Friday, October 9, 2009

SHORT from 122-21 ZBZ9 30yr T-Bonds Futures

SHORT Position closed at 119-21 for 96 Ticks or $3,000 per contract.

3,859 million shares were traded on the S&P 500 in today's session. This volume production was 10% below the index's average daily volume output generated over the past three months.

An encouraging start to the current earnings season coupled with a number of positive economic news releases contributed to today's rally where the broad market advanced for a fourth consecutive session. US dollar weakness also contributed to further upside in equities. While Alcoa's results were undoubtedly encouraging, the real test for this young earnings season comes next week when many financial companies are scheduled to report.

Material and some commodity stocks benefited both from higher commodity prices as well as from Alcoa's upside earnings surprise, although Alcoa's gains itself remained limited to just over 1%. Gold was once again outstanding, climbing to a new intraday record high of over a $1062 (and then once again closing above the $1000 per ounce threshold). Oil futures also barreled higher, boosting the broad energy sector which outperformed the broad market today.

Notable was the better-than-expected number regarding weekly jobless claims. The number of claims for the week ending October 3 fell by 33,000 to 521,000, below the 540,000 economists had been expecting. Continuing claims were also on a downward trajectory, declining by 72,000 to 6.04 million; here, the consensus estimate had been for 6.11 million continuing claims. Although coming in better than expected, these numbers are still very high. It can also not be overlooked that the reduction in the number of claims is often the result of jobless benefits having expired for the claimant.

Additional positive news also emerged from the retail sector. According to new data released by the International Council of Shopping Centers and by Goldman Sachs today, in September, retail sales saw their first gains in over a year.

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