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 Post subject: May 1st Friday 2009
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 4:35 pm 
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Today's trades that were posted in real-time in #FuturesTrades chat room via my IRC user name NihabaAshi. You can review each trade from entry to exit along with commentary and an occasional trading tip because its all archived @

My Trading Performance: +7.00 Emini ES points

"Although I did 10 trades...I took it easy. Simply, I wasn't trying to catch big point moves and I took quick profits. In addition, I didn't trade most of the trading day. However, my best trade of the day was around 1238pm est. It was a chaser to a bullish trade signal from the Volatility Trading Report (VTR). The word chaser implies I missed the actual entry signal and decided to go ahead and take the trade knowing I won't make as much profits in comparison had I taken the trade when the trade signal first appeared. Regardless, as usual, I used WRB Analysis to help determine my risk and profit level."


Stocks Rise On Day, Week
Wall Street manages modest gains on the first day of May as investors consider economic news, profit reports.
By Alexandra Twin, senior writer
Last Updated: May 1, 2009: 4:27 PM ET

NEW YORK ( -- Stocks rose Friday, as a few better-than-expected economic reports and a rally in oil stocks gave a boost to the broader market.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) gained 44 points or 0.5%. The S&P 500 (SPX) index added 5 points or 0.5%. The Nasdaq composite (COMP) rose 4 points, or 0.2%.

Stocks slumped in the morning, seesawed in the afternoon and then made a run higher near the close. All 3 major gauges ended higher for the week. The Dow and S&P 500 have now gained for 7 of the last 8 weeks. The Nasdaq has gained for 8 weeks in a row.

Stocks are coming off a strong April in which bets that the economy is close to stabilizing fueled a big run up. For the month, the Nasdaq gained 12.3%, the S&P 500 gained 9.4% and the Dow Jones gained 7.3%.

That the mix of economic and profit reports that have not been as bad as expected has been a boon, said David Levy, portfolio manager at Kenjol Capital Management.

Economy: The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index rose to 40.1 in April from 36.3 in March beating forecasts for a rise to 38.4. Any reading under 50 indicates the sector is still contracting, but the report was consistent with other recent signs that the pace of the economic slowdown is easing.

Another report showed that consumer sentiment improved in April. The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index was revised up to 65.1 from a previous reading of 61.9. Economists thought it would hold steady.

A third report showed March factory orders fell 0.9% after rising 0.7% in February. Economists thought orders would fall 0.6%, on average.

Corporate news: Dow componentChevron (CVX, Fortune 500) reported a big drop in first-quarter sales and earnings, that missed expectations, due to a steep drop in energy prices. Shares of the No. 2 oil services firm were little changed.

Fellow Dow component Exxon Mobil (XOM, Fortune 500) reported weaker sales and earnings Thursday.

MasterCard (MA, Fortune 500) reported weaker quarterly earnings that topped estimates on weaker revenue that missed expectations.

Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) is selling its Japanese retail brokerage business to Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group in a deal worth $7.9 billion.

In other news, the release of the results of the "stress tests" of the nation's largest banks is expected late Thursday, a government source told CNNMoney. Results were initially expected to be released Monday.

Chrysler: Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday after failing to reach a deal with some of its smaller lenders to cut debt. But a deal has been negotiated to combine the company with Italian automaker Fiat, allowing Chrysler to stay in business.

Investors seem to be reacting well to the Chrysler's bankruptcy filing, perhaps out of relief that at least the uncertainty is over with, said Kenjol's Levy.

"It's similar to what we saw with the banks," Levy said. "Now that there's resolution with one company in a group, we have something of a roadmap of what could happen should GM fail as well."

Chrysler is privately owned. Shares of rivals General Motors (GM, Fortune 500) and Ford Motor (F, Fortune 500) slipped Friday after rallying Thursday.

Auto sales: The major companies were reporting April sales figures throughout the day.

Ford Motor reported a 31.6% drop in sales versus a year ago, a steeper decline than expected. But the pace of the decline was smaller than a month ago.

GM said sales fell 33.2% from a year ago, beating forecasts. But sales were an improvement after the 45% decline in March.

Toyota Motor (TM) reported a worse-than-expected April sales decline of 41.9%. Toyota's March sales fell 30.9% versus a year earlier.

Bonds: Treasury prices slipped, raising the yield on the benchmark 10-year note to 3.18% from 3.14% Thursday. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Lending rates were mixed. The 3-month Libor rate fell to 1.01% from 1.02% Thursday, according to The overnight Libor rate rose to 0.24% from 0.23%. Libor is a bank-to-bank lending rate.

Other markets: In global trading, Asian markets ended higher and European markets mostly ended higher.

In currency trading, the dollar fell versus the euro and gained against the yen.

U.S. light crude oil for June delivery rose $2.08 to $53.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

COMEX gold for June delivery fell $3 to $888.20 an ounce.


Yahoo! Finance

4:35 pm : Despite a lower start, the stock market was able to finish a choppy trading session with modest gains, thanks largely to a rebound in energy stocks. Still, trading volume was low, suggesting that many investors were sitting on the sidelines.

Less than 1.3 billion shares traded hands on the NYSE this session, but the lack of participation didn't stop stocks from concluding the week on a positive note. In turn, stocks logged a weekly gain of 1.3%.

Energy stocks snapped back from a 2.1% loss in the prior session to log a 3.0% gain Friday. The energy sector's rebound was helped along by higher energy prices; natural gas prices spiked 5.1% to close at $3.55 per contract, while crude oil futures finished pit trading with oil priced 3.4% higher at $52.84 per barrel.

Still, lower oil prices than those seen last year are weighing on profits at many oil companies. Such has been the case for Chevron (CVX 66.87, +0.77), which reported this morning that its first earnings per share were more than halved since last year. Shares of CVX were able to finish higher, though.

Strength among energy stocks provided support to the broader market while the other major sectors traded in mixed fashion.

Financial stocks attempted to make an early move from negative territory into the green, but sputtered and finished the session with a 1.7% loss, worse than any other sector. The sector's decline came amid weakness in life and health insurers (-3.2%) following some ugly quarterly results from MetLife (MET 27.45, -2.30).

MasterCard (MA 172.90, -10.55) also fell under pressure for posting some disappointing quarterly metrics, even though the company was still able to top analysts' consensus earnings estimate for the latest quarter.

Banks came under pressure as investors became a bit skittish after hearing that results from the government's bank stress tests won't be released until May 7, which is later than the May 4 release that was originally planned. The delay comes after executives at several banks began to debate the test results, which suggests the government's findings weren't entirely positive. According to The Wall Street Journal, regulators are expected to disclose potential loss estimates for individual banks and tallied certain results across all tested banks.

Early cycle stocks were able to log respectable gains as the industrial sector climbed 1.1% and the materials sector advanced 0.3%. Their gains have compounded in recent sessions as many investors attempt to chase stocks they expect to benefit first from an economic revival.

However, economic conditions remain dour. Factory orders for March declined 0.9%, which is worse than the 0.6% decline that was widely expected, and February orders were revised lower to reflect an increase of 0.7%.

Meanwhile, the ISM Manufacturing Index for April showed continued contraction. It came in at 40.1. However, that was better than the 38.4 that was expected, and was also up from 36.3 in March.

With economic conditions continuing to challenge businesses and consumers, Ford (F 5.69, -0.29) announced April auto sales fell 31.6%, while General Motors (GM 1.81, -0.11) said its US sales fell 34% in April.

As part of an effort to loosen credit flow and stimulate economic conditions, the Federal Reserve announced that, starting in June, commercial mortgage backed securities and securities backed by insurance premium finance loans will be eligible collateral under the TALF plan.DJ30 +44.29 NASDAQ +1.90 NQ100 +0.2% R2K -0.1% SP400 -0.4% SP500 +4.71 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1365/2.15 bln/1327 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1911/1.29 bln/1113

3:30 pm : The major indices have slid into negative territory. Trading volume is light heading into the final leg of the trading session.

Energy stocks continue to sport solid gains, however. The sector is up 1.9% with help from higher oil prices.

Crude oil was able to carry strong gains into the close of pit trading. Futures contracts ended the session with oil priced at $52.84 per barrel, up 3.4%.

Natural gas prices closed with an even more impressive advance. Futures contracts closed at $3.55 per contract, up 5.1%.

Gold remained under pressure, though. June gold contracts slipped 0.3% to finish at $888.20 per ounce. However, gold did manage to stage a small rally into the close.

Silver did not share the same weakness as gold. Instead, silver finished at $12.50 per ounce, up 1.4%. DJ30 -25.72 NASDAQ -6.20 SP500 -1.57 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1279/1.78 bln/1405 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1730/913 mln/1273

3:00 pm : Ever since the S&P 500 came in contact with the 880 mark midafternoon, stocks have been descending gradually. The downward drift has taken the Nasdaq into negative territory.

Despite the loss of upward momentum among stocks, Treasuries continue to trade with weakness. Losses by the 10-year Note during the course of recent sessions have pushed its yield up to nearly 3.2%, its highest level so far this year.DJ30 +9.00 NASDAQ -0.94 SP500 +2.34 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1382/1.96 mln/1278 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1898/800 mln/1095

2:30 pm : The major indices trade with modest gains.

Released about 30 minutes ago, General Motors (GM 1.81, -0.11) US sales fell 34% in April, which is slightly better than the expected decline of 37%. GM's stock had a limited reaction to the news.DJ30 +24.53 NASDAQ +4.85 SP500 +4.49 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1442/1.45 bln/1211 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1928/722 mln/1063

2:00 pm : Stocks recently pulled back from their session highs, which were registered as the S&P 500 creeped past the 880 mark. The S&P 500 continues to sport a solid gain, though, as its advancers are roughly twice the number of declining issues. Despite the positive bias, the stock market has yet to climb more than 1% this session.

Just hitting news wires, the Federal Reserve Board announced that, starting in June, commercial mortgage backed securities and securities backed by insurance premium finance loans will be eligible collateral under the TALF plan.DJ30 +28.68 NASDAQ +5.98 SP500 +5.31 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1464/1.35 bln/1168 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1970/672 mln/991

1:30 pm : The stock market has ascended to its best level of the session as materials stocks and industrial stocks emerge with strength. Energy stocks are also providing fuel to the move by builing on their own recent gains.

Industrial stocks had been trading with solid gains for most of the late morning and early afternoon, but recently began garnering additional support, which has taken the sector to a 1.4% gain. Materials stocks, on the other hand, had been having a relatively quiet session, but the sector has bounded higher to trade with a 1.1% gain.

Energy stocks are trading at fresh session highs. The sector is up 3.1% amid strength in drillers (+6.1%), refiners (+5.6%), exploration and production companies (+5.5%), and oil and gas equipment companies (+4.1%). DJ30 +23.34 NASDAQ +4.49 SP500 +4.30 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1455/1.21 bln/1134 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1933/608 mln/1016

1:00 pm : Stocks have been trading in a relatively narrow range amid choppy action. The sideways move comes as participants continue to consolidate the gains registered in recent weeks.

Part of this session's tepid tone is attributable to a lack of leadership from the financial sector, which is currently down 1.0% following an ugly quarterly announcement from MetLife (MET 27.06, -2.69) and some disappointing quarterly metrics from MasterCard (MA 170.03, -13.42). MasterCard did, however, unveil better-than-expected earnings per share results.

According to The Wall Street Journal, results from the government's bank stress tests won't be released until May 7, which is later than the May 4 release that was originally planned. The article indicated that regulators are expected to disclose potential loss estimates for each individual bank, while results will also be tallied across the banks to give a healthier picture of the industry.

Despite the general weakness in the sector, investment banks and brokerages (+1.9%) are helping to limit losses.

Energy stocks have snapped back from sizable losses in the prior session to trade with a 2.7% gain. Part of the sector's strength stems from a 3.9% rise in crude oil prices. Crude was recently quoted at $53.10 per barrel.

Still, crude prices have been more than halved since this time last year. That has weighed on earnings at Chevron (CVX 66.23, +0.13), which reported mixed quarterly results ahead of the opening bell.

Stocks showed little reaction to the latest batch of economic data. Factory orders for March declined 0.9%, which is worse than the 0.6% decline that was widely expected. Meanwhile, the prior month's reading was revised markedly lower to reflect an increase of 0.7%.

The ISM Manufacturing Index for April came in at 40.1, which is better than the 38.4 that was expected, and up from the 36.3 that was registered in March. However, the reading still shows contraction in manufacturing activity.DJ30 -1.03 NASDAQ +1.80 SP500 +2.07 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1393/1.12 bln/1195 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1825/562 mln/1110

12:30 pm : Just one day after privately-held Chrysler officially made public its intention to file bankruptcy, Ford (F 5.79, -0.19) announced that April marked the sixth time in seven months that Ford's share of the retail market was higher than it was a year ago. However, Ford's April sales fell 31.6%.

General Motors (GM 1.82, -0.10) has yet to release April sales results.DJ30 -13.62 NASDAQ -2.76 SP500 +0.06 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1286/1.01 bln/1269 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1721/506 mln/1190

12:00 pm : The stock market is back at the unchanged mark as the session's direction becomes unclear. Energy stocks, however, continue to sport solid gains; the sector is up 2.2%.

Financial stocks are seeing considerable pressure. The sector is down 1.1%, and is just above its sesion low.

Consumer discretionary stocks are also grappling with selling pressure. The sector is down 1.2% following a strong move in the prior session. The sector's strength in Thursday's trade was largely underpinned by the notion that consumer resilience will help retailers and other industries that are dependent on discretionary spending lead an economic recovery.DJ30 -15.77 NASDAQ -6.18 SP500 -0.81 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1234/904 mln/1284 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1661/453 mln/1214

11:30 am : The stock market has made its way back into positive ground, thanks largely to leadership from the energy sector.

Energy stocks are trading 2.1% higher, near their best levels of the session. The move comes as a rebound from the sector's loss in the prior session; weakness among energy stocks during the prior session had actually led a selloff in the broader market.

The energy sector is also benefitting from higher crude oil prices. Crude oil futures contracts are currently up 3.6% to $52.95 per barrel.

Renewed buying interest in energy stocks has taken integrated energy giant Chevron (CVX 66.55, +0.45) into the green. The stock started the session in the red after reporting mixed quarterly results.DJ30 +12.19 NASDAQ -1.14 SP500 +1.92 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1318/768 mln/1165 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1759/379 mln/1104

11:00 am : After rebounding from early weakness, financial stocks are back in the red. However, losses are rather modest as the sector is down just 0.4%.

Investment banks and brokerages (+1.5%) continue to provide support to the sector, but their leadership is being offset by weakness throughout the rest of the sector; decliners outnumber advancing issues by 2-to-1 in the sector.

MasterCard (MA 170.54, -12.91) is among the sector's laggards even though it unveiled better-than-expected earnings per share results for its latest quarter. Some of the pressure on the stock comes amid disappointment that the company's revenue was a bit short of analysts' consensus forecast. Additional pressure is likely rooted in profit taking following the stock's 9.5% run up during the course of the past three sessions, along with poorer-than-expected metrics.

MasterCard reported that worldwide gross dollar volume declined almost 10% year-over-year to $550 billion. Fourth quarter volume showed a year-over-year decline of less than 5%.

During its conference call, the company indicated that it expects revenue to be below their performance objective of 12% growth on a constant currency basis due to lower volume growth, and it is too soon to say if metrics have troughed yet.

Meanwhile, shares of Visa (V 65.64, +0.68), MasterCard's primary competitor, are showing strength as they trade with a handsome gain. Shares of V are up almost 25% year-to-date. Despite MA's weakness this session, the stock is still up roughly 25% year-to-date.DJ30 -26.44 NASDAQ -6.29 SP500 -2.15 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1170/616 mln/1222 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1556/299 mln/1264

10:30 am : Despite continued weakness in gold prices, the CRB Commodity Index is sporting a 1.0% gain. The CRB is up 3.4% during the course of the past three sessions.

Gold contracts are pricing the yellow metal 0.8% lower at $883.70 per ounce, which means gold prices are now down 3.3% week-to-date.

Silver prices are actually trading along the unchanged mark, near $12.35 per ounce.

Energy contracts are catching a strong bid, however. Crude oil futures contracts are pricing oil at $52.10 per barrel, up 1.9%. Meanwhile, natural gas is being priced 3.7% higher at $3.50 per contract.

The Baltic Dry Index climbed 1.1% amid gains by all of its subindices; the Panamax Index led the way by advancing 2.2%.

DryShips (DRYS 8.33, +0.91) is garnering considerable interest after the company announced first quarter adjusted earnings of $0.36 per share, which is $0.17 better than the consensus estimate of $0.19 per share. During its conference call, the company said shipping stocks are oversold.DJ30 -57.42 NASDAQ -11.35 SP500 -5.07 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1025/484 mln/1284 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1310/232 mln/1439

10:05 am : Factory orders for March declined 0.9%, which is worse than the 0.6% decline that was widely expected. Meanwhile, the prior month's reading was revised markedly lower to reflect an increase of 0.7%.

The ISM Manufacturing Index for April came in at 40.1, which is better than the 38.4 that was expected, and up from the 36.3 that was registered in March. However, the reading still shows contraction in manufacturing activity.

Stocks haven't shown that much of a reaction to the data. Action is generally choppy currently.

Early movers: Trading up: COT +36.1%, BGFV +27.5%, BGC +27.1%, NYNY +25.8%, AMCC +20.7%, AMAG +19.2%, JRCC +18.3%, CQB +16%, SWIR +14.2%, HMSY +14%, OMCL +13.5%, IRE +13.2%, NTCT +11.1%, OREX +10.6%. Trading down: NVAX -17.2%, AOC -11.1%, PEI -10.8%, TSYS -10.8%, ESLR -10.7%, HIG -9.9%DJ30 -4.22 NASDAQ -1.35 SP500 +0.44 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1192/322 mln/1014 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1565/162 mln/1105

09:45 am : Stocks are showing modest losses in the early going, but the downturn is generally broad-based. For some time, stocks had actually been showing a bit of relative strength in premarket trading.

Financial stocks currently make up the worst performing sector. The group is down 0.9% following news that the government has postponed the announcement of bank stress test results as executives debate the findings. In turn, many participants are inferring that the government's findings didn't paint a rosy picture of banks.

Bank stocks have also been pressured by word that analysts at JPMorgan have cut their estimates for several major bank stocks. Shares of diversified banks are down 0.6%.

Insurers are weighing heavily on the sector as well, following disappointing earnings from MetLife (MET 27.67, -2.08).DJ30 -33.21 NASDAQ -9.20 SP500 -3.60 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 939/190 mln/1165 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1152/104 mln/1459

09:15 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +0.20. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -2.00. The stock market has advanced just 0.8% this week. The tepid performance comes just one week after the stock market logged its first weekly decline (-0.4%) in more than one month. The overall sideways trade seen in the last two weeks comes as participants move to consolidate the market's surge off of its March 6 lows. Appropriately, then, stock futures currently point to a flat start for the major indices as participants appear to be uninspired by what have generally been better than expected earnings announcements. Participants have yet to receive factory order data for March and the April ISM Manufacturing Index, though. The reports are due at 10:00 AM ET, and could potentially move stock prices.

09:00 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +2.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +0.80. MasterCard generated first quarter earnings of $2.80 per share, which is $0.19 better than the consensus estimate of $2.61 per share. However, MasterCard's revenue declined moderately year-over-year to $1.16, which was a bit short of the $1.21 billion that was widely expected. MasterCard attributed the downturn to the unfavorable impact of currency exchange rates, higher rebates, and incentives. Shares of MA are down 4.1% to $175.88 per share in premarket action. Shares of Chevron (CVX) are down fractionally to $65.80 per share in premarkt trading after the company reported first quarter earnings of $0.92 per share, which include a $0.20 per share gain on asset sales. Chevron's top line fell 45% year-over-year to $36.13 billion. According to its press release, Chevron's average sales price per barrel of crude oil and natural gas liquids was $36 in the latest quarter, down $51 from a year earlier. Meanwhile, stock futures for the broader market have pulled back a bit and now point to a relatively flat start.

08:30 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +3.70. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +2.30. Most European markets are closed for holiday observance, but Britain's FTSE has remained open. The index is currently trading just above the unchanged mark. Vodafone is trading with strength and providing support to the overall index, but weakness in pharmaceutical stocks AstraZeneca (AZN) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Overall, advancers and declining issues are in balance. Several Asian markets were also closed Friday. Japan's Nikkei was open for trade, though. It closed 1.7% higher amid leadership from Softbank Corp., Fanuc Ltd., and Canon (CAJ). Softbank showed strength after the company indicated it will halve its net interest-bearing debt by March 2012, and completely eliminate it by March 2015. The company also indicated will double its dividend. Despite reporting a precipitous decline in quarterly profits, Canon climbed after it raised its annual outlook, thanks partly to a weakening yen. Meanwhile, Citigroup (C) announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell its Japanese domestic securities business to Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. for $7.9 billion. As a reminder, Japan's stock market will be closed from May 4 to May 6 for a string of national holidays.

08:00 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +4.10. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +5.50. Earnings announcements continue to come in better than expected, overall. However, participants are still awaiting results from heavy hitters MasterCard (MA) and Chevron (CVX). MasterCard is expected to earn $2.61 per share, while the consensus earnings estimate for Chevron stands at $0.81 per share. Separately, has reported that the government's bank stress test results, originally scheduled to be released May 4, will be postponed. However, a new release date may be announced as soon as tomorrow. According to the report, the delay comes as executives debate the government's preliminary findings, and become concerned that a careless disclosure of results could cause a collapse in certain stock prices. Bank stocks are trading in mixed fashion ahead of the opening bell. Meanwhile, stock futures for the broader market point toward a slightly higher start.

06:18 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +2.90. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +4.80.

06:18 am : Nikkei...8977.37...+149.10...+1.70%. Hang Seng...Holiday.........

06:18 am : FTSE...4241.26...-2.50...-0.10%. DAX and CAC40 Closed...Bank Holiday.........

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