DOW 0.24% $4.19 downer edi limited

this guy can call markets well

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    Will post closing remarks soon...............


    Friday's Opening View....


    The market's initial response to yesterday's release of initial jobless
    claims seemed positive, but then it took an abrupt turn lower for about
    the first hour of trading before seemingly deciding that the report may
    have been the anomaly in the recent trend. Initial jobless claims for the
    week ending January 3 rose by 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 353,000. The
    rise was greater than the expected 11,000, and marked the first increase
    since the week of December 6. Irrespective, the four-week moving average
    (which is designed to smooth out the potentially volatile weekly
    fluctuations) fell by 5,000 to 350,250. Initial applications for
    unemployment benefits have now remained below the key 400,000 for 13
    consecutive weeks. Some analysts view the sub 400,000 level as consistent
    with a firm or firming job market. Continuing claims for the week ending
    December 27 (this figure always lags by one week) declined by 12,000 to 3,
    273,000

    Equity option activity on the CBOE yesterday had 500,507 put contracts
    trade compared to 970,355 call contracts. The resultant 0.516 single-
    session put/call ratio has the 21-day moving average down to 0.526. We
    have discussed the ramifications of this indicator moving persistently
    lower, but my esteemed co-worker Robert Becks took the proverbial bull by
    the horns and laid out some decent historical data in "How Low Can the P/C
    Go? ", definitely worth a look see. The CBOE Market Volatility Index, SPX
    implied (VIX - 15.61) rose 0.71 percent (OEX implied, VXO - 14.46, down
    2.63 percent and set another 52-week low at 14.42 during the session). The
    Nasdaq-100 Trust Volatility Index (QQV - 19.79) slipped by 0.30 percent
    (another all-time low at 19.01) and the CBOE Nasdaq Market Volatility
    Index (VXN - 21.89) dropped by 0.09 percent and set an intraday all time
    low at 21.36..

    Yesterday's internals were quite solid. Volume on the NYSE came in at an
    explosively "strong" 1.86 billion shares (the highest single session
    volume reading since the 2.047 billion shares traded on November 21, 2002-
    worth noting). The advance/decline ratio came in at 1.61 (2,011 advancing
    issues to 1,244 declining issues). The 486 new annual highs outpaced the
    four new annual lows. Volume on the Nasdaq came in at an "strong" 1.47
    billion shares. The advance/decline ratio stayed above even at 1.63 (1,984
    advancing issues to 1,214 declining issues). New annual highs came in at
    415 while new annual lows came in with just one.
    I've had numerous inquiries as to what constitutes strong or substantial
    volume. In the future, I'll use the 10-day and 20-day moving averages as
    the area of demarcation. Above both trendlines="strong," within these
    trendlines="average," and beneath both trendlines="anemic." (This little
    snippet will remain in this space ad infinitum as a reminder).

    As for today, the purported crown jewel of the economic recovery which has
    yet to be firmly embedded into the tiara of the recent cycle of expansion,
    the December Non-Farm Payrolls report will be released before the market
    open. Analysts currently expect December to deliver 150,000 new non-farm
    jobs on top of the surprisingly disappointing 57,000 rise in November. The
    150K figure sounds good, but the economy has to do better to assure
    continuation of the trend in growth. The companion report, the December
    Unemployment Rate is seen holding steady at 5.9 percent; matching
    November's 5.9 percent rate. This report has the ability to move the
    market, so if there is a surprise, let it be to the upside (maybe to 200,
    000).

    Just in: all that talk and all that we could produce on the employment
    front was 1,000 new jobs! Sure the unemployment rate did drop to 5.7
    percent, but what does that say! (some may have put their jobs search on
    hold.) Average hourly earnings rose by three cents to $15.50. The overall
    workweek declined by 12 minutes to 33.7 hours (that's not good either).
    Adding insult to injury November payrolls were revised lower to plus 43,
    000 from the initially reported plus 57,000.

    Alcoa (AA: sentiment, chart, options) kicked off this earnings season in
    fine fashion reporting fourth-quarter net income of $291 million, or 33
    cents per share (39 cents on a continuous operations basis). In the same
    quarter a year ago, AA reported a loss of $223 million, or 26 cents per
    share. Revenue rose to $5.53 billion, from $5.1 billion a year earlier.
    The operating result of 0.39 beat the consensus estimates of polled
    analysts of 34 cents per share and revenue of $5.47 billion.

    In futures trading, the March 2004 contracts on the SPX (1131.92, plus
    0.50 percent), DJIA (10592.44, plus 0.60 percent), and the NDX (1530.65,
    plus 1.08 percent) are currently trading beneath their respective fair
    value numbers, but those relationships will most likely change drastically
    with the release of the December employment report. At this point in time
    session lows and highs: SP/H4 (1126.20/1131.00), DJ/H4 (10540.00/10575.00),
    and ND/H4 (1526.001533.00).

    Overseas markets are, on the whole, holding up reasonably well this
    morning, as currently 12 of the 15 market that we tracks are in positive
    territory. The cumulative average return on the collective stands at a
    positive 0.376 percent. The Nikkei closed out its first trading week of
    the New Year in fine fashion, adding over 127 points overnight. During the
    session the index breached the 11,000 level (intraday high of 11008.60)
    for the first time since October 22. On the week, the index was higher by
    2.7 percent. Turning towards our friends north of the boarder, the number
    of workers employed in Canada rose by 53,000. The rise came on top of the
    54,100-increase in November. The unemployment rate declined to 7.4 percent
    from the 7.5 percent posed in the prior month.

    The U.S. Dollar Index (DX/Y - 85.57) fell 63 cents yesterday as
    expectations are that the European Central Bank (ECB) will due little to
    slow the near-term slide in the dollar given their decision to leave their
    short-term rates unchanged. Even though the dollar fell sharply against
    the euro, it remained flat versus the yen. Much of the relative difference
    between the dollar's slide versus the euro and the yen has been caused by
    the Japanese effort to purchase large amounts of dollars in order to help
    keep their exports more attractive to U.S. consumers. The U.S. dollar has
    managed advances on the euro, yem and franc in early trade this morning
    U.S. Dollar Index (DX/Y)/ 85.7500 0.18000
    euro ($/?)/ 1.2739/ -0.00220
    British pound ($/BP)/ 1.8351/ 0.00350
    Japanese yen (¥/$)/ 106.8604/ -0.00620
    Brazilian real (R/$)/ 2.8474/ 0.00045
    Mexican peso (P/$)/ 10.8507/ 0.00036
    Canadian dollar (CD/$)/ 1.2776/ 0.00110
    Swiss Franc (F/$)/ 1.2293/ -0.00210

    The February future contract on gold (GC/G4 - 424.40) gained $2.10 per
    ounce on the regular trading session yesterday. It traded as high as $426
    due to the weakness in the US dollar caused by the European Central Bank's
    decision to leave rates unchanged. In early trading this morning, the gold
    contract is lower by $1.60 to $422.80, but is still some $6.60 higher on
    the week. London spot was quoted at $422.75/423.50.

    The March future contract on the 30-year bond (US/H4 - 109'14) added
    1/32in yesterday's trading. The yields on the two-year and 10-year notes
    stood at 1.826 percent and 4.259 percent respectively, rising as the notes
    fell. The 2-30 year yield spread stood 326 basis points. Early trading in
    London had the group higher across the board on light volume, but this is
    one segment of the market that could get hurt by an unusually strong
    employment report. Now perched betwixt its 10-week and 20-week moving
    averages, the 30-year contract appears to have already discounted for the
    current consensus rise in non-farms payrolls. So major deviations could
    impact trading:
    Two-year note was at 100-3/32 up 1/32 to yield 1.82 percent
    Five-year note was at 100-1/32 up 3/32 to yield 3.24 percent
    10-year note was at 99-31/32 up 2/32 to yield 4.25 percent
    30-year note was at 104-10/32 up 3/32 to yield 5.08 percent
    The yield curve, as measured by the 2-30-year yield spread, stood at 326
    basis points.

    The February contract on sweet crude oil (CL/G4 - 33.98) gained 36 cents
    yesterday to close very near to its intraday high of $34.10. There are
    growing concerns that cold weather in the central and eastern parts of the
    U.S. over the next several weeks will prompt declines in energy supplies,
    helping to keep crude prices high. In early trading this morning, the
    contract is higher by a hefty 58 cents. The contract has closed all this
    week above the $33.50 level, and is currently higher by almost 6.3 percent
    on the week, but has yet to settle above $34.00.

    Today's Economic Calendar :
    8:30 a.m.: December Non-Farm Payrolls (seen plus 150,000; last plus 57,
    000).
    8:30 a.m.: December Unemployment Rate (seen 5.9 percent; last 5.9
    percent).
    9:40 a.m.: December ECRI Inflation Gauge (last 115.7).

    Earnings expected today with current estimates :
    Great Atlantic & Pacific (GAP) 3Q -1.35-came in at -0.65
    MDC Holdings (MDC) 4Q 2.04

 
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Last
$4.19
Change
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Mkt cap ! $3.301B
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$4.22 $4.29 $4.17 $4.137M 978.0K

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Sellers (Offers)

Price($) Vol. No.
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