Analysis for Short Term Option Trading!
Outside Market Influences-
European stock markets and the euro gave up some earlier gains Wednesday after the European Central Bank revealed that it lent slightly more than anticipated in its super-cheap three-year loan offering to banks. The ECB said it made euro529.5 billion ($712.4 billion) in low-interest loans to banks in the second round of its long-term credit infusion, which has been widely credited with easing the eurozone debt crisis.
Harsh winter weather pushed Germany's jobless rate up to 7.4 percent in February, while unemployment was static in seasonally adjusted terms after three months of declines, official data showed Wednesday. The unadjusted jobless rate was up from 7.3 percent in January, with 3.11 million people registered as unemployed, the Federal Labor Agency said. The figure was 26,000 higher than in January but 203,000 lower than a year earlier. Hard winter weather typically weighs on activity in sectors such as construction.
With the notable exception of housing, the U.S. economy has been on a fairly strong uptrend in recent months. But this is "as good as it's going to get," says Srinivas Thiruvadanthai, director of research at the Jerome Levy Forecasting Center, predicting the economy will cool considerably this spring. The U.S. "is in all probability headed for a marked slowdown." Thiruvadanthai's down beat, but not dire, view is based primarily on a belief that an unseasonably warm winter, along with the Fed's uber-easy policy, has artificially inflated the economy by giving a boost to construction.
Now that the Dow Jones industrial average has closed above 13,000, an all-time high is in sight — just 1,160 points away. But the coast is not quite clear for the markets or the economy. The Dow's final push above the milestone came from a report that Americans feel better about the economy than they have in a year. But other economic data Tuesday were downright grim: Orders for big-ticket factory goods dropped by the most in three years, mainly because the government withdrew a key tax subsidy. And home prices are stuck at 2002 levels.
Oil prices rose slightly to near $107 a barrel Wednesday in Asia after a large drop the day before amid mixed signs about the strength of U.S. crude demand. Benchmark oil for April delivery was up 42 cents to $106.97 late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell by $2.01 to $106.55 per barrel in New York on Tuesday.