Wednesday's US Market Wrap

by: Between the Hedges

From Between the Hedges:

Dow Finishes at 4-Year High after Another Decline in Commodity Prices and Positive Economic Data 

S&P 500 1,280.00 +.35%
DJIA 11,058.97 +.28%
NASDAQ 2,276.43 +.63%
Russell 2000 725.10 +.75%
S&P Barra Growth 607.10 +.43%
S&P Barra Value 669.17 +.27%
Morgan Stanley Consumer 601.08 +.52%
Morgan Stanley Cyclical 797.09 +.11%
Morgan Stanley Technology 534.27 +.36%
Transports 4,442.29 +.78%
Utilities 403.42 +.06%
Put/Call .70 -17.65%
NYSE Arms 1.02 +30.76%
Volatility(VIX) 12.31 +.49%
ISE Sentiment 126.00 +7.69%
US Dollar 90.69 +.17%
CRB 320.75 -1.32%

Futures Spot Prices
Crude Oil 57.88 +.40%
Unleaded Gasoline 139.28 +.58%
Natural Gas 7.12 +.76%
Heating Oil 161.30 +.34%
Gold 542.80 +.02%
Base Metals 161.55 -4.05%
Copper 219.10 unch.
10-year US Treasury Yield 4.59% -.30%

Leading Sectors
Biotech +1.68%
Hospitals +1.66%
Airlines +1.65%

Lagging Sectors
Steel -1.82%
Oil Service -2.34%
Gold & Silver -2.42%

Evening Review
Detailed Market Summary
Market Gauges
Daily ETF Performance
Style Performance
Market Wrap CNBC Video(bottom right)
S&P 500 Gallery View
Economic Calendar
Timely Economic Charts
PM Market Call
After-hours Movers
Real-time/After-hours Stock Quote
In Play

Afternoon Recommendations
Goldman Sachs:
- Reiterated Underperform on (HC).

Afternoon/Evening Headlines
- Bill Gross, chief investment officer at PIMCO told CNBC that his firm is investing in shorter-maturity debt in anticipation of the economy slowing and the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates.
- AT&T(NYSE:T) CEO Whitacre and Verizon Communications(NYSE:VZ) CEO Seidenberg urged US lawmakers to adopt a national rule making it easier for phone companies to sell television service.
- Vice President Cheney, in an interview with Fox News, took the blame for a hunting accident that left a friend hospitalized.
- Applied Materials(NASDAQ:AMAT) said first-quarter profit fell after costs to close facilities. Sales rose for the first time in a year.
- Morgan Stanley(MWD), the No. 3 US securities firm, increased its holdings in General Motors(NYSE:GM) to 5.1%, joining billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian and other shareholders in buying stock as the automaker tries to end losses.
- Hewlett-Packard(NYSE:HPQ) said first-quarter profit rose 30% as holiday demand drove sales. The earnings forecast for this quarter exceeded analysts’ estimates.

- Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed to increase cooperation in fighting terrorists operating on their border.

- Mills Corp.(MLS) appointed JP Morgan Chase(NYSE:JPM) and Goldman Sachs Group(NYSE:GS) as advisers with a mandate including the possible sale of its shopping centers.

Australian Review:
- Commodity prices will fall this year as supplies increase, eroding export earnings for Australia, citing Steven Kennedy, general manager of the economy division of the Australian Treasury.

Bolivarian news agency:
- Iran and Venezuela, the second- and third-largest producers in OPEC, created a $200 million fund to spur investment in each other’s economies.

BOTTOM LINE: The tone of the market was positive today as the advance/decline line finished higher, most sectors gained and volume was about average. Measures of investor anxiety were mixed into the close. Overall, today's market performance was bullish, given the declines in commodity stocks, Bernanke's mostly hawkish comments and the bears' inability to capitalize on morning weakness. Small caps were especially strong today and the Russell 2000 is up about 8% for the year.
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