Beige Book Prepares Investors For A Pause

U.S. 10-year bond prices rose today after the government’s
Beige Book report showed a cooling economy across the United States.  A
number of regions reported a slowing of growth, a slump in the housing markets
and disappointing retail sales.  Traders have been betting back and forth
that the Fed will raise rates in August.  The Beige Book report released
today lends weight to a rate hike pause, as the hikes would be necessary only to
contain inflation in a growing, hot economy. 

The Dollar fell the most today in over three weeks as the
Beige Book numbers showed a cooling economy across the board.  The Dollar
had rallied against the yen and euro for the last two days on investor sentiment
that the Fed was not done with the rate hikes.  The European Central Bank
and Bank of Japan are both expected to raise rates before the end of the year.

Crude oil futures traded up $0.15 to close at $73.90 after the
crisis meeting in Rome failed to bring a resolution to the Israeli conflict. 
Global leaders are united in their wishes to end the violence, but there is no
consensus on how or when it should be accomplished.  The Department of
Energy released its inventories today, which showed an unchanged stockpile of
crude and an unexpected decrease in gasoline.  Also, natural gas traded up
nearly 1% in trading today.

The metals traded mixed today.  After a London report
showing a substantial increase in copper stockpiles, copper fell 1.5% in
trading.  Aluminum also fell, down over 2%.  Gold and silver were both
up for the day, gold up .4% and silver up 1.2%.

Softs traded mixed today.  Cocoa was down 0.3%, coffee
was up 0.4% and orange juice was down 0.3%.

Grains traded mostly lower today.  Corn was down 1.4%,
wheat was down 2.8% but oats were up 0.2%.

Meats also traded mixed today.  Feeder cattle was up 1%
and potbellied pigs were down 0.5%.


Beige Book Shows Signs Of An Economic Slowdown (full

Crude Inventories Unchanged; Gasoline Stockpiles Slide (full