Thursday, May 29, 2008

Three In a Row for US Stocks

Investors received a rare double dose of good news today as the government announced a revision of first quarter GDP - from +0.6% to +0.9% - and oil prices skidded on supply-demand issues and the report of a wide=ranging investigation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

While the Energy Department explained that the drop in oil supply was due merely to delays in unloading tankers in the Gulf of Mexico, the CFTC revealed that an investigation into trading practices had been underway since December. The Commission also announced some initiatives which would make commodity trading more transparent.

All of that contributed to a better-than $4 decline in the price of light, sweet crude on the NY Merc. It was the largest one-day drop in more than a month.

Responding to the positive news, Wall Street extended its rally into a third straight day, though once again, gains were not impressive.

Dow 12,646.22 +52.19; NASDAQ 2,508.32 +21.62; S&P 500 1,398.26 +7.42; NYSE Composite 9,371.87 +7.53

Advancing issues overwhelmed decliners for the third straight session, 3791-2414, though new lows narrowly edged new highs, 159-157.

As mentioned above, oil slipped $4.41 to $126.62. The metals were decimated, owing to new-found stability in the dollar. Gold lost $23.30, to $881.70, while silver fell 90 cents to $16.52.

Even with the good news, trading was still rather light, probably a semi-permanent feature now that warmer weather has found its way to the Northeast.

Despite the three straight days of rising prices, the Dow has only regained 166 points of the more than 500 it lost in the previous week and is dangerously close to a key resistance level at 12,700.

While the ebullience could easily spill over into tomorrow's session, it's by no means certain that this current rally has any legs whatsoever. Expect more drifting and dodging over the near term, until there is a final washout, which could occur any time between next week and the first part of July.

NYSE Volume 1,229,452,000
NASDAQ Volume 1,948,316,000

No comments: