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Keene Little : 12/11/2006 10:06:47 PM

Tuesday's pivot tables: Link and Link

OI Technical Staff : 12/11/2006 9:59:59 PM

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Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 4:47:03 PM

Closing Internals found at this Link

Keene Little : 12/11/2006 4:45:15 PM

After Texas Instruments cut its earnings forecast to 37 to 40 cents, from their previous estimate of 40 to 46 cents, and projecting lower sales, its stock is only down 20 cents after closing at 29.30. The rest of the futures didn't react to TXN's reduction in earnings so there probably won't be much of a reaction tomorrow either. Slowing sales? Bah, humbug, it's a reason to buy!

Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 4:36:14 PM

Closing U.S. Market Watch found at this Link

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 4:12:41 PM

Economic Reports for tomorrow.

8:30a.m. Oct Trade Deficit. Expected: $63.0B. Previous: $64.3B.

10:00a.m. 2Q Mfg Profits. Previous: 7.7%.

2:15p.m. FOMC meeting; interest rate decision.

Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 4:06:38 PM

Canada's Govt. Aims To Deregulate Local Phone Service

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 3:35:52 PM

Just a few minutes ago we had the AD volume making new daily highs and the VIX making new daily lows but something has happened to really spook the markets.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 3:29:12 PM

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- It will be as quiet as the night before Christmas at the Federal Open Market Committee meeting, with thoughts about a change in policy tucked away until next year, economists said Monday.

The FOMC is not likely to change the target for the federal funds rate and the wording of the statement should be similar to the previous statement in October.

The Fed's statement includes a tightening bias, showing policy-makers' continued worries about inflation.

"The FOMC meeting on Dec. 12 is likely to be uneventful," said Michael Moran, chief economist at Daiwa Securities America Inc.

Marc Eckelberry : 12/11/2006 3:33:27 PM

The action is toppy and bearish. Bulls better hope TXN delivers.

Keene Little : 12/11/2006 3:19:27 PM

I've got to run off to a meeting so I'll miss the close to this exciting market. So far it still looks like we're consolidating for another push higher but we may just see more of the choppy same into tomorrow afternoon. I'll check back in later.

Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 3:11:49 PM

03:00 Internals found at this Link

Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 3:04:02 PM

03:00 Market Watch found at this Link

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 2:57:30 PM

Ever since we had that early morning spike the markets have not been able to break through their PDHs, which have obvious areas of resistance.

Keene Little : 12/11/2006 2:48:21 PM

If you look at the sideways/down consolidation in ER over the past week you can see that it looks like a nice bull flag. A break out above 803.60 could make for a good opportunity to buy it. The upside potential is to a new high so at least above 810. In the meantime there's just not much here to suggest which way this market is going to head next.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 2:28:21 PM

If you by chance were short please take note that the VIX is spiked downward which will put a lot of upward pressure on the markets.

Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 2:07:47 PM

Report Sees OPEC Dollar Reserve Shift

DJ- Bank for International Settlements' quarterly report for December says OPEC member states continued to cut back on their dollar deposits in 2Q, down by $5.3 billion, while increasing their deposits in euros and other currencies.

Marc Eckelberry : 12/11/2006 2:04:27 PM

The one thing bears should be careful about is the NQ triangle on the daily. We could see an upside breakout, which would line up with an opex play to QQQQ 45. The more ES taps on that upper trendline, the more stops are above and are likely to be taken out. The only problem for bulls is all that call resistance building above SPX 1410. Watch NQ 1823. I think bears are too scared to see the potential for the downside that could be coming in a very heavy way . They have been burned so many times, they don;t dare commit, which is actually what should be done at some point.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 1:49:31 PM

TICKS +800

Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 1:48:51 PM

Dow Diamonds (DIA) $123.30 +0.24% ... has been challenging its all-time close highs of $123.36 from 11/16/06 and 12/05/06.

Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 1:46:22 PM

VIX.X 11.21 -7.12% ... has probed its overlapping MONTHLY Pivot and WEEKLY S1.

That's about the only thing "notable" I've been able to see in the pivots.

Big jump in volatility last week, pretty much erased.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 1:36:11 PM

Remember I said in my morning commentary to be aware of the markets' PDHs? The spike this morning had me thinking the bulls were strong enough to negate that statement but look at how those highs have been resistance ever since that spike. Link

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 1:30:00 PM

Have you noticed ES has not been able to break through its PDH since the early morning spike?

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 1:28:51 PM

TRIN is now making new daily highs and at 1.14 I am watching it but so far it does not negate the bullish VIX and volume.

Keene Little : 12/11/2006 1:27:29 PM

We got a 3-wave pullback from this morning's high and so far just a 3-wave bounce from that pullback. This is the very definition of choppy price action. Flat is a position on days like this. It's just not worth forcing a trade where the risk is higher than the potential profit.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 1:22:53 PM

VIX is making new daily lows although the AD volume is not making new daily highs. The VIX alone or the AD volume alone is enough for me to not take a trade against the trend.

Keene Little : 12/11/2006 1:22:09 PM

Greenspan says we should expect an extended period of dollar weakness, eh? Imagine that. Could it possibly have anything to do with the massive quantities of new money the Fed is printing? Nah, I'm sure we can blame it on China.

Marc Eckelberry : 12/11/2006 1:19:27 PM

We could get a higher high near 1430 for ES. Keep in mind that last week highs was 1432, weekly R1 is 1433 and wedge/channel R is around 1430.50. I don't expect a break out of channel resistance before the Feds, retail numbers on Wed and CPI on Friday.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 1:17:15 PM

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Treasury price gains lost momentum Monday afternoon, pressuring yields, after former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan reportedly warned that an extended period of dollar weakness is in store for the U.S.

Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 1:16:18 PM

Current OPEN MM Profiles that I've made and Watch List at this Link

Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 1:11:09 PM

01:00 Internals found at this Link

Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 1:02:04 PM

01:00 Market Watch found at this Link

Keene Little : 12/11/2006 12:44:01 PM

ES spiked down to the intersection of its broken downtrend line from Thursday and uptrend line from Friday, at 1424. If it drops back below 1424 then I'd watch for support by its uptrend line from December 1st, currently near 1422 so not much lower. Link

Marc Eckelberry : 12/11/2006 12:56:51 PM

H&S confirmed for ES 60 mn chart (below 1430)and that could be all she wrote. The action is trending bearish, with more apparent distributon every day, even on up days. Longs are only scalps at this level. Look for a test of weekly S1's soon. NDX max pain is 1800 or 1750, take your pick, only a small variation (but big in price), SPX is 1400. ES has risk still to 1430, but any trade near weekly R1 should be shorted ahead of the Feds. That should give you cushion. At trade at weekly S1 (1410.50) should be bought. Pretty simple. Overall, though, I favor accumulating short positions in ES March contract and letting it ride into next year.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 12:21:54 PM

Your highest odds were a long and I took those odds but they didn't play out.

Keene Little : 12/11/2006 12:17:18 PM

NYSE has a pretty clean wave pattern, at least for a wave count that makes sense to me at the moment. The wave pattern has morphed into several different counts during this relentless rally so it's still subject to doing the same. But as of the price pattern right now I'm liking the setup for a market high this week. This daily chart shows the wave count from the June low. Link

As you can see, price has formed an ascending wedge and since the late October high we're getting lots of bearish divergences. I show a Fib projection for wave-5 (the move up from November 28th) at 9132.51 which is based on it being 62% of wave-1, a common relationship in an ascending wedge. This is about 70 points higher than today's price, or about +0.8% higher. Moving in a little closer to look at this 5th wave I show another Fib projection at 9143. Link

This Fib projection is also based on the 5th of the 5th wave being 62% of the 1st of the 5th wave. I don't mean to make it confusing here but just know that the 5th wave on the daily chart needs to be made up of 5 waves and on this 60-min chart those are waves (i) through (v), with wave-(v) needed. So based on two different degrees of the wave pattern I've got a Fib projection for the end of the rally between 9133 and 9143 which is a pretty tight correlation.

Like I had mentioned for SPX, we could see this run sideways (so another pullback today/tomorrow) over to its uptrend line from November 28th before it's ready to rally again. This is obviously speculation at the moment but if I see price play out this way over the next couple of days I will be recommending testing the high and get yourself into some longer term short positions (and take profits on longs).

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 12:02:10 PM

Classic bullish example of MACD falling while price moves sideways. Link

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 12:01:01 PM

I don't need anymore than these two to tell me the odds are in my favor if long. Link

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 11:52:08 AM

I'm going to suggest taking ES long here with a stop just below the consolidation range which would be about 1425.50

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 11:49:40 AM

AD volume continues to make new daily highs so I certainly would not be trying to pick a top.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 11:49:06 AM

TRIN is now making new daily lows. As you can see you have to be careful with this internal. Remember earlier I was warning its tajectory was saying bulls beware. If the climb was at a higher level then you may put more emphasis on it but at 0.75 to 1.05 you obviously had nothing to worry about.

Keene Little : 12/11/2006 11:41:30 AM

Treasury Secretary's comment "We do not want Americans to become over-extended and see their dream end in foreclosure..." is a bit like closing the barn door after the horses escaped. Considering the high foreclosure rates, which are expected to go even higher, I think Paulson's comments are a day late and a dollar short. The housing bubble unfortunately has a long way to go before it finishes correcting and that of course will negatively affect our economy. It's a typical comment from someone who's out of touch with reality.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 11:37:28 AM

Both AD volume and VIX are telling me ES will break its PDH resistance and at least test its daily highs again.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 11:30:42 AM

ES is running up against its PDH again. It didn't find resistance here earlier but it is now. The VIX is testing daily lows telling me there is a very good chance this resistance will not hold.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 11:23:59 AM

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. housing market is becoming more sustainable after a growth spurt it couldn't maintain, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Monday.

"We have had a correction in the housing industry and we are in the process of transitioning to a more sustainable growth rate," Paulson said in remarks prepared for a housing forum.

The U.S. economy is performing well despite the slowdown in the housing market, Paulson said. "We have a diverse economy and consumer spending, the service sector and corporate profits remain strong," he said.

Treasury is trying to make sure Americans can access home financing without taking unnecessary risks, the secretary added.

"We do not want Americans to become over-extended and see their dream end in foreclosure," he said in remarks prepared for a national housing forum sponsored by the Office of Thrift Supervision.

Keene Little : 12/11/2006 11:14:10 AM

Looking at that SPX 120-min chart that I just posted, the 4th wave correction ended either Friday morning or we could do more of a sideways correction over to the uptrend line (currently near Friday's low of 1403.67) before finishing the 4th wave consolidation and setting up the final 5th wave up. That would obviously delay the high and it would make for lousy trading today.

Considering the FOMC meeting tomorrow it would be typical to consolidate until then. The pattern, assuming we consolidate into tomorrow and then get a move higher, also suggests we'll see the market react favorably to the FOMC. Unless of course SPX rallies up to near 1427 before FOMC in which case I'd say we'll see a sell off following FOMC. In the meantime watch the chop since this ascending wedge calls for chop anyway.

Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 11:10:17 AM

I will be stepping away for a couple of hours, but will return at 01:00 PM EST. I've either come down with the flu, or got a dose of food poisoning yesterday.

Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 11:08:35 AM

11:00 Internals found at this Link

Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 11:01:50 AM

11:00 Market Watch found at this Link

Keene Little : 12/11/2006 10:59:02 AM

Looking at the SPX 120-min chart here you can see a potential ascending wedge for price action over the past couple of months. Link

At the end of November SPX broke below its uptrend line from July (the bottom of the wedge) and then recovered back inside the pattern, and found the top of the wedge as resistance again in early December. The EW count and Fib projection point to a throw-over above the wedge this week with an upside target just below 1427. As noted on the chart I expect a throw-over because it's typical after seeing a throw-under.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 10:57:21 AM

AD volume making new daily highs tells me the bull flags will not turn into anything more bearish.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 10:57:34 AM

So far what I am seeing are bull flags so watch the internals to see if this decline turns into something more bearish.

Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 10:55:54 AM

HARTFORD RAISES 2006 EPS VIEW

DJ- Hartford Financial Services revises its 2006 core earnings estimate up to $8.85 to $9 a share from its previous forecast of $8.75 to $8.95 a share. For 2007, the company expects earnings of $9.35 to $9.65 a share, while analysts forecast earnings of $9.58 a share.

HIG $88.70 +2.02% Link ...

Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 10:40:22 AM

HEATING DEGREE DAYS BELOW NORMAL

DJ- Number of heating degree days, a measure of heating fuel use, will be below year-ago levels and long-time averages in the main U.S. heating oil region through Dec. 16, reports the National Weather Service.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 10:33:03 AM

Interestingly the TRIN is making new daily highs which certainly takes some of the sparkle off this rally but as long as the AD volume is making new daily highs I wouldn't be too concerned.

The trin is only at 1.02 so nothing to worry about - famous last words?

Tab Gilles : 12/11/2006 10:29:02 AM

$NAHGH/$NALOW/$NDX/$BPNDX/$NASI/$NDXA200 Link

Profunds UltraShortOTC Link

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 10:24:59 AM

* Nasdaq most active stocks: NUVO LVLT CSCO SUNW MSFT

Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 10:24:25 AM

NUVELO TUMBLES ON DRUG FAILURE

DJ- Shares of Nuvelo tumble 82% after the company and partner Bayer report Nuvelo's blood thinner failed to meet targets in late-stage tests. As a result, the firms have halted enrollment in two other Phase III trials.

NUVO $3.57 -81.73% Link

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 10:19:17 AM

ES breaks its PDH. I guess we can rely on the VIX today!

Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 10:18:51 AM

SABRE HOLDINGS IS ON THE AUCTION BLOCK

DJ- Shares jump 7% on reports that the travel-booking company could be sold to a new buyer as early as this week at a premium to its $3.75 billion market capitalization. Private-equity groups are viewed as the most likely purchasers of Sabre, which is perhaps best known for its Travelocity Internet travel service. A consortium of private-equity firms Silver Lake Partners and Texas Pacific Group is favored to win the bidding, The New York Times reports.

TSG $30.40 +7.34% Link ...

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 10:18:44 AM

TICKS +800. So much for our sideways day.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 10:14:23 AM

Tbonds are breaking their overnight highs and are as strong as the equities markets.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 10:12:56 AM

Keep the PDHs on your charts today for I think they will be resistance if/when tested.

Keene Little : 12/11/2006 10:10:44 AM

The higher inventory-sales ratio is what caused that brief spike down at 10:00. Higher inventory levels and slower sales is not a business friendly combination. Lower profits ahead is what it means. Meanwhile the stock market goes on believing in the rate cut scenario (not tomorrow but maybe, perhaps, could happen, possibly, one never knows, there's at least a small chance for one some time next year, or surely the year after that if not next).

The stock market is also not acknowledging, at least in price, the fact that the economy is slowing down. It will but perhaps not until later this month when profit taking starts and certainly next month once we've put this year behind us and fund managers would be more than happy to see the market drop so that they can buy back their inventory at reduced prices.

Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 10:07:10 AM

DUPONT RAISES GUIDANCE, CUTS JOBS

DJ- DuPont raises its 2006 earnings outlook to $3.25 a share on one-time items and says it will revamp its Agriculture & Nutrition business to invest more heavily in biotechnology, resulting in about 1,500 job cuts.

DD $47.28 +0.81% Link ...

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 10:06:42 AM

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Inventories at U.S. wholesalers rose to their highest level in relation to sales in three years in October, the Commerce Department reported Monday.

Sales at wholesalers fell 0.5% in October, the second decline in a row after sales fell a revised 1.5% in September, which was the fastest drop in three years. Inventories rose 0.8% in October after gaining 0.7% in September.

The inventory-to-sales ratio rose to 1.20 in October from 1.18 in September. The last time the ratio was bigger was in November 2003. The inventory-sales ratio stood at a record low 1.15 in May, June and July. The typical wholesaler has about 37 days of sales on hand, up from 35 days in July.

The buildup in inventories, if sustained throughout the pipeline running from production to final sales, could lead to cutbacks in output and employment.

Wholesale inventories are up 10.1% in the past year. Wholesale sales are up 5.9% in the past year. The figures are not adjusted for price changes.

The wholesale inventory report rarely affects financial markets. It is of interest primarily to economists tweaking their estimates for gross domestic product. The Commerce Department will finalize its estimates for business sales and inventories for October with the release of the retail inventory data next week.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 10:03:18 AM

* Oct. wholesale sales fall 0.5%, 2nd drop in a row
* Oct. wholesale inventories up 0.8%
* Oct. wholesale inventory-sales ratio up to 3-year high

Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 10:02:17 AM

10:00 Market Watch found at this Link

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 10:00:22 AM

AD line is now +350 which is still neutral in my books but a lot stronger than earlier and the tajectory means a great deal.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 9:59:03 AM

New daily highs across all markets.

Keene Little : 12/11/2006 9:58:33 AM

So much for the relative weakness in NQ--it's now getting jammed to the upside and catching all the shorts flat-footed.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 9:58:29 AM

Just to be clear the bottom chart is the AD volume.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 9:56:58 AM

These two are all you need to tell you this is not the time to be short. The odds are against you. Link

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 9:52:35 AM

AD line and volume to new daily highs.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 9:52:23 AM

I maybe should revise that statement. The AD line is -30 and ES will not be testing its PDH as long as this internal is this weak, it could make a new daily high but it will need to be stronger to test its PDH.

Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 9:50:18 AM

Current OPEN MM Profiles that I've made and Watch List at this Link

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 9:49:59 AM

Wow that was a bold statement wasn't it?

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 9:49:29 AM

VIX is falling to new daily lows so I suspect ES will make a new daily high soon and then break its PDH.

Keene Little : 12/11/2006 9:48:53 AM

NQ continues to be weaker than the others and right now YM is showing some relativel strength. If this pulls back a little further watch ES 1420.50 for support at its uptrend line off the November 28th low. That line only has two points (the other being Friday morning's low) so I'm not sure how effective it will be.

Jeff Bailey : 12/11/2006 9:42:27 AM

Weekly/Monthly Index Pivot Matrix found at this Link

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 9:37:24 AM

Remebering of course this of OPEX week so the VIX may be less reliable. It is not always less reliable but sometimes.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 9:35:13 AM

Opps careful bears VIX opens below its PDL as does the TRIN.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 9:34:42 AM

Both AD volume are climbing but barely above 0. AD line is +71.

Keene Little : 12/11/2006 9:20:31 AM

Just about all of the overnight bullishness in equities has now been given up as we approach the bell. Other than closing this morning's gaps (assuming we open to the upside) and a test of the overnight lows, and a test of the overnight highs (ES 1425.50, YM 12427 and NQ 1812) I don't have enough clues for what to expect this morning. Watch and wait for a setup is all I can suggest.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 9:19:47 AM

Datelin WSJ - Investors are widely expecting an investor-friendly announcement from the Federal Reserve interest-rate meeting tomorrow.

The Fed is expected to leave target interest rates unchanged, fueling hopes that it will start cutting rates some time next year, which would be good news for stocks and bonds.

But worries are spreading that, longer-term, investor hopes for interest rates may have gotten a little out of hand. If so, stocks and bonds both could be in for some rough waters in the coming months.

"The stock market has come a long way quickly," with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up more than 14% since July 14, notes Marc Stern, chief investment officer at Bessemer Investment Management in New York. "Investor expectations may have gone a bit farther than they should have."

To prepare for the rough patch he fears may lie ahead, Mr. Stern has cashed in about 7% of his clients' funds, and is holding the money in short-term Treasury bills, just in case the stock market pulls back.

A big part of the underlying problem is that financial markets and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke seem to be at odds about the longer-term interest-rate outlook. Mr. Bernanke has been remarkably open about his plans for interest rates, and he isn't talking about the kinds of rate cuts that many investors are banking on.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 9:16:37 AM

The first thing I noticed on the Gold chart this morning was that Gold's overnight action was supported at the 625-628 (used to be the 615-616 on the old contract) zone. Then I started looking at upward trendlines and joined the two swing lows made on October 4th and October 24th and found this line is now helping the zone of support. Link

Keep an eye on the US $ if you trade Gold for it is hitting a level of resistance that should hold. Link

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 9:05:01 AM

All equity markets stayed within their respective PDRs overnight and are no giving us any hints as to direction. If I had to pick though I would guess we get another day of sideways mainly due to the time of year and that we have a FED meeting tomorrow. Link

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 8:56:36 AM

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) - Gold futures edged lower early Monday as the dollar rose against its major rivals, reducing investment demand for the precious metal.

Gold for January delivery declined $2 at $629 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 3% last week, closing lower Friday as the dollar allied in the wake of the November jobs report.

The dollar continued to rise Monday, climbing to a two-and-a-half-week high against the yen and rising slightly against the euro. "Given the proximity to year-end, the prospect of further bouts of profit taking/liquidation remains extremely high as funds and traders book square ahead of the Christmas/New Year period, while thinning conditions will only add to the volatility," said James Moore, analyst at TheBullionDesk.com in London.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 8:51:46 AM

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) - Treasury prices opened at unchanged levels Monday ahead of the release of wholesale inventories data for October. The 10-year benchmark note last was unchanged at 100-20/32 with a yield ($TNX) of 4.546%. The inventories report is due at 10 a.m. The MarketWatch forecast, based on a poll of economists, is for a headline reading of 0.5%, which would be down from 0.9% in September. Trading is likely to be cautious ahead of Tuesday's Federal Open Market Committee decision on rates. The Fed is widely expected to leave the overnight rate steady at 5.25%.

Jane Fox : 12/11/2006 8:49:40 AM

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) - Crude-oil futures fell early Monday on continued uncertainty about whether the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will be able to implement any potential output cut members may agree at Wednesday's meeting in Nigeria.

Crude for January delivery was last down 45 cents at $61.58 a barrel. The contract closed lower Friday and lost more than 2% for the week as OPEC remained a major theme.

Platts reported that 10 of OPEC's 11 members produced 27.07 million barrels per day, on average, in November. That's down 660,000 barrels per day from October, but 770,000 barrels per day above the 26.3 million barrel-per-day target the group set for Nov. 1 and onward, according to Platts.

Most oil traders are expecting the cartel to cut production for the second time in as many months. The forecasts range from 500,000 to 1 million barrels a day with members expected to try to set a floor for oil prices around $60 a barrel.

Early Monday, Merrill Lynch cut its 2007 crude price forecast to $60 a barrel from $65 a barrel and said it expects non-OPEC supply to expand while global oil demand shrinks as the U.S. and global economy weakens. Analyst John Herrlin also raised his 2008 price forecast to $62 a barrel from $50 a barrel as he expects the 2007 trend to reverse, with demand picking up again while non-OPEC supply decreases.

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