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 Post subject: September 23rd Wednesday 2009 Emini ES ($ES_F) points +23.50
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:06 pm
Posts: 3328
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 @

As stated in the #FuturesTrades log at the above link...I was expecting it to be a low volatility range day until the FOMC Announcement. However, I didn't know that President Obama was going to give a speech during the market just before the release of the 1030am est EIA Petroleum Status report. Simply, his speech killed the volatility which setup a nice volatility spike that took prices down soon after 1030am est. Unfortunately, I wasn't prepared to exploit that price drop and a few trade errors added salt to the wound of missing a great Short signal opportunity.

With that said, I didn't reach my +25 Emini ES points profit goal for the day but I did finish with a +23.50 points even with several trade errors (2 trade mistakes, 1 position size mismanagement and 2 early exit errors). Simply, it was a struggle but a few key trades with a nice position size saved the day or prevented me from only having a few points.

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: +23.50 Emini ES ($ES_F) points

092309wrbtraderPnLBlotterProfit.png [ 32.67 KiB | Viewed 478 times ]


Stocks Abandon Rally Post-Fed
Markets give up rally that left Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 at a nearly 1-year high, after the central bank says economy is improving and holds interest rates near zero percent.
By Alexandra Twin, senior writer
Last Updated: September 23, 2009: 6:13 PM ET

NEW YORK ( -- Stocks tumbled Wednesday, retreating from one-year highs, as investors took a sell-the-news reaction to the Fed's decision to hold interest rates steady and keep its economic outlook relatively unchanged.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) lost 81 points, or 0.8%. The Dow ended the previous session at the highest point since Oct. 6, 2008. The S&P 500 (SPX) index fell 10 points, or 1%, after ending the previous session at the highest level since Oct. 3.

The Nasdaq composite (COMP) fell 14 points, or 0.7%, after finishing the previous session at the highest mark since last Sept. 26.

The major indexes have repeatedly closed at near 1-year highs over the past two weeks. Stocks are likely to keep batting up against those levels until the start of the third-quarter financial reporting period late next month, said Jeff Kleintop, chief market strategist at LPL Financial.

"I think there will be a lot of upside surprises," Kleintop said. "In the second-quarter, we saw better-than-expected earnings mostly on cost cutting and little revenue growth. This time we'll still see the impact of cost cutting but I think we'll also see revenue growth."

He said that this fundamental improvement in Corporate America should give the rally another push.

Stocks initially rallied after the Fed announcement Wednesday, but failed to hold gains as investors used the latest nearly one-year milestone for the market as a reason to sell. A milder-than-expected response to a government auction of $40 billion in five-year notes also contributed to the late declines.

There wasn't much in the statement that had market-moving potential, said Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at Maria Fiorini Ramirez Inc. "The outlook was consistent with the reports we've seen recently and with what the Fed has been saying."

Thursday brings the weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department and the existing home sales report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Also, the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh begins. The Group of 20 leading developed and emerging countries will discuss the ongoing efforts to stabilize economies after the financial market meltdown.

Fed: The Federal Reserve kept the fed funds rate, a key short-term bank lending rate, at a level near zero, as expected. The announcement was made at the end of its two-day policy meeting.

In the statement, the bankers said that "economic activity has picked up following its severe downturn. Conditions in financial markets have improved further, and activity in the housing sector has increased."

But the bankers also noted that consumer spending has remained under pressure due to the rough jobs market and still-tight credit conditions. Last week, Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke said the recession was very likely over, but the labor market still has a long way to go.

In light of the continued challenges, the Fed reiterated Wednesday that it was likely to keep the fed funds rate at the historic lows for the foreseeable future.

Investors were also looking for more on how the Fed plans to eventually wind down programs that have pumped as much as $1 trillion into the economy to cushion the blow of the recession.

To that end, the Fed said it will stretch its purchases of $1.25 trillion of mortgage-backed securities from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae through the end of the first quarter of 2010. Previously, the program was set to end through Dec. 31. The program has so far succeeded in helping to lower mortgage rates.

Shapiro said that this change was the most interesting detail in the statement. "In terms of buying mortgage-backed securities, the Fed is the only game in town and so maybe they hope that in six months, the world will have had enough time to heal so that someone else can jump in."

One-year highs: The major gauges are back near levels not seen since shortly after the collapse of Lehman Bros. last September.

Despite rampant calls for a fall selloff, investors have used any modest pullback this month as an opportunity to get back into stocks at a slightly lower level. Analysts say fears of having missed the boat on the rally have driven the latest spate of gains.

Since bottoming at a 12-year low March 9, the S&P 500 has gained 56.8% and the Dow has gained 48.9%, as of Wednesday's close. After hitting a six-year low, the Nasdaq has gained 68%.

Stocks have risen during this period on signs that the economy is slowly starting to recover, and on extraordinary amounts of fiscal and monetary stimulus.

Company news: American Airlines and US Airways Group both slipped after announcing plans to raise cash, dragging down the whole airline sector.

American said it has priced its offering of 48.5 million shares of common stock, as well as $400 million in 5-year notes, with both offerings due to close Monday. The two sales should give American about $770.5 million after fees and expenses. American parent AMR (AMR, Fortune 500) fell 7.8%.

US Airways Group (LCC, Fortune 500) said it will sell 26.3 million shares of its common stock to Citigroup, the offering's underwriter, with the sale due to close Monday. US Airways fell 13.6%.

The NYSE Arca Airline (XAL) index lost 2%.

General Mills (GIS, Fortune 500) reported higher quarterly earnings that topped forecasts and boosted its full-year outlook, due to strong sales of Cheerios, Trix and its other cereal brands. Shares rose over 4%.

Washington: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told a House committee that U.S. economic growth appears to be picking up, but that reforms must be enacted to fix a broken system. He was testifying at a House Financial Services committee hearing on regulatory reform.

At least one million people could be eligible for an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits, following a House of Representatives bill approved Tuesday night. The Senate is expected to take up the issue soon, although it faces some questions about how it should be funded.

World markets: Global markets were mostly higher. In Europe, London's FTSE 100, France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX all ended lower, giving up gains. In Asia, the Hong Kong Hang Seng fell 0.5%, while Japan's market was closed for a holiday.

Currency and commodities: The dollar held on to gains versus the yen and euro following the Fed announcement. The greenback had touched a fresh one-year low against a basket of currencies in the morning.

The strength in the dollar dragged on dollar-traded oil and gold prices.

U.S. light crude oil for October delivery fell $2.79 to settle at $68.97 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, dropping after a government report showed a big jump in weekly crude supplies.

COMEX gold for December delivery fell $1.10 to settle at $1,014.40 an ounce. Gold closed at a record high of $1,020.20 last week.

Bonds: Treasury prices rose, lowering the yield on the benchmark 10-year note to 3.41% from 3.44% late Tuesday. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Market breadth was positive. On the New York Stock Exchange, winners narrowly topped losers three to two on volume of 1.32 billion shares. On the Nasdaq, advancers topped decliners eight to five on volume of 2.72 billion shares. To top of page
First Published: September 23, 2009: 9:50 AM ET


Yahoo! Finance

4:35 pm : Action was muted ahead of the latest FOMC policy statement, which spurred buying and sent stocks to their best levels of the year. However, the new highs proved unsustainable as stocks rolled over and closed at session lows with their worst loss since the first of the month.

The tone to premarket trading had been mildly positive, but stocks lost their way after the opening bell and spent most of the morning drifting in mixed fashion. As such, gains and losses in the broader market were relatively contained.

However, telecom steadily outperformed for the entire session. It finished 1.6% higher as the only major sector to post a gain. However, its lack of relative size limited its leadership.

Energy stocks traded with considerable weakness for the entire session. It finished 1.9% lower, hampered by bearish oil inventory data, which showed a build of 2.86 million barrels when a draw of 1.40 million had been expected. Crude prices to finish 3.9% lower at $68.99 per barrel.

Despite the drop in oil prices, airline stocks slumped. In turn, the Amex Airline Index shed 4.3%. US Airways (LCC 4.52, -0.71) disappointed by announcing the sale of 26 million shares of common stock. Meanwhile, AMR Corp (AMR 7.78, -0.66) priced its 48 million common share offering at $8.25 per share, which is slightly below the previous session's closing price.

Financials were the worst performing major sector in the S&P 500, despite trading quietly in the early going. Late pressure sent the sector 2.1% lower.

Materials stocks finished not far behind financials, however. The sector dropped 2.0% amid weakness in commodities stocks and commodities prices. Softer commodities prices sent the CRB Commodity Index down 1.0%.

Weakness among commodities was exacerbated by a stronger dollar, which fell to new 2009 lows immediately after the release of the latest Fed policy statement. However, it was able to rebound to a 0.3% gain. Despite its strong finish, many currency traders continue to bet against the greenback.

The latest FOMC policy statement, which indicated that economic activity has picked up since its severe downturn. Neither that, nor the Fed's belief that economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the fed funds rate (left unchanged at 0.00% to 0.25%, as expected) for an extended period came as much of a surprise. The FOMC went on to say that it will purchase $1.25 trillion of agency mortgage backed securities and $200 billion agency debt, but it will gradually slow the pace of purchases to promote a smooth transition in markets.

Stocks in the broader market attracted support with the statement's midafternoon release. That drove the S&P 500 to session highs and a gain of 0.8%. Ford (F 7.36, +0.35) and General Mills (GIS 63.80, +2.83) were primary gainers. Ford benefited from its view that the U.S. auto market is looking good and vehicle sales are expected to increase, while General Mills posted better-than-expected earnings for its latest quarter and issued upside guidance.

Still, their strength wasn't enough to stop some late-session selling, which culminated in a 1.0% loss for the S&P 500. This is only the second time this month that the S&P 500 lost at least 1%, though.

Treasuries responded favorably to the Fed's announcement, but were able to hold their gains. The benchmark 10-year Note finished roughly 10 ticks higher, which put its yield back near 3.40%. Prior to the announcement they had been showing weakness, uninspired by news that a $40 billion auction of 5-year Treasuries produced a high yield of 2.47% and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.4. DJ30 -81.32 NASDAQ -14.88 NQ100 -0.6% R2K -1.2% SP400 -1.5% SP500 -10.79 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1023/2.70 bln/1668 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1063/1.32 bln/1958

3:35 pm : The market is now trading at afternoon lows after giving up the entire FOMC induced spike, and then some. Energy remains the primary sector laggard, now off 1.3%.

As expected, energy commodities also faced selling pressure this session. They were down 1.7% as a whole.

However, today's pit trade saw a divergence in natural gas futures prices versus the other energy commodities. On what is perceived to be a continuation of short-covering, natural gas futures rose throughout the session. They closed up 7.5% at $3.88 per contract, just off session highs at $3.94 per contract.

Crude oil futures prices saw sharp declines following bearish inventory data this morning. After falling more then $1.50 in minutes, crude oil prices were relatively stagnant for the rest of the session. November crude oil futures closed down 3.9% at $68.99 per barrel after hitting a session low at $68.57 per barrel.

Strength in the dollar through the first half of the session weighed on precious metals prices. December gold and silver futures hit session lows at $1007.20 per ounce and $16.72 per ounce, respectively in the mid-morning. However, the dollar sold off heading into the FOMC release. This allowed precious metals to recover somewhat. December gold futures closed down fractionally at $1014.40 per ounce as silver futures expiring the same month fought back to $16.91 per ounce, still down 1.2%. Further weakness in the dollar following the FOMC release has buoyed precious metals prices further.DJ30 -12.54 NASDAQ -3.46 SP500 -3.23 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1321/2.19 bln/1349 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1397/917 mln/1602

3:00 pm : The stock market has pulled back sharply from the session highs which were set following the FOMC's statement. Currently, each of the major indices are only trading with modest gains.

Telecom Equipment (+2.83%) and utilities (+0.90%) continue to be two areas of strength, while the materials (-0.50%) sector is a clear laggard.DJ30 +34.8 NASDAQ +9.4 SP500 +2.2 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1555/1944/1110 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1701/793.5/1283

2:30 pm : Stocks have spiked in a knee-jerk reaction to the latest FOMC policy statement, but they have since pulled back. Still, the post-announcement gain has left stocks above any point that they had traded at ahead of the statement's release.

According to the Fed, economic activity has picked up since its severe downturn, but that shouldn't come as a surprise to investors and economists. Also of little surprise, the committee said that economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the fed funds rate for an extended period. To that point, the fed funds rate was left unchanged in its range from 0.00% to 0.25%.

The FOMC went on to say that it will purchase $1.25 trillion of agency mortgage backed securities and $200 billion agency debt, but will gradually slow the pace of purchases to promote a smooth transition in markets.

Like stocks, Treasuries have rebounded in the wake of the announcement. The benchmark 10-year Note has more than reversed its loss and now trades with a gain of 5 ticks. That has its yield at 3.43%.DJ30 +57.59 NASDAQ +13.09 SP500 +5.09 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1521/1.70 bln/1131 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1773/699 mln/1211

2:00 pm : The S&P 500 continues to chop along with a modest gain. The tepid trade comes ahead of the latest FOMC policy statement, which is expected to be released in just a few minutes. Economists expect the Fed to leave the fed funds rate unchanged from the range 0.00% to 0.25%, but close attention will be paid to the Fed's directive and their economic outlook.DJ30 +31.97 NASDAQ +7.15 SP500 2.26 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1389/1.52 bln/1238 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1591/606 mln/1383

1:30 pm : Stocks continue to trade in mixed fashion, but Treasuries have fallen following results from a $40 billion auction of 5-year Treasuries. The auction produced a high yield of 2.47% and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.4. The results were close to what was expected, but the benchmark 10-year Note has slipped 10 ticks to trade near session lows.DJ30 +17.84 NASDAQ +4.48 SP500 +1.18 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1350/1.39 bln/1238 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1528/557 mln/1422

1:00 pm : Mixed action in the broader market has left the S&P 500 to trade at the flat line after spending most of the morning contending with selling pressure. Appropriately, the major sectors are split between advancers and decliners.

The lack of direction comes ahead of the results from a $40 billion auction of 5-year Treasuries (1:00 PM ET) and the latest FOMC policy directive (2:15 PM ET), which is expected to leave the fed funds rate unchanged in its 0.00% to 0.25% range amid the need to keep interest rates low.

Despite lackluster trading in the major indices, telecom stocks are making their way to one of their best performances in months. The sector is currently up 2.9%. However, telecom hardly makes for a legitimate leader for the broader market since it is the smallest sector by market weight in the S&P 500.

Energy stocks have fallen under the most selling pressure, though it has recovered from its lows. The sector had dropped to a 2.0% loss following bearish oil inventory data, but energy stocks are now trading with a 0.8% loss. Oil prices are down 3.6% to $69.15 per barrel, though.

On an individual basis, Ford (F 7.41, +0.40) and General Mills (GIS 64.08, +3.11) are both showing considerable strength. Reports indicate that Ford's management believes that the U.S. market is looking good and vehicle sales are expected to increase, while General Mills posted better-than-expected earnings for its latest quarter and issued upside guidance.

With action muted in the broader stock market and Treasury auction results and an FOMC announcement looming, Treasuries are also mired in inactivity. That has the benchmark 10-year Note trading just two ticks higher. DJ30 +15.87 NASDAQ +4.54 SP500 +1.37 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1317/1.32 bln/1270 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1514/526 mln/1433

12:30 pm : The S&P 500 has made its way into positive territory, but the gain is only fractional. Meanwhile, telecom stocks continue to march higher and now sport a 2.9% gain. That's the best single-session percentage advance for the telecom sector in four months.

Separately, Treasury Secretary Geithner stated today in a testimony to the House Committee on Financial Services that [consumers] will eventually have to go back to living within their means and that the most important thing for the economy is to make sure it has recovered before stepping on the brakes.DJ30 +13.38 NASDAQ +5.36 SP500 +1.33 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1303/1.19 bln/1276 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1497/482 mln/1414

12:00 pm : The stock market is trying to poke its nose back into positive territory, but action remains mixed among the S&P 500's underlying sectors.

The mixed action hasn't done anything to stimulate Treasury markets. In turn, the benchmark 10-year Note is trading flat and yielding 3.45%. Treasuries are also in wait-and-see mode ahead of the 5-year Treasury auction results (1:00 PM ET) and FOMC policy statement (2:15 PM ET).DJ30 +1.44 NASDAQ +2.99 SP500 -0.37 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1235/1.07 bln/1311 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1375/435 mln/1507

11:30 am : Telecom stocks have extended their advance to a 2.0% gain, but the broader market remains stuck in negative territory.

Losses remain steepest among energy stocks. The sector is currently down 1.5% as a broad range of energy players falter following a bearish inventory report for crude oil, which is near its lowest point in a week after falling 4.1% to $68.80 per barrel. The drop in oil prices has left oil and gas drillers off by 2.3%, oil and gas equipment providers down 2.1%, and oil and gas refiners off by 2.0%.DJ30 -816. NASDAQ -0.30 SP500 -1.91 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1125/950 mln/1397 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1277/387 mln/1587

11:00 am : Stocks recently extended their losses, but the downturn has been stemmed.

Ford (F 7.35, +0.34) is currently providing the broader market with the most support and is making its best single-session move since a 6% spike in early September. The stock's advance follows comments from Ford CEO, Alan Mullaly, that the U.S. market is looking good and vehicle sales are expected to increase, according to Reuters.

Competitors Toyota Motor (TM 82.17, -0.72) and Honda Motor (HMC 30.64, -0.24) aren't faring so well this session.DJ30 -20.33 NASDAQ -1.02 SP500 -2.57 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1097/801 mln/1381 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1198/329 mln/1621

10:30 am : November crude oil chopped around right under the unchanged line overnight, before falling notable to new session lows of $70.32 shortly after the open of pit trading. Ahead of this week's inventory data, crude was trading 1.7% lower at $70.57 per barrel. Following inventory data, which showed a build of 2855K vs. a consensus of a draw of 1400K, crude fell quickly and is down 3.3% to $69.38 per barrel.

October natural gas also chopped around the unchanged line overnight before trending higher ahead of the open of pit trading. Natural gas hit morning highs of $3.80 per MMBtu and is currently 4.3% higher at $3.768 per MMBtu.

The US Dollar Index is higher after trading in negative territory for most of the overnight session, which is adding selling pressure in precious metals.

December gold and December silver recently moved into negative territory and hit fresh lows of $1010.90 per ounce and $16.925 per ounce, respectively. Gold is currently 0.2% lower at $1013 per ounce, while silver is down 0.8% at $16.98 per ounce.DJ30 +4.08 NASDAQ +4.24 SP500 +0.52 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1215/578.9 mln/1200 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1322/238.0 mln/1419

10:00 am : A choppy start has given way to some mild selling pressure, which has taken all three major indices to a loss.

Though weakness is relatively contained, it has left seven of the 10 major sectors in the S&P 500 to trade in negative territory. Energy (-0.7%) is making the worst slide as oil prices drop 1.6% to $70.60 per barrel ahead of the weekly oil inventory report (10:30 AM ET). Meanwhile, tech (+0.1%), consumer staples (+0.3%), and telecom (+1.0%) are still sporting gains.

Early movers: Trading up -- ILI +408.5%, ASTIZ +40.9%, KERX +36.4%, OPXA +24.3%, ASTI +21.7%, CHNG +12.7%, MPG +10.7%, SNIC +10.7%; Trading down -- UTHR -50.1%, NPD -15.1%, CEU -10.3%, LCC -9.8%, TONE -9.7%, DAC -9.1%, PHH -8.4%, ISPH -7.7%, UCBI -7.4%, INCY -7.4%, DJ30 -13.75 NASDAQ -0.77 SP500 -1.62 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 392 mln/1568/1068 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1130/169 mln/1547

09:45 am : Despite the relative strength of stock futures, the S&P 500 is trading near the unchanged mark. The Nasdaq has managed to make a modest gain, though.

The Nasdaq's early move comes amid ongoing strength in Palm (PALM 17.51, +0.44), which has gained more than 20% during the last couple of sessions as rumors circulate that the company may have some potential buyers.

In the broader S&P 500, telecom is an early standout after lagging in the previous session. Thanks to strength in integrated telcos (+1.5%), the telecom sector is up 1.4%. The other sectors are trading in mixed fashion.DJ30 +7.33 NASDAQ +5.68 SP500 +1.29 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1217/221 mln/1020 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1383/110 mln/1207

09:15 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +2.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +6.00. Stock futures point to a higher start for the major averages, but the expected gain is relatively restrained ahead of this afternoon's FOMC policy statement (2:15 PM ET), which is expected to feature an unchanged benchmark lending rate that ranges from 0.00% to 0.25%. Most attention, then, will be placed on the FOMC's directive. Volatility could arise in the event of any surprises in planned policy or purchases of Treasuries. With that in mind, participants also await the results of a $40 billion auction of 5-year Treasuries (1:00 PM ET). General Mills (GIS) is the headliner in corporate news. The food maker posted better-than-expected earnings for its latest quarter and issued upside guidance.

09:00 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +2.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +5.50. The U.S. dollar is now flat after earlier weakness sent the Dollar Index to fresh lows for 2009 earlier this morning. Action in the greenback is generaly expected to be contained ahead of the latest Fed comments, which are expected at 2:15 PM ET. Despite the flat dollar, commodities are showing weakness. In the first few moments of pit trading, oil prices are down 0.5% to $71.40 per barrel. Gold is down 0.2% to $1012.90 per ounce.

08:35 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +2.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +5.50. U.S. stock futures continue to trade with mild gains. Tempered gains are also being made in Europe following news that factory orders in the 16-country zone advanced 2.6% in July, the second straight monthly gain, according to Dow Jones. Dow Jones also reported that the euro zone's private sector output increased for the second consecutive month in September, for which the composite output index hit a 16-month high of 50.8. In other economic news, the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to keep policy unchanged in September. However, some members showed interest in a future expansion of bond buying, according to reports. Britain's FTSE has responded by making its way to a 0.6% gain. Standard Charter is a primary leader in the British index, but Barclays (BCS) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) are trading as primary laggards. Meanwhile, France's CAC is up 0.4%, with a swath of financials providing leadership; BNP Paribas, Societe Generale, Credit Agricole, and AXA (AXA) are currently primary leaders. In Germany, the DAX is up 0.3%. Muenchener Rue is a primary leader for the second straight session. It is currently joined by Deutsche Bank (DB) and Deutsche Boerse. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei remains closed for holiday observance. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.5%, though. Financials were the weak link as HSBC (HBC), Bank of China, Bank of Communications, and China Life Insurance were the session's primary laggards. Meanwhile, the MSCI Asia Apex finished fractionally lower. Bank of China and China Life were also among its primary laggards, as were shares of Industrial and Commercial Bank. In other global action, the Swiss Market Index and the OMX Stockholm Index are up 0.6%. Russia's Micex Index is up 1.6%. Mexico's Bolsa Index and Brazil's Bovespa have yet to open for trading Wednesday.

08:05 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +2.70. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +5.80. Prepared food maker General Mills (GIS) topped the latest consensus quarterly earnings estimate of $1.03 per share by bringing in an adjusted $1.28 per share. That has helped drive GIS up nearly 4% to $63.35 per share ahead of the opening bell. Meanwhile, broader market stock futures are also strong as participants show an early willingness to extend the previous session's gains. Overseas markets are relatively mixed, however. The primary item on today's calendar is the FOMC policy statement, which isn't expected until 2:15 PM ET. The Fed is expected to leave its benchmark lending rate unchanged from its current range of 0.00% to 0.25%, so most attention will be placed on the Fed's assessment of economic conditions and any planned measures for steering the economy. Participants will also be awaiting the results of an auction of 5-year Treasuries (1:00 PM ET).

06:18 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +0.20. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +2.00.

06:18 am : Nikkei...Holiday......... Hang Seng...21595.52...-105.60...-0.50%.

06:18 am : FTSE...5160.34...+17.70...+0.30%. DAX...5720.06...+10.70...+0.20%.

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