Written By M.A. Perry
Trader and Founder of WRB Analysis
(wide range body analysis)T
oday'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 involving WRB Analysis (wide range body analysis) because its all archived @ http://www.thestrategylab.com/ftchat/forum/viewtopic.php?f=68&t=412
I'm still on holiday vacation but will return to trading tomorrow but will only trade if the volatility is at least 50% the norm between 0930am - 1000am est.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 and volatility along with being able to exploit these changes via WRB Analysis (wide range body analysis).http://www.thestrategylab.com/WRBAnalysisTutorials.htmhttp://www.thestrategylab.com/TradeStrategies.htm
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 efforts in trade signals while ignoring the impact on their trading results via market experience, discipline, money management, team collaboration, proper trading enviornment (home or office), market psychology, trader psychology (trading habits/routine and 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: +0.00
Emini ES ($ES_F) points "No Trades"
------------------------------Stocks Hit New Highs
By Alexandra Twin, senior writer
December 28, 2009: 6:32 PM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Stocks ended a choppy session higher Monday, with the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq managing fresh 2009 highs on some optimism about a recovery in retail sales and gains in select sectors.
The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) rose 27 points, or 0.3%, ending at the highest point since Oct. 1, 2008.
The S&P 500 index (SPX) gained 1 point, or 0.1%, and ended at the highest level since Oct. 1, 2008. The Nasdaq composite (COMP) rose 5 points, or 0.2%, ending at the highest point since Sept. 3, 2008.
Stocks had risen in the morning as investors welcomed a report showing some improvement in holiday retail sales, lost steam in the afternoon and then recharged by the close.
Stocks have now risen for six straight sessions, including the 3-1/2 days of last week's holiday shortened trading week. All financial markets closed early on Christmas Eve and were closed for Christmas.
The market is back to levels not seen since the fall of 2008, around the time of the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
Year-to-date, as of Monday's close, the Dow is up just over 20%, the S&P 500 is up 25% and the Nasdaq composite is up 45%. But all three major indexes are up even more substantially since hitting multi-year lows on March 9 amid the height of the financial crisis.
"We've seen a really strong recovery in the market the last nine months, based more on optimism than the fundamentals," said Robert McGee, portfolio manager at CS McKee.
He said that looking forward, the fundamentals -- a strong economy and earnings growth, among other factors -- should start to pick up. But even so, gains are likely to be limited after 2009's blowout. "I think it's going to be pretty flat in the first part of next year."
The last week of the year is typically lightly-traded, with many Wall Street pros and individual investors taking part or all of the week off. This year in particular, investors are unlikely to mess with their portfolios in the last days, unless it is to lock in a little in the way of profits.
All financial markets are active Thursday ahead of New Year's Eve, but are closed Friday for New Year's Day.
Retail: In what could be a positive sign for the consumer spending outlook, sales at U.S. retailers look to have risen in the all-important holiday shopping period.
Early estimates from the National Retail Federation (NRF) suggest sales in November and December fell 1%, an improvement from a 3.4% drop for the same period a year ago.
Sales at U.S. retailers rose 3.6% between November 1 and Christmas Eve, according to a report released by SpendingPulse, a unit of MasterCard, Reuters reported.
However, the retail sector showed little reaction Monday, with Amazon.com (AMZN, Fortune 500), Saks (SKS) and Macy's (M, Fortune 500) among the few gainers.
0:00 /2:45Best investing bets for 2010
Airlines: Stocks in the industry were under pressure after a passenger on a Northwest flight heading from Amsterdam to Detroit Friday allegedly attempted to ignite an explosive.
The incident prompted an increase in the security measures airports and air carriers are taking, particularly on international flights into the United States.
Continental Airlines (CAL, Fortune 500), American Airlines parent AMR (AMR, Fortune 500) and Northwest parent Delta Air Lines (DAL, Fortune 500) were among the air carriers sliding.
On the move: Among others movers, Fannie Mae (FNM, Fortune 500) and Freddie Mac (FRE, Fortune 500) both rallied after the Treasury Department removed its $400 billion cap on the amount of money it will spend to keep the companies afloat. Treasury said it will now increase support depending on how much each company loses per quarter.
Fannie and Freddie are government-run mortgage lenders that own or guarantee about half the mortgages in the country.
But the two stocks were an exception in an otherwise weak bank sector.
World markets: Asian markets ended mixed. In Europe, Germany's DAX rose 0.8% and France's CAC 40 added 0.9%. British markets were closed for the Boxing Day celebration.
Commodities and the dollar: COMEX gold for February delivery rose $3.10 to settle at $1,107.90 an ounce. Gold closed at an all-time high of $1,218.30 an ounce earlier this month.
U.S. light crude oil for February delivery rose 72 cents to settle at $78.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The U.S. dollar gained versus the euro and against the yen.
Bonds: Treasury prices fell, raising the yield on the 10-year note to 3.84% from 3.80% late Thursday. Prices had been even lower ahead of the latest auction of two-year note, which saw lighter demand than in recent months. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Market breadth was mixed. On the New York Stock Exchange, losers beat winners by a narrow margin on volume of 710 million shares. On the Nasdaq, decliners topped advancers seven to six on volume of 1.25 billion shares. Yahoo! Finance
4:15 pm : Modest gains in the early going turned into modest losses during afternoon action, but some late support helped the stock market settle higher for the sixth straight session. There weren't many catalysts to account for this session's trade; instead, stocks were largely left to move on their own.
Amid a lack of news flow, early participants took their cues from overseas markets, which made solid gains on the back of better-than-expected economic data in Japan and word that stimulus policies in China will remain intact. A modest pullback by the greenback also provided early support to stocks. The Dollar Index settled with a 0.1% loss.
However, stocks came under pressure in afternoon trade. Financials proved to be a particular drag on action and fell 0.3% as bank stocks sank to a 0.7% loss, based on the KBW Bank Index. That slide came even though the Federal Reserve proposed amendments that would offer interest-bearing term deposits to eligible institutions.
Though financials faltered, the broader market was able to reclaim its gains into the close. Telecom and health care settled 0.6% and 0.4% higher, respectively, and were the best performing sectors.
Retailers looked relatively strong for the entire session amid news from MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse that U.S. retail holiday sales increased an estimated 3.6% year-over-year. Internet retailers contributed meaningfully to the increase so Amazon.com (AMZN 139.29, +0.82) garnered support, but its strength faded. Still, it was able to provide support to the Nasdaq 100, which outperformed the headline indices by booking a 0.5% gain.
Commodities performed well for the entire session. That helped the CRB Commodity Index climb 1.3% to trade at a fresh two-month high, even though weakness in the dollar was relatively tame.
Treasuries tripped again. That took the benchmark 10-year Note down nine ticks and its yield to 3.84%, which puts it near four-month highs. Treasuries temporarily pared their losses amid news that results from an auction of two-year Notes produced a bid-to-cover that was in-line with this year's average of 2.9. The two-year Note fell four ticks, which put its yield at 1.04%.
Only some 700 million shares exchanged hands on the NYSE this session. Though Christmas holiday has passed, light action is likely to persist until after the new year.
Advancing Sectors: Telecom (+0.6%), Health Care (+0.4%), Energy (+0.3%), Tech (+0.2%), Utilities (+0.2%), Materials (+0.2%), Consumer Staples (+0.1%)
Declining Sectors: Financials (-0.3%), Industrials (-0.1%)
Unchanged: Consumer DiscretionaryDJ30 +26.98 NASDAQ +5.39 NQ100 +0.5% R2K +0.0% SP400 +0.0% SP500 +1.30 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1215/1.23 bln/1482 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1555/705 mln/1482
3:35 pm : The energy complex highlights strength in the commodity space this session. Energy commodities finished 2.3% higher. The Energy Select SPDR (XLE $57.75 -0.06) gapped higher this session to follow early gains in the energy complex. However, the Energy ETF has trended down, much like the broader market, since opening at a session high.
After fading at the $77.50 resistance level on multiple occasions in the prior session (December 24), February crude oil futures opened above the $78 level this session. It continued to rise during the pit trade, but failed multiple times at the $79 level. February crude oil finished 0.8% higher at $78.68 per barrel. Crude oil contracts are at levels not seen since the beginning of the month.
Natural gas saw a more pronounced move to the upside this session. The January natural gas contract, which expires at the close of tomorrow's pit trade, closed 4.7% higher at $5.96 per MMBtu.
Precious metals saw modest gains this session. Early gains in gold and silver futures were given up as the session progressed. Marginal weakness in the dollar index did little to boost interest in the precious metals. February gold closed 0.2% higher at $1107 per ounce and March silver closed 0.5% higher at $17.53 per ounce. DJ30 -1.59 NASDAQ -0.60 SP500 -1.54 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1071/1.02 bln/1651 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1367/464 mln/1642
3:00 pm : Stocks have steadied their afternoon slide and are on the mend. That has the Nasdaq and Dow looking to push back into positive ground, but the S&P 500 still has a little longer way to go.
Commodities have held strong this session. As such, the CRB Commodity Index is up 1.2% to trade at a fresh session high and a fresh two-month high. DJ30 -3.78 NASDAQ -0.91 SP500 -1.56 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1069/921 mln/1625 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1400/415 mln/1594
2:30 pm : The Federal Reserve proposed amendments that would enable a term deposit facility that would offer interest-bearing term deposits to eligible institutions. Term deposits would drain reserves to support the effective implementation of monetary policy. However, the proposal has no implications for monetary policy decisions in the near term.
The announcement hasn't won support for bank stocks, though. Weakness in the group has diversified banks down 1.6% and regional banks down 1.7%. That has the financial sector down 0.7%, worse than any other major sector.
Meanwhile, the broader market has fallen to a fresh session low, though its overall loss remains rather modest. Nonetheless, should weakness persist, it will mark the stock market's first loss in six sessions. DJ30 -11.64 NASDAQ -4.12 SP500 -2.74 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1027/838 mln/1664 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1354/379 mln/1639
2:00 pm : The S&P 500 recently dipped into negative territory, but it has since returned to the positive side of the neutral line to trade with a fractional gain.
Industrials (-0.3%), financials (-0.3%), and utilities (-0.2%) have been dragging on the broader market. Materials (+0.4%) and telecom (+0.3%) are providing some support, though. DJ30 +8.01 NASDAQ +3.40 SP500 +0.09 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1133/760 mln/1540 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1513/342 mln/1477
1:30 pm : Stocks remain flat, but Treasuries have pared some of their losses following mixed results from the latest auction of two-year Notes. The auction produced a bid-to-cover that was in-line with this year's average of 2.9, but the indirect bidding of nearly 35% was the lowest level since July's auction. DJ30 +11.18 NASDAQ +4.71 SP500 +0.59 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1172/695 mln/1508 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1556/309 mln/1428
1:00 pm : Stocks had shown a positive response to strong overseas gains and a dip by the dollar in early trade, but their influence has faded amid failed leadership in the broader market.
Participants took their early cues from broad-based buying in overseas action and a weaker dollar, which continues to trade with a 0.2% loss. Overseas markets have closed with Japan's Nikkei netting a strong gain on the back of some positive industrial production data, while the Shanghai Composite spiked after an official indicated that stimulus policies in China will remain intact.
However, stocks have since surrendered most of their opening gains. Though a lack of leadership has kept stocks from extending the initial advance, steady broader market support has kept the S&P 500 out of negative territory and drifting along the neutral line.
Retailers continue to trade with a healthy 0.5% gain, though. According to MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse, U.S. retail holiday sales increased an estimated 3.6% year-over-year. The news has been particularly helpful to Amazon.com (AMZN 140.51, +2.04).
Shares of AMZN have teamed up with large-cap tech to help the Nasdaq 100 outperform the headline indices. The Nasdadq 100 is currently up 0.5%.
Treasuries have tripped again so that the benchmark 10-year Note is currently down nine ticks. That puts its yield near fourth-month highs and 282 basis points above the yield of the two-year Note. Results from an auction of two-year Treasuries are due imminently (1:00 PM ET).DJ30 +12.92 NASDAQ +4.83 SP500 +0.73 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1145/645 mln/1500 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1523/289 mln/1431
12:30 pm : The major indices remain in positive territory, but their gains are also rather unimpressive. Commodities continue to show strength as the CRB Commodity Index climbs to a 0.8% gain.
Oil, which is a leader among commodities, were last priced 1.0% higher at $78.80 per barrel. Despite that, energy stocks are up just 0.1% at the moment. DJ30 +13.60 NASDAQ +5.20 SP500 +0.46 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1155/586 mln/1479 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1499/266 mln/1422
12:00 pm : Action remains listless as the S&P 500 moves sideways along the neutral line. There haven't been any major news items to provide participants with direction this session.
Stocks had shown a positive response to strong overseas gains and a dip by the dollar in early trade, but those factors have since faded as a factor for trade. Without any lasting catalysts, stocks have generally been left to trade in their own volition. DJ30 +13.22 NASDAQ +4.93 SP500 +0.58 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1166/519 mln/1448 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1531/241 mln/1371
11:30 am : Action remains mixed in the broader market. Telecom has steadily gained ground, though. The telecom sector is currently up 0.5% as AT&T (T 28.28, +0.18) wins favor from participants.
Financials have fallen to a 0.1% loss. The sector had been up roughly 0.4% in early action, but has since been undercut by bank stocks. Weakness among both diversified banks and regional lenders has the KBW Bank Index down 0.5%. DJ30 +13.68 NASDAQ +4.65 SP500 +0.79 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1189/445 mln/1403 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1546/205 mln/1334
11:00 am : The tone of this morning's trade has gone from broadly positive to mixed. As such, the stock market has given up all of its opening gains and now trades at the unchanged mark.
Large-cap tech continues to garner support, though. In turn, the Nasdaq 100 is up a healthy 0.4%. Apple (AAPL 212.90, +3.86) and Google (GOOG 622.86, +4.38) are currently leaders of the pack. They have also been among the best performers this year; the two stocks are on track for annual gains of 145% and 101%, respectively. DJ30 +8.65 NASDAQ +4.60 SP500 +0.19 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1159/358 mln/1367 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1471/171 mln/1355
10:30 am : Weakness in the US Dollar Index has been providing price support in much of the commodity complex this morning.
February crude pushed to fresh morning highs of $79.12 per barrel in recent activity. Currently, crude is just under those highs at $78.80 per barrel, up 1%. January natural gas spiked sharply around 8:00ET on no specific news item after trading in a tight range in the overnight session. In recent activity, natural gas is 4.4% higher at 5.89 per MMBtu.
Precious metals lost steam on a minor uptick in the dollar, which remains lower in current trade. February gold moved into negative territory in recent activity to $1103.30 per ounce, down $1.50, while March silver is 0.3% higher at $17.50 per ounce.
In the shipping sector, the Baltic Dry Index fell 2.9% to close at 3,063 and has traded lower in 20 of its last 23 sessions.DJ30 +14.51 NASDAQ +5.84 SP500 +1.01 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1147/291.9 mln/1342 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1538/141.6 mln/1261
10:00 am : Stocks have slipped from their opening levels, but the broad-market indexes continue to sport solid gains.
Relative weakness is currently confined to consumer staples stocks and industrials stocks, which are both down to fractional losses. Health care stocks are currently flirting with a loss as they dance along the unchanged mark after opening the session in higher ground.
Treasuries have been tripped up again. The benchmark 10-year Note is currently down 10 ticks so that its yield has risen to its highest level since early August.
Early movers: Trading up -- CGEN +35.8%, VICL +21.8%, AMCS +21.5%, ACTU +14.7%, PAR +9.8%, OSIS +9.2%, YONG +9%, SVA +7.4%, KEP +7.2%; Trading down -- NSU -6.5%, BIOF -5.8%, SCO -4.6%, DTO -4.2%
Advancing Sectors: Energy (+0.5%), Materials (+0.4%), Consumer Discretionary (+0.3%), Financials (+0.3%), Telecom (+0.2%), Tech (+0.2%), Utilities (+0.1%)
Declining Sectors: Industrials (-0.1%), Consumer Staples (-0.1%)
Unchanged: Health Care DJ30 +19.50 NASDAQ +7.37 SP500 +2.24 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1234/168 mln/1130 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1764/97 mln/945
09:45 am : The major equity averages are up modestly in broad-based fashion during the first few minutes of trade. Retailers are faring especially well following word from MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse that U.S. retail sales increased an estimated 3.6% this holiday season from a year earlier. The increase was helped partly by online shopping. Shares of retailers are up 0.8%, but Amazon.com (AMZN 140.83, +2.36) looks particularly strong.
Energy stocks look strong this morning, too. The sector is up 0.7% as oil prices rise to a 1.1% gain to trade at $78.95 per barrel. The move has been helped by a 0.2% decline by the greenback against competing currencies. DJ30 +23.12 NASDAQ +9.15 SP500 +2.95 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1292/105 mln/983 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1828/72 mln/818
09:15 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +2.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +4.50. News flow has been slow this morning, but solid gains by overseas markets and a dip by the Dollar Index have helped to prop up stock futures ahead of the opening bell. Should the positive tone persist, stocks will extend the 52-week highs that were set ahead of the holiday weekend and book their sixth straight gain. Given the strong streak of gains for stocks, Treasuries have been under stiff pressure in recent sessions. Strong results from an auction of two-year Notes at 1:00 PM ET could provide a reprieve for Treasuries, though.
09:00 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +2.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +4.00. The Dollar Index continues to trade with a 0.2% loss, which has helped to win modest support for both stocks and commodities this morning. Support for stocks has the major equity averages headed toward a slightly higher start this session, while the CRB Commodity Index is already up 0.5%, which puts it at a fresh two-month high.
08:30 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +1.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +1.00. U.S. stock futures continue to point to a moderately higher start. Meanwhile, a couple of Europe's major bourses have already put together strong gains. Britain's FTSE is currently closed for holiday observance, but UK Times OnLine reported that the country's Barclays (BCS) is curtailing its international expansion plans. Some businesses could even be put up for sale or closed down. In Germany, the DAX is on its way toward a 0.7% gain. Its advancing issues outnumber its decliners by 2-to-1. Engineering giant Siemens (SI) is a primary leader at the moment. In France, the CAC is up 0.8%. Its advancers currently sport a near 3-to-1 advantage over declining issues. Energy giant Total (TOT) currently provides the most support to the market measure. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei climbed 1.3%. The country's Industrial Production increased 2.6% in November. That helped more than 85% of companies in the Nikkei make a gain. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng slipped 0.2%, but mainland China's Shanghai Composite advanced 1.5% after Premier Jiabao told the Xinhua news agency that it is too early to wind down the government's stimulus policies. Meanwhile, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index closed 0.7% higher.
08:00 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +1.90. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +4.50. There really haven't been any major news stories to act as trading catalysts this morning, but many market participants have returned from holiday vacations with a willingness to modestly extend the 52-week closing highs that stocks booked before heading into the long Christmas weekend. Per usual, the positive tone to premarket trade has been helped by a weaker U.S. dollar, which is currently down 0.2% against a basket of foreign currencies, and solid gains overseas, where an official from China offered that his country will continue its expansive fiscal policy and appropriately easy monetary policy. Today's calendar is light on events, but participants will monitor the results from an auction of two-year Treasuries (1:00 PM ET). The latest Fed Balance Sheet is due after the closing bell (4:30 AM ET). DJ30 NASDAQ SP500 NASDAQ Vol 000 NYSE Vol 000
06:39 am : S&P futures vs fair value: +1.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +6.00.
06:39 am : Nikkei...10634.23...+139.50...+1.30%. Hang Seng...21480.22...-36.80...-0.20%.
06:39 am : FTSE...Holiday......... DAX...6001.66...+44.00...+0.70%.
Trader and Founder of WRB Analysis
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