Bonds Steady on Mixed Reports

Bond prices fell slightly today, after a U.S. report showed an unexpected
rise in new home sales. A separate jobs report and durable goods orders report
both showed underlying weakness, however, tempering any strong positive
sentiment. Bond prices typically rise on economic weakness and fall on strength,
so it’s clear that traders are positioned defensively in relation to bonds.

The dollar fell against the euro, pushing closer to record lows, on negative
reports from the U.S. Today, a number of mixed reports came out, and traders
focused on the negative, driving the dollar lower versus the euro. Most of the
action surrounded the dollar/euro pair, so the other major pairs were only
slightly changed.

Crude oil soared today, rising by more than 3% to hit new record highs above
$90 a barrel. Yesterday’s crude report showed an unexpected drop in crude
supplies, sparking more demand fears. Tensions in the Middle East have become
more and more of a focal point for traders as well, with Turkey actively
fighting Kurdish insurgents in northern Iraq, and the U.S. continues to pressure
Iran to discontinue its nuclear programs. Natural gas futures also rose today,
gaining about 2.4%.

Gold futures rose about 0.7% on dollar weakness and rising oil prices. Gold
normally trades inversely to the dollar and with crude, which is exactly what
happened today. Traders bought gold in favor of dollar weakness and to hedge
against rising oil prices. Copper futures rose about 0.9%.

Grains rose today across the board. Corn was up nearly 3%, and soybeans rose
just under 2%.

The Dow and S&P 500 closed fractionally lower, while the Nasdaq lost
-0.86%. Earnings news, economic data and another record high for crude oil were
enough to subdue the bulls today. Click

to read the rest of today’s

Stock Market Recap

Economic News

Durable goods orders rose 1% last month.

New home sales also increased more than expected in September.