Natural gas and crude are taking a breather this evening after a very volatile day. Howard has teased me in the past, and it's all taken in great fun, about being an old guy, but I am still pretty fast with a minute chart and a mouse and today's volatility resulted in a variety of long and short plays (all nicely profitable) in the futures market which I won't bore you with. WRT natural gas, DT is expecting 3 real arctic cold fronts to swing through the northeast over the next 10 days so there will at least be some support for nat gas at these levels even with underground storage brimming at well above normal levels.
March EuroFX down 11 points tonight.. still pinned near $1.30.
Gold holding near $634.
S&P futures up 3/4's, Nasdaq futures up 1-3/4's.
TI (TXN) posted earnings and guidance that were above the worst case scenarios of a number of analysts and the stock rallied in heavy after hours trading by over 3%. We'll see what happens after analysts weigh in with reax tomorrow morning.
Gap (GPS) ousted Paul Pressler as CEO after 2 yrs of weak sales. Bob Fischer, the son of the founder will serve as interim CEO. Gap shares rose 2% after hours. The company will likely be sold. Pressler will get at least $14 mln in severance... so he's a mere pauper compared to the likes of Lee Raymond and Hank McKinnell, etc.
IF Texas Instruments were to have some positive impact on tech-land, it would be handy one two punch for the bulls IF some big banks could help the market as well. On deck tomorrow morning with earnings, Bank of America and Wachovia.
Our President delivers the State of the Union message tomorrow night. Remember on the Little Rascals how Miss Crabtree would rebuke the children by saying if they didn't behave they wouldn't grow up to be president? From the last few that we've had, a 21st century Ms Crabtree would probably warn the children that if they didn't behave they wouldn't grow up to part of far nobler professions like Shyster, Snake Oil Salesman, or Telemarketer (ok, that telemarket one was a really low blow). The Wall Street Journal reports, "President Bush has lost the nation's ear, leaving him with little leeway to pursue major policy initiatives, especially on Iraq. His approval rating is just 35%.A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll on the eve of Mr. Bush's State of the Union address underscores the extent to which he has lost the nation's ear. Just 22% of Americans say they want the president to set policy for the country, while 57% want Congress to do so. Two-thirds say his performance in office is unlikely to get better in his last two years as president." (Click Here - subscription required).
Got a note tonight from a reliable source on Wall Street. Morgan Stanley has sent a research note out tonight. They are going "neutral" on equities in their U.S. portfolio strategy and will be raising some cash. More on this tomorrow morning once this gets broader distribution. It would look odd if this blog spills the full beans tonight.