Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Stocks Finish Slightly Lower on GM Worries and a Bounce in Energy Prices

S&P 500 1,259.62 -.02%
DJIA 10,805.55 -.29%
NASDAQ 2,222.42 -.01%
Russell 2000 672.78 +.08%
DJ Wilshire 5000 12,580.03 +.02%
S&P Barra Growth 603.35 -.09%
S&P Barra Value 651.84 +.05%
Morgan Stanley Consumer 599.25 -.21%
Morgan Stanley Cyclical 778.43 -.23%
Morgan Stanley Technology 524.81 -.20%
Transports 4,103.12 -.12%
Utilities 413.22 +.26%
Put/Call 1.14 +22.58%
NYSE Arms 1.13 +25.54%
Volatility(VIX) 11.19 -1.67%
ISE Sentiment 247.00 +6.01%
US Dollar 90.79 +1.02%
CRB 325.81 -.09%

Futures Spot Prices
Crude Oil 58.18 +.15%
Unleaded Gasoline 151.32 +.29%
Natural Gas 14.12 +.30%
Heating Oil 172.20 +.10%
Gold 494.90 -.42%
Base Metals 151.09 -.68%
Copper 202.00 unch.
10-year US Treasury Yield 4.46% +.49%

Leading Sectors
Oil Service +2.07%
Gaming +1.75%
HMOs +1.37%

Lagging Sectors
Disk Drives -.79%
Networking -1.19%
Gold & Silver -1.39%

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 Outperform on S.

Afternoon/Evening Headlines
- The Transport Workers Union may try to take over its striking NY Local 100 and seek a settlement with the Metropolitan Transport Authority.
- Richard McCabe is retiring as chief market analyst at Merrill Lynch after 43 years with the NY-based company. Mary Ann Bartels, Merrill’s equity-trading strategist, will succeed him.
- Electronic Arts cut its sales and profit forecasts for this quarter and next.
- Gold fell to $495 an ounce, down $50 in just over a week, after US producer prices tumbled in November by the most since April 2003, reducing the appeal of the precious metal as a hedge against inflation.
BOTTOM LINE: The Portfolio finished slightly lower today on losses in my Energy-related shorts. I did not trade in the afternoon, thus leaving the Portfolio 75% net long. The tone of the market was slightly negative today as the advance/decline line finished lower, sector performance was mixed and volume was average. Measures of investor anxiety were mixed into the close. Overall, today's action was mildly bearish. Investors likely need to see GM stabilize, natural gas fall further, some more positive holiday shopping data points and a quick end to the NY transit strike before a meaningful push higher in stocks can occur.

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