Composite was able to recoup its early losses to close higher by 0.4%. Some favorable commentary helped pull the mainland market from underwater as Normura sees China's 2013 GDP at 8.2%. In press reports out of the region, China's next central economist meeting will provide further details regarding recent urbanization plans. Meanwhile, economic policy will remain unchanged. A state researcher sees foreign direct investment growing at 3.0% next year. Japan added to its recent surge with a gain of 0.6%, despite a slight miss in machine tool orders. The Nikkei closed at its highest level since April, led by exporters which saw gains on a weaker yen. Elsewhere, Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.8%.

European markets are generally higher, though volumes are running below average. Regional economic data was limited, but Germany's CPI was reported in-line with expectations. Elsewhere, United Kingdom's claimant count change declined by 3,000, but the unemployment rate remained at 7.8%. In Greece, the debt buyback was a partial success as the country was unable to reduce its debt by the full target amount. Greek debt holders agreed to sell EUR31.9 billion in bonds at 33.8% of the face value. Looking at regional indices, Germany's DAX and UK's FTSE are both adding 0.2% while France's CAC is flat.

In U.S. corporate news, Molycorp (MCP 10.45, -0.88) is sliding 7.8% after announcing the departure of Chief Executive Officer Mark Smith. The company's Board of Directors has appointed Costantine Karayannopoulos as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer.

Joy Global (JOY 56.93, -0.94) is lower by 1.6% despite beating on earnings and revenue. The company issued cautious full-year guidance as it expects earnings to fall below consensus while revenue is expected to be in-line with analyst forecasts.

Costco (COST 98.66, +0.35) is rising by 0.4% after beating on earnings and reporting revenue in-line with its preliminary sales estimate.

The weekly MBA Mortgage Index pointed to a 6.2% increase in new mortgage applications. Today's reading follows last week's 4.5% uptick.

Export prices ex-agriculture and import prices ex-oil will both be announced at 8:30 ET. At 12:30 ET, the Federal Open Market Committee will announce the Federal Funds Rate and the statement will be followed by Ben Bernanke's press conference at 14:15 ET. Lastly, the U.S. Treasury will report its November budget at 14:00 ET.

The U.S. Treasury will hold a $21 billion 10-yr reopening.

06:51 am : [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +6.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +10.50.

06:51 am : Nikkei...9581.46...+56.10...+0.60%. Hang Seng...22503.35...+179.40...+0.80%.

06:51 am : FTSE...5937.37...+12.30...+0.20%. DAX...7606.69...+16.90...+0.20%.

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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