November 30th, 2011

U.S. stocks rose, sending benchmark gauges higher for a third day, after central banks acted together to make additional funds available to lenders as Europe’s crisis threatens global economic growth.

The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) advanced 3.4 percent after the Federal Reserve and five central banks lowered interest rates on dollar swaps and China cut banks’ reserve requirements. Wells Fargo (WFC) & Co. and Bank of America Corp. (BAC) increased at least 3.1 percent. Alcoa Inc., Halliburton Co. and Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) rallied more than 4.5 percent to pace gains among companies that are most-dependent on economic growth.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 2.7 percent to 1,227.76 at 9:39 a.m. New York time. The benchmark gauge rallied 3.2 percent in three days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 321.13 points, or 2.8 percent, to 11,876.76 today.

“Central banks around the world are going back to easing or supporting the marketplace,” Mark Bronzo, who helps manage $24 billion at Security Global Investors in Irvington, New York, said in a telephone interview. “It’s a step in the right direction especially because it’s coordinated. These actions may help global growth not to follow Europe into a recession.”

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November 30th, 2011

U.S. stocks rose, sending benchmark gauges higher for a third day, after central banks acted together to make additional funds available to lenders as Europe’s crisis threatens global economic growth.

The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) advanced 3.4 percent after the Federal Reserve and five central banks lowered interest rates on dollar swaps and China cut banks’ reserve requirements. Wells Fargo (WFC) & Co. and Bank of America Corp. (BAC) increased at least 3.1 percent. Alcoa Inc., Halliburton Co. and Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) rallied more than 4.5 percent to pace gains among companies that are most-dependent on economic growth.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 2.7 percent to 1,227.76 at 9:39 a.m. New York time. The benchmark gauge rallied 3.2 percent in three days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 321.13 points, or 2.8 percent, to 11,876.76 today.

“Central banks around the world are going back to easing or supporting the marketplace,” Mark Bronzo, who helps manage $24 billion at Security Global Investors in Irvington, New York, said in a telephone interview. “It’s a step in the right direction especially because it’s coordinated. These actions may help global growth not to follow Europe into a recession.”

Global stocks rebounded after China cut the amount of cash that banks must set aside as reserves for the first time since 2008. Equity-futures rallied further as the Fed and five other central banks agreed to reduce the interest rate on dollar liquidity swap lines by 50 basis points and extend their authorization through Feb. 1, 2013. In the U.S., American companies added more workers than anticipated in November, according to a private report based on payrolls.

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November 28th, 2011

Gasoline futures surged as equities jumped after sales in the U.S. reached a Thanksgiving holiday record and the dollar declined on speculation European leaders will step up efforts to control the region’s debt crisis.

Gasoline futures rose 2.1 percent after the National Retail Federation reported yesterday that holiday sales gained 16 percent. The dollar sank against the euro, boosting the appeal of raw materials, after German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble urged fast-track treaty changes to tighten budget discipline.

“Equities are up and the dollar is weak, and we’re getting positive economic sentiment from the fact that sales are up,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

Gasoline futures for December delivery increased 5.16 cents to $2.5005 a gallon at 12:45 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures rose after sliding Nov. 25 to the lowest level since February.

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November 30th, 2011

FOREX – The euro struggled for a direction Wednesday in Asia as euro-zone finance ministers agreed on details to expand the bloc’s bailout fund but acknowledged it would have less capacity to help troubled nations than once hoped.

The ministers approved two measures for increasing the firepower of the European Financial Stability Facility, the bloc’s bailout fund.

Under one measure, the EFSF would fund so-called “protection certificates” to be attached to new bonds issued by troubled euro-zone countries. The certificates would entitle holders to claim 20% to 30% of the bond’s face value in case of default.

“The meeting was closely watched, but nothing really fresh came out,” Atsushi Hirano, head of FX sales in Japan at the Royal Bank of Scotland, said, adding that the EFSF development was “a small positive.”

The single currency was also supported by expectations of a potential Italy bailout, dealers said.

Talks may start next month on a EUR400 billion package for Italy, with the International Monetary Fund standing ready to provide EUR100 billion, if the euro-zone bailout fund and European central banks can provide another EUR300 billion, senior euro-zone and IMF officials said late Tuesday.

The hurdle for the ECB to chip in looks high, said a senior dealer at a Japanese bank, “but if the ECB shifts away from a cautious stance to give more funds, that could boost the euro in the short term.”

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November 30th, 2011

Corn futures fell in Chicago, extending a monthly decline, as Morgan Stanley forecast pressure on prices next year from higher South American exports of the grain.

U.S. corn shipments, the world’s largest, may slump 21 percent in the 2011-12 season to 1.45 billion bushels, the least since 1985-86, according to Morgan Stanley. That’s smaller than a Nov. 9 forecast of 1.6 billion bushels by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Corn prices will likely come under pressure in the second half of the year as rebounding production in South America, and ultimately the U.S., increases supply,” analysts led by Hussein Allidina wrote in the report e-mailed today, referring to 2012.

Corn futures for March-delivery dropped 1 percent to $5.995 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 12:58 p.m. Paris time. Prices are down 7.3 percent this month.

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November 29th, 2011

Heating oil futures and gasoline rose as a gain in retail sales increased confidence that the U.S. economy is strengthening and fuel demand will improve.

Heating oil futures advanced as U.S. sales at stores open at least a year rose 5.4 percent in the week ended Nov. 26 from a year earlier, according to Johnson Redbook Research. Consumer confidence climbed in November by the most since April 2003, according to a report from a private research group.

“The Redbook retail sales report is confirming what we’re seeing at the malls and it’s another sign the U.S. economy is doing well,” said Phil Flynn, vice president of research at PFGBest in Chicago.

Heating oil futures for December-delivery advanced 5.12 cents, or 1.7 percent, to settle at $3.0211 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The more actively traded January contract rose 5.09 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $3.0336.

Gasoline for December delivery gained 2.1 cents, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $2.5391 a gallon on the exchange. The January contract advanced 2.21 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $2.5398.

December heating oil and gasoline contracts will expire at the end of floor trading tomorrow.

Heating oil’s premium to gasoline widened 3.02 cents to 48.2 cents on speculation inventories of diesel and heating oil declined to the lowest level in almost three years.

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November 29th, 2011

Crude oil futures rose a third day in New York, recouping earlier losses as a strengthening euro and advancing equities signaled investors were less concerned that Europe’s debt crisis will derail the global recovery.

West Texas Intermediate futures gained as much as 1.1 percent, having earlier lost 1 percent. Demand for 2014 bonds auctioned by Italy today was 1.5 times the amount sold. The U.S. Energy Department may say tomorrow oil inventories rose for the first time in a month, while gasoline supplies climbed for a third week, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

“Sentiment has improved on news of the successful Italian bond auction,” said Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital in London. “We’re seeing a stronger euro as a result, and crude prices gaining alongside the broader commodity market rebound.”

Crude oil futures for January delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange was up 11 cents at $98.32 a barrel at 12:56 p.m. London time after falling as low as $97.23. Brent crude for January settlement on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange was up 87 cents at $109.87 a barrel, reversing a 61-cent decline.

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November 29th, 2011

FOREX – The euro held onto its modest gains against the dollar and the yen in Asia Tuesday, with optimism toward the eurozone debt crisis and position-squaring giving temporary support to the single currency.

Traders are focusing on a two-meeting of European finance ministers starting later in the day to see if they can flesh out plans to leverage the European Financial Stability Facility, the region’s bailout fund.

In late October, euro-zone leaders agreed to leverage the EUR440-billion EFSF to EUR1 trillion as part of a comprehensive agreement to resolve the debt crisis.

“I’m wondering if we should hold out too much hope for this sort of meeting, as the outcome mostly failed to live up to expectations in the past,” said Dai Sato, senior vice president of the foreign exchange division at Mizuho Corporate Bank.

At 0450 GMT, the euro was at $1.3342 from $1.3320 in late New York trade Monday, according to EBS via CQG. It was at Y104.19 from Y103.84.

Barclays Capital chief currency strategist Masafumi Yamamoto echoed skepticism over the meeting, saying Europe’s debt problems aren’t improving at all and aren’t something that can be solved by a gathering of leaders alone. “There is a high chance the current market optimism toward the meeting will turn to disappointment soon,” he said.

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November 29th, 2011

U.S. stocks rose, after the biggest gain in a month for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as the biggest increase since 2003 in a gauge of American consumer confidence bolstered optimism in the world’s largest economy.

Yahoo! Inc. climbed 2.3 percent as two people with knowledge of the matter said private-equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners is considering a bid. Hewlett-Packard Co. gained 2.5 percent after RBC Capital Markets raised its recommendation for the computer maker. Tiffany & Co. slumped 8.8 percent after the world’s second-largest luxury jewelry retailer cited “weaknesses” in sales in Europe and the eastern U.S.

The S&P 500 advanced 0.8 percent to 1,201.67 at 10:17 a.m. New York time, after the benchmark gauge gained 2.9 percent yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 95.86 points, or 0.8 percent, to 11,618.87 today.

“The economic reports have shown that the U.S. has been insulated from all the noise coming out of Europe,” Paul Zemsky, the New York-based head of asset allocation for ING Investment Management, said in a telephone interview. His firm oversees $550 billion. “Consumers are not really bothered by that, at least not yet. We expect the data to be good. It’s going to be fits and starts, but they continue to move along the right direction in Europe.”

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November 29th, 2011

U.S. stocks rose, after the biggest gain in a month for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as the biggest increase since 2003 in a gauge of American consumer confidence bolstered optimism in the world’s largest economy.

Yahoo! Inc. climbed 2.3 percent as two people with knowledge of the matter said private-equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners is considering a bid. Hewlett-Packard Co. gained 2.5 percent after RBC Capital Markets raised its recommendation for the computer maker. Tiffany & Co. slumped 8.8 percent after the world’s second-largest luxury jewelry retailer cited “weaknesses” in sales in Europe and the eastern U.S.

The S&P 500 advanced 0.8 percent to 1,201.67 at 10:17 a.m. New York time, after the benchmark gauge gained 2.9 percent yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 95.86 points, or 0.8 percent, to 11,618.87 today.

“The economic reports have shown that the U.S. has been insulated from all the noise coming out of Europe,” Paul Zemsky, the New York-based head of asset allocation for ING Investment Management, said in a telephone interview. His firm oversees $550 billion. “Consumers are not really bothered by that, at least not yet. We expect the data to be good. It’s going to be fits and starts, but they continue to move along the right direction in Europe.”

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