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From Between the Hedges:

Stocks Finish Well Off Session Lows on Fall in Commodity Prices, Short Covering and Bargain Hunting

Indices
S&P 500 1,258.57 +.16%
DJIA 11,117.32 +.17%
NASDAQ 2,169.17 +.48%
Russell 2000 711.27 unch.
Wilshire 5000 12,661.91 +.06%
S&P Barra Growth 584.60 +.37%
S&P Barra Value 671.94 -.05%
Morgan Stanley Consumer 603.17 +.34%
Morgan Stanley Cyclical 821.38 -.36%
Morgan Stanley Technology 501.78 +.81%
Transports 4,599.12 -.35%
Utilities 395.65 +.45%
Put/Call 1.36 +27.10%
NYSE Arms 1.09 +2.10%
Volatility(VIX) 17.36 -4.93%
ISE Sentiment 106.00 -45.92%
US Dollar 85.13 +.08%
CRB 342.51 -2.80%

Futures Spot Prices
Crude Oil 69.44 -.60%
Unleaded Gasoline 201.10 -.40%
Natural Gas 5.92 -.65%
Heating Oil 193.43 -.30%
Gold 642.80 +.83%
Base Metals 230.17 -5.45%
Copper 357.25 -1.83%
10-year US Treasury Yield 5.03% +.48%

Leading Sectors
Tobacco +1.48%
Software +1.07%
Semis +.75%

Lagging Sectors
Oil Service -1.54%
Oil Tankers -1.65%
Gold & Silver -4.0%

Evening Review
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Afternoon Recommendations
Raymond James:
- Added WHR to Total Return Focus List.

Afternoon/Evening Headlines
Bloomberg:
- The World Health Organization officials don’t have immediate plans to ask that experts recommend raising the alert level for a possible avian influenza pandemic.
- General Motors(GM) began hiring temporary workers for some US plants to replace union employees leaving because of buyouts and retirement incentives.
- Emerging-market stocks resumed their slump after a one-day rebound as investors fled from economies that have benefited from record high commodity prices.
- Crude oil fell below $70/bbl. after a government report showed that US gasoline stockpiles rose for a fourth straight week as imports surged before driving season.
- (GM) shares rose after the company began replacing union employees lost to buyouts and retirements with temporary workers and a Merrill Lynch analyst recommended the stock.
- Analog Devices(ADI) and online publisher Cnet(CNET) Networks became the latest companies under investigation for stock-option grants.
- Commodity prices that reached record highs this month may fall because rising interest rates in Japan and the US will slow economic growth and investor demand wanes, Prudential Equity analyst John Tumazos said.

BOTTOM LINE: The tone of the market was modestly negative today as the advance/decline line finished slightly lower, sector performance was mixed and volume was heavy. Measures of investor anxiety were mostly higher into the close. Overall, today's market performance was mildly bullish. The very sloppy trading in many stocks today usually occurs near sustainable market bottoms. I continue to believe the major averages are close to making their lows for the year. A number of stocks, such as Google (GOOG), trade as though their lows are in place. Due to the elevated state of investor anxiety readings, the magnitude of the forthcoming rally will catch many off guard.
Source: Not As Bad As It Could Have Been -- Wednesday's US Market Wrap