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 Post subject: September 15th Tuesday 2009 Emini ES ($ES_F) points +15.00
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:59 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:06 pm
Posts: 3178
Location: Canada

Today's trades that were posted in real-time in #FuturesTrades chat room via my IRC user name wrbtrader. You can review each trade from entry to exit along with commentary and an occasional trading tip because its all archived @

I wasn't able to exploit some to the key changes in supply/demand due to personal errands today but I did get some trading in today even though not within good volatility to catch a runner (big profitable trade).

This will be the theme for my trading today...personal errands and trading whenever possible.

FYI - You can ask me questions here at the forum or you can tweet me on twitter about anything related to today's trading or related to your own trading.


In addition, posted below are direct links about my trade methodology or trading approach that enables me to identify key trading areas in the price action that represent changes in supply/demand along with being able to exploit the changes in supply/demand.

Also, I strongly believe that profitable trading involves more than just trade signals and that's why most traders fail because they put all their interest in trade signals while ignoring the impact of their trading habits/routine or personal lifestyle. If you don't understand this perspective...please ask questions here at the forum for more info or you can tweet me on twitter @wrbtrader.

My Trading Performance: +15.00 Emini ES ($ES_F) points


Stocks At New 2009 Highs
Wall Street advances as investors welcome Bernanke's comments and retail sales report.
By Alexandra Twin, senior writer
Last Updated: September 15, 2009: 5:49 PM ET

NEW YORK ( -- Major stock indexes ended at their highest points of the year Tuesday after a stronger-than-expected retail sales report and comments from Fed chief Ben Bernanke helped offset concerns that the rally has outpaced the recovery.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) gained 57 points, or 0.6%, ending at its highest point since last Oct. 6. The S&P 500 (SPX) index rose 3 points, or 0.3%, ending at its highest point since Oct. 6. The Nasdaq composite (COMP) climbed 11 points, or 0.5%, and closed at its highest point since Sept. 26.

Stocks churned in the morning but managed some gains in the afternoon as investors digested comments from Fed chief Ben Bernanke that the recession is "very likely over."

Financial, industrial and select commodity stocks led the advance, including Dow components Alcoa (AA, Fortune 500), American Express (AXP, Fortune 500), Caterpillar (CAT, Fortune 500), Boeing (BA, Fortune 500) and General Electric (GE, Fortune 500).

Other than a little selling in the first few days of September, stocks have been extending the 2009 run.

"I think what we're seeing is continued evidence of anxiety about all the cash on the sidelines missing the early stages of a bull market," said Hank Smith, chief investment officer of equity at Haverford Trust.

He said that this factor was bringing buyers in at the dips and was likely to keep doing so in the weeks ahead.

Stocks managed gains Monday, but they were slight as investors continued to worry that the economic recovery was trailing the market surge.

"I think we can continue to move higher through year end, but I don't think we can do it with second-tier leadership like Citigroup and AIG," said Terry Morris, senior equity manager, National Penn Investors Trust.

He said high-quality companies with strong balance sheets need to take the lead.

The Consumer Price index, a measure of consumer inflation, is due Wednesday morning. CPI is expected to have risen 0.3% in August after showing no change in July. The so-called core CPI is expected to have risen 0.1% after rising 0.1% in July.

August capacity utilization and industrial production are also due in the morning, along with the weekly oil inventory report.

Bernanke: Speaking at the Brookings Institution in Washington, Bernanke said the recession is "very likely over," but that the pace of the recovery will be moderate next year and that it will still feel like a weak economy for some time.

While the Fed chairman's comments were essentially a retread of another recent speech, they appeared to give the markets a lift.

Retail sales: August retail sales rose 2.7%, the Commerce Department reported, reflecting the impact of the government's Cash for Clunkers auto stimulus program. Even without auto sales, the retail numbers were strong, suggesting consumer sentiment is improving.

The rise surprised economists who were looking for an advance of 1.9%, according to

Other economic news: The Producer Price Index (PPI), a measure of wholesale inflation, rose 1.7% in August after falling 0.9% in July. Economists thought it would rise 0.8%. The so-called Core PPI, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.2% after falling 0.1% in July. Economists thought it would rise 0.1%.

The Empire State index, a regional read on manufacturing, rose to 18.8 in September, topping forecasts for a rise to 15. The index stood at 12 in August.

July business inventories fell 1% after falling 1.1% previously. Economists thought it would fall 0.9%.

Company news: Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) wants Treasury to sell off part of its roughly 34% stake in the financial firm, according to published reports. Citi is also looking to issue new shares to the public as part of a multibillion-dollar stock offering.

Since the collapse of Lehman Bros. last year, the government has poured $45 billion into the firm and agreed to share losses on a big piece of the bank's bad assets. Citi shares fell 9% Tuesday.

Best Buy (BBY, Fortune 500) reported weaker quarterly earnings that missed analysts' forecasts on higher revenue. The company also said that sales at stores open a year or more fell 3.9% in the fiscal second quarter.

The company's forecast was mixed. Best Buy lifted its fiscal 2010 earnings outlook to a range of $2.70 to $3 per share, but that means the midpoint of $2.75 is short of analysts' current forecast for earnings of $2.76 per share.

The electronics retailer also said it expects total revenue of $48 billion to $49 billion, versus analysts' forecasts for $47.8 billion. Best Buy shares fell 5%.

One year later: Tuesday marked the first anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the shotgun wedding buyout of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America -- events widely seen as the accelerant that pushed the recession into a full-blown crisis.

On that day last year, credit seized and panicked investors dumped financial shares, leading to a broad selloff that sent the Dow plunging 504 points.

Stocks were tumultuous through that week but managed to end with only modest declines after a series of government actions. Those included the Federal Reserve saving AIG (AIG, Fortune 500) from bankruptcy and the forming of an early version of the TARP bank bailout plan.

But any relief investors felt at the end of that week soon gave out. Stocks plummeted in the six months after the collapse, culminating March 9 with the S&P 500 and Dow bottoming out at 12-year lows and the Nasdaq hitting a more than six-year low.

Since March, the Dow has gained 47%, the S&P 500 gained 55% and the Nasdaq composite has gained 65%.

Year-over-year, the major indexes are still down, with the Dow and S&P 500 roughly where they stood in early October of last year and the Nasdaq where it stood about a week earlier, in late September.

President Obama spoke on Wall Street Monday, urging market pros to rebuild their relationship with the public and make sure that they don't engage again in the kind of behavior that led to the crisis.

For a look at what the government has been doing over the last year to manage the crisis, click here.

Currency and commodities: The dollar fell versus other major currencies, resuming its decline against the yen and euro.

The falling greenback boosted dollar-traded commodities.

U.S. light crude oil for October delivery rose $2.07 to settle at $70.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

COMEX gold for December delivery rose $5.20 to settle at $1006.30 an ounce.

Bonds: Treasury prices fell, raising the yield on the benchmark 10-year note to 3.45% from 3.42% late Monday. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

World markets: Global markets were mixed. In Europe, London's FTSE 100, France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX all gained modestly. Asian markets were mixed, with Japan's Nikkei higher and the Hong Kong Hang Seng lower.

Market breadth was positive. On the New York Stock Exchange, winners topped losers seven to three on volume of 1.49 billion shares. On the Nasdaq, advancers topped decliners by more than four to three on volume of 2.4 billion shares.


Yahoo! Finance

4:30 pm : Despite stumbling in the early going, stocks worked their way higher to log their seventh gain in eight sessions as buyers chased materials stocks and basic commodities.

The major indices started the session in higher ground with help from the August Producer Price Index, which came in with a greater-than-expected 1.7% month-over-month increase, and a stronger-than-expected 0.2% month-over-month increase in core prices. The Empire State Manufacturing Survey for September climbed more than expected to 18.9, which is a new best for 2009, but the advance retail sales report for August was the headliner after it made the sharpest monthly jump in more than three years by climbing a better-than-expected 2.7%. Sales less autos were also better than expected; they increased 1.1%.

Despite the overall positive nature of the data, stocks ran into a flurry of selling pressure midmorning. However, the dip was shallow and short-lived, which led to some short covering that complemented a broader market rebound.

Participants paid little attention to news that July business inventories fell a slightly steeper-than-expected 1.0% and Fed Chairman Bernanke's statement that the recession is very likely over.

Materials stocks attracted plenty of interest, however. The sector climbed 2.3% to finish with the best gains of any major sector. Steel stocks (+3.0%) were the sector's primary leaders, but a run up in commodities prices helped stir interest in the rest of the sector as well.

Strong gains among commodities helped the CRB Commodity Index climb 2.2%, which is its best single-session percentage advance in more than one month. The move was helped along by a 3.0% gain in crude oil prices, which settled at $70.93 per barrel. Gold also continued to garner support -- it finished the session 0.5% higher at $1006.30 per ounce. The case for commodities was partly helped by continued deterioration in the U.S. dollar, which took the Dollar Index down to fresh 11-month lows before easing up to settle with a 0.2% loss.

Health care stocks closed 0.8% lower. They were the worst performing sector in the S&P 500. However, consumer staples stocks (-0.6%) weren't far behind, due to weakness in Kroger (KR 20.46, -1.65). The grocer disappointed by posting an earnings miss and lowered guidance.

Best Buy (BBY 38.32, -2.09) also posted worse-than-expected earnings, but it noted that it successfully captured a record market share increase last quarter.

Citigroup (C 4.12, -0.40) was a drag on the financial sector, which finished with a 0.1% gain. Reports indicated that the company is reportedly considering raising capital through a share issuance to help it reduce the government's stake. Conversely, Regions Financial (RF 6.06, +0.55) won favor after its CEO said at a Barclays conference that the company absolutely will not need to raise additional capital.

Trading volume was solid as 1.5 billion shares exchanged hands on the NYSE. Longer-term averages stand closer to 1.4 billion shares.DJ30 +56.61 NASDAQ +10.86 NQ100 +0.3% R2K +0.8% SP400 +0.8% SP500 +3.29 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1566/2.39 bln/1098 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 2142/1.50 bln/893

3:30 pm : Commodities had a strong session, taking the CRB Commodity Index up 2.2%, which marks its best single-session percentage advance in more than one month.

The move was supported by a 3.0% gain in crude oil prices, which settled at $70.93 per barrel, and a 1.5% gain in natural gas prices, which settled at $3.35 per contract.

Precious metals also played a supportive role. Gold prices climbed 0.5% to settle at $1006.30 per ounce, while silver prices ascended 2.3% to close the session at $17.00 per ounce.

A modestly weaker dollar has helped the bidding of commodities prices. The Dollar Index is down 0.2%, just above 11-month lows.DJ30 +80.56 NASDAQ +13.40 SP500 +5.55 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1592/1.98 bln/1071 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 2157/1.05 bln/863

3:00 pm : Advancing issues outnumber decliners by roughly 3-to-2 in the S&P 500, helping the benchmark index preserve its gains. Of its 10 major sectors, eight are trading higher; only health care (-0.8%) and consumer staples (-0.7%) are in the red. Materials, now up 2.2%, continue to sport the best gains.

Airline stocks are also performing exceptionally well this session. In turn, the Amex Airline Index is up 3.5%.DJ30 +51.77 NASDAQ +10.30 SP500 +3.47 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1528/1.83 bln/1116 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 2056/952 mln/939

2:30 pm : Stocks are taking a bit of a breather after making their way to fresh session highs. Still, gains remain solid and broad-based.

Should the advance hold into the close, stocks will log their seventh gain in eight sessions. During that time the S&P 500 has ascended nearly 6%.

Trading volume is rather impressive, thus far. With more than one hour remaining in the session, nearly 900 million shares have already traded hands on the NYSE.DJ30 +60.92 NASDAQ +11.87 SP500 +4.19 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1551/1.67 bln/1082 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 2097/865 mln/887

2:00 pm : The major equity averages continue to extend their gains. Materials stocks remain the primary leader of the drive higher; materials stocks are now up 2.5%.

Oil prices are also garnering support. Futures contracts for crude oil are currenlty up 3.2% to 71.10 per barrel. That has helped the energy sector make its way to a 0.8% gain, which is better than that of the broader market, but not as impressive of the materials sector's advance.DJ30 +65.22 NASDAQ +12.39 SP500 +5.01 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1519/1.53 bln/1103 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 2076/795 mln/891

1:30 pm : Stocks have made their way to fresh session highs, which coincide with fresh highs for 2009. Trading volume is the most active around shares of Citigroup (C 4.26, -0.26), which has been pressured following news that it may issue a share offering to help pare the government's stake, and General Electric (GE 15.95, +0.60), which has made its way to its best levels since early January despite some negative analyst commentary recently.

Strength in shares of GE has helped the industrial sector ascend to a 1.1% gain, second only to the materials sector's 2.0% gain.DJ30 +53.81 NASDAQ +10.90 SP500 +4.00 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1494/1.42 bln/1104 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 2024/742 mln/921

1:05 pm : The stock market is testing session highs after rebounding from a broad selling effort that had erased the market's initial advance.

Buyers initially showed support for stocks following the latest batch of economic data, which featured a higher Producer Price Index than had been expected for August and a stronger-than-expected Empire State Manufacturing Survey for September. However, it was the advance retail sales report for August that caused the most positive surprise among participants. According to the report, overall retail sales made their sharpest monthly jump in more than three years.

Despite the positive news from the retail space, shares of retailers are down 0.4% this session. Best Buy (BBY 38.27, -2.14) is a primary laggard in the group after it posted worse-than-expected earnings, which has overshadowed news that it captured a record market share increase last quarter.

Grocer Kroger (KR 20.30, -1.81) also posted an earnings miss of its own, but rather than diminish the negative news with a piece of positive data, it compounded the offense with lowered guidance. Kroger's weakness has weighed on the consumer staples sector (-0.8%) and caused it to lag for the entire session.

In other corporate news, Citigroup (C 4.30, -0.22) is considering paring the government's stake in it by issuing a stock offering, which could prove dilutive. Citi's weakness has weighed on the financial sector, which is up a mere 0.2%.

The major indices surrendered their opening gains just ahead of the July business inventory data, which showed slightly steeper-than-expected decline in inventories, and a speech from Fed Chairman Bernanke. Bernanke even indicated that the recession seems to be over at this time, but that the economy will still feel weak for some time. Stocks showed no discernable reaction to the statement.

The broader market has been helped by the materials sector, though. The sector is up 1.8%, more than any other, with help from a rebound in commodity prices, which are up 1.4%, according to the CRB Commodity Index. Leadership from the materials sector has helped take stocks back to their opening levels, which mark fresh highs for the year.DJ30 +34.09 NASDAQ +8.44 SP500 +1.82 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1392/1.31 bln/1197 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1932/685 mln/998

12:30 pm : The S&P 500 has managed to eke out a fractional gain, while materials stocks have made their way to fresh session highs, now sporting a 1.5% gain.

A solid run by commodities has helped underpin strength in basic materials stocks. The CRB Commodity Index is up a sharp 1.2% in the face of a 0.2% increase by the Dollar Index.DJ30 +14.66 NASDAQ +5.64 SP500 +0.64 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1297/1.16 bln/1251 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1808/607 mln/1087

12:00 pm : The major indices are back on the mend in what has become some rather choppy trading. However, the benchmark S&P 500 is lagging a bit.

Citigroup (C 4.30, -0.22) is among the primary laggards in the S&P 500 this session. Shares of the financial behemoth have come under pressure following news reports that the company may try to pay down the government's stake in it by issuing a stock offering, which could prove dilutive to existing shareholders. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Treasury had no objection to Citi paying back the government as long as Citi first raised enough capital to offset the payment.

Fellow financial giant Bank of America (BAC 16.90, -0.09) has also been catching some media attention. During its presentation at a financial conference held by Barclays, the bank said that the economy appears to be stablizing and that even though the second half of this year remains challenging, it is manageable. The company also stated that it expects consumer losses to persist in coming quarters, but at a slower rate. During August, the bank's total delinquencies came in at 7.5%, down from 7.6% in July.

Weakness in shares of C has dragged diversified financial services stocks, as a group, to a 1.4% loss. Meanwhile, diversified banks are up a modest 0.3%. The broader financial sector is down 0.2%.DJ30 +17.84 NASDAQ +6.95 SP500 +0.65 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1287/1.03 bln/1241 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1720/543 mln/1147

11:30 am : Despite working their way up from session lows, which were hit midmorning, stocks are falling back under renewed selling pressure.

Participants are pushing particularly hard against consumer staples stocks, which are down 0.9%, more than any other major sector. Kroger (KR 20.25, -1.86) is a primary laggard in the bunch after posting second quarter earnings results that missed the consensus second quarter estimate and issuing lowered guidance. After bringing in $0.39 per share in its latest quarter, the company now expects 2010 earnings to range from $1.90 to $2.00 per share. The company had previously forecast earnings from $2.00 to $2.05 per share, which met the consensus forecast of $2.05 per share.

The disappointing announcement has taken shares of KR to their lowest levels since April. Such weakness has imbued the likes of Supervalu (SVU 15.95, -0.37) and Safeway (SWY 19.33, -0.87).DJ30 -10.73 NASDAQ +1.47 SP500 -2.55 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1207/930 mln/1293 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1544/494 mln/1299

11:00 am : The major indices are currently mixed as stocks try to reclaim the gains that they surrendered in a recent flurry of selling pressure.

Materials, up 1.0%, remain the best performing sector. Diversified metals and mining stocks had showed early leadership to the group by jumping out to a gain of more than 1%, but the group has since pulled back to trade with a more modest 0.3% gain. However, steel stocks and aluminum stocks have stepped up with AK Steel (AKS 22.75, +0.88) and Alcoa (AA 13.37, +0.43) providing strength.DJ30 +13.53 NASDAQ +5.65 SP500 -0.37 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1272/774 mln/1205 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1694/415 mln/1107

10:30 am : Overnight, October crude futures traded near the unchanged line. After hitting lows overnight of $68.48 per barrel, crude began pushing higher, which continued until hitting a new recent high of $70.06 per barrel. Crude has since given back some gains, but is trading 0.7% higher at $69.31 per barrel.

October natural gas traded in positive territory overnight and hit session highs of $3.878 per MMBtu just before the open of pit trading. Since then, natural gas has declined in choppy trade hitting new session lows of $3.357 just recently, but has remained in positive territory. Currently, natural gas is trading 2.4% higher at $3.375 per MMBtu.

The US Dollar Index moved into positive territory off lows overnight and remains trading in positive territory in recent activity. However, precious metals are trading mixed this morning.

December gold has been chopping just under the unchanged line, while December silver recently spiked into positive territory to new session highs of $16.785 per ounce. Gold is currently trading 0.3% lower at $997.7 per ounce, while silver is 0.7% higher at $16.735 per ounce.DJ30 -12.85 NASDAQ -1.33 SP500 -1.77 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1097/600.7 mln/1322 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1531/328.0 mln/1232

10:00 am : Stocks came under a flurry of selling pressure ahead of the latest batch of business inventory data, which has just hit news wires. The data have caused little immediate reaction among market participants, though.

According to data for July, business inventories decreased 1.0%, which is a bit more than the 0.9% decrease that was widely expected. July's data does mark a less severe drop than the downwardly revised 1.4% decline that was registered in June, however.

Early movers: Trading up -- LXRX +103.7%, CLFD +11.7%, PLLL +10.9%, AIM +10.5%, BCRX +9%, TER +7.9%, YRCW +7.9%, MSO +7.6%, ONTY +7.3%, SOA +6.3%, TRGT +6.2%, CHINA +6.1%; Trading down -- ZOOM -8.4%, RODM -6.6%, KR -6.6%, TIV -6.5%, LGCY -6.1%, MDCO -4.9%, CHRS -4.6%, WINN -4.4%, SFD -4.2%DJ30 -4.99 NASDAQ +0.92 SP500 -1.33 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1099/377 mln/1237 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1439/201 mln/1220

09:45 am : With six of the 10 major sectors in the S&P 500 trading higher, the broad, benchmark index is up modestly in the first few minutes of action.

Materials stocks currently make up the best performing sector. Thanks to leadership from diversified metals and miners (+1.4%), the materials sector is up 1.1%.

Defensive-oriented stocks make up the morning's laggards. Health care (-0.6%), consumer staples (-0.5%), telecom (-0.3%), and utilities (-0.1%).DJ30 +20.78 NASDAQ +8.07 SP500 +2.46 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1211/205 mln/1028 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1612/130 mln/982

09:15 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +0.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -6.00. Stock futures continue to track toward a flat start for the major indices, even after improving from overnight levels. The pick up in buying activity, though relatively contained, comes largely in response to news that advance retail sales (+2.7%) and retail sales less autos (+1.1%) increased more than expected in August. What's more, the increase for total sales was the best monthly increase since January 2006. Sales less autos increased at their fastest clip since February. Despite what seemed like good news from retailers, as a whole, Best Buy (BBY) disappointed by posting worse-than-expected quarterly earnings of $0.37 per share. Separately, August total producer prices (+1.7%) and core producer prices (+0.2%) were up more than expected and the Empire State Manufacturing Survey (18.9) improved its position for the sixth straight time by climbing more than expected. Participants still await business inventory data for July and comments from Fed Chairman Bernanke (10:00 AM ET).

09:00 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +1.10. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -3.80. European stocks have pushed into positive territory following a generally upbeat batch of U.S. economic data. In turn, the DAX is up 0.4% with advancing issues outnumbering decliners by 2-to-1. Siemens (SI) is a primary leader in current action. In economic news, UK Reuters reported that the German ZEW economic research institute's economic expectations index climbed to 57.7 in September from 56.1 in August. However, that was less than the 60.0 consensus forecast. France's CAC is sporting a 0.8% gain. Financial outfit BNP Paribas is providing the most support to the index. In Britain, the FTSE is up 0.7% with HSBC (HBC) leading gains. Natural resource plays BG Group, Rio Tinto (RTP), and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) are also providing support. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Bank of England is still considering a reduction in the bank's deposit rate to discourage banks from hoarding reserves, while the publication said in a separate article that U.K. annual consumer price inflation remained below the Bank of England's 2.0% target for a third consecutive month in August by increasing 1.6% from a year earlier. In Asia, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index finished Tuesday flat, but Japan's Nikkei eked out a 0.2% gain. Japan Airlines failed to add to recent gains, despite news that Air France-KLM has joined a list of suitors seeking a stake in the carrier. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng slipped 0.3%. Financial mkts were closed in the morning due to a severe tropical storm. dropped sharply after Yahoo! (YHOO) sold its direct holding in the company. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite tacked on 0.2%. According to reports, the country drew $55.86 billion in foreign direct investment in the first eight months of the year. That is 17.5% less than in the same period last year, but it marks an improvement from the 20.3% drop associated with the first seven months. Meanwhile, Reuters reported that China wants the G20 to throw its support behind an increased role for Beijing and other developing countries in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

08:35 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +2.70. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: flat. The August Producer Price Index came in with a 1.7% month-over-month increase, which is greater than the 0.8% monthly increase that economists, on average, had come to expect after the index posted a 0.9% month-over-month decline in July. Excluding food and energy, producer prices increased 0.2% month-over-month, which is a bit more than the 0.1% monthly increase that was widely expected. The previous month's data showed that prices had slipped 0.1%. Advance retail sales for August made a strong 2.7% increase. They had been expected to increase 1.9%. The increase marks a sharp upturn from the downwardly revised 0.2% decline that was registered in July. Excluding autos, retail sales were up a more modest 1.1% in August. The consensus called for a 0.4% increase. Still, the sales less autos figure marked a considerable improvement from the 0.5% decline that was made in July. Last on the list is the Empire Manufacturing Survey, which came in at 18.9 for September. That marks its sixth straight month of improvement. It was also better than the reading of 15.0 that was widely expected. Stock futures have improved a bit in the wake of the data, but they continue to point to a relatively flat start for the session.

08:00 am : S&P futures vs fair value: -0.60. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -4.30. A barrage of economic reports is scheduled for release this morning, starting with August producer prices, advance retail sales data for August, and the Empire State Manufacturing Index at the bottom of the hour. Business inventory data for July are due at 10:00 AM ET, which is also when Fed Chairman Bernanke is scheduled to begin a speech regarding the crises of the past year. For now, though, there are only a handful of reports garnering media attention. Perhaps the most noteworthy item is a story from The Wall Street Journal that Citigroup (C) is planning to pay down the government's stake, possibly by issuing another dilutive public offering. The company's stock is down nearly 3% to $4.39 per share in premarket action. Meanwhile, broader market futures have picked up from overnight lows and are now relatively flat after settling the previous session at fresh 2009 highs.

06:44 am : S&P futures vs fair value: -2.60. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -5.50.

06:44 am : Nikkei...10217.62...+15.60...+0.20%. Hang Seng...20866.37...-65.80...-0.30%.

06:44 am : FTSE...5029.67...+10.80...+0.20%. DAX...5608.25...-12.00...-0.20%.

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