Good morning. It looked like we were going to have a lousy day on Friday for equities were trading negative all day but investors and traders didn’t want to go into the weekend short because we got a late afternoon rally with the Dow up 6 points to 16,852. The S&P 500 closing up 4 at 1,961 and the Nasdaq up 19to 4,398. For the week the Dow lost 0.6%, the S&P fell 0.1% and the Nasdaq gained 0.7%. IN Friday’s sole release of economic data, consumer sentiment rose to a final June reading of 82.5 from a final May reading of 81.9 so the consumer continues to feel a little, and the operative term there is “little,” more comfortable.
This morning U.S. equities are starting out mixed with the Dow up an insignificant 5 points. Asian markets closed mixed and European markets are trading the same. Today is the end of the quarter so let’s see if fund managers move the market when they do their “window dressing” today. I think we saw some of thatFriday which helped the late afternoon push higher.
The August Nymex natural gas contract spent its first day as the prompt month slipping 3.2¢ at $4.409. The back months were little changed. The forecast this morning is showing that for the first time this summer some heat is coming to the east coast but we’re not seeing it translate into higher prices for August is down 1.9¢ as I write. That bearish EIA report last Thursday is making traders think twice for it’s implying that natural gas production might be greater than the 2-3 Bcf/d year on year increase we saw earlier this year. We need to see more than one data point to draw any conclusions. Additionally, the next 2 months are the hottest period of the year so let’s see how much natty the electric generators will burn.
Despite the turmoil in Iraq oil was completely moribund with WTI down 10¢ to $105.74 while Brent was up 9¢ to $113.30. That being said, $105 oil is making the oil patch quite happy. Also helping commodities in general is a weak dollar which is trading at a 5 week low vs. a basket of 6 other currencies. That GDP data last week for Q1 of a contraction of 2.9% really smacked the greenback. This morning is moribund with WTI down 14¢.
Being this week leads us to a celebration of our independence with our forefathers wise enough to create a government and constitution which led to the most powerful country in the world let’s keep in mind some of the developments that have occurred since that time.
U.S. life expectancy at birth was 39 years in 1800, 49 years in 1900, 68 years in 1950 and 79 years today. The average newborn today can expect to live an entire generation longer than his great-grandparents could.
A flu pandemic in 1918 infected 500 million people and killed 100 million. Today you can go to your local grocery store and get a flu show for $15.
In 1949, Popular Mechanics magazine made the bold prediction that someday a computer could weigh less than one ton. An iPad weighs 0.73 pounds.
Have a good day.