Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Wednesday Curtain Raiser

Are we going to be waking up to the sight of mushroom clouds and the napalm in the morning? From the way crude oil traders behaved earlier you'd think that was what was in store. Earlier crude spiked above $68 on rumors, since denied, that Iran took shots at Navy warships. Crude has since eased back to about the $63.90 level. April RBOB is up to a whopping $2.09 a gallon rising with the rest of the complex and ahead of tomorrow's DOE inventory data. Analysts forecast a 1.8 million barrel gasoline draw for the week ending Mar. 23, along with a 1.6 million barrel rise in crude stocks and a 1.2 million barrel draw in distillates. Natural Gas is up another 7-cents helped along by Accuweather's forecast for an active Gulf of Mexico hurricane season.

Speaking of things energy: China is paying for Iranian oil in E u r o s. That's happening as Iran reduces US dollar exposure.

Gasoline at over $3 in California and in the high twos nationwide can't be good for homeowners on the brink and certainly isn't good for consumers in general. Just ask Wal Mart: Wal-Mart CEO says cautious as fuel prices rise.

February durable goods order data is due at 8:30. After a slump in January a rise of 3.4% is expected.

But all of that may seem trivial as Ben S. Bernanke - Fed chairman, helicopter drop pilot, printing press operator and provider of Bernanke 'puts' to the financial realm - makes an appearance to the Joint Economic Committee. Reuters preview here. Under what was supposed to be a more transparent Fed there seems to be more confusion than ever. So who better to unravel the mysteries? Congress, of course. Some folks seem to wonder why there's so much confusion; I think it's by design. Heaven help the markets if Bernanke were to explain, or better yet, confess, what's the Fed and the Treasury are really up to. All it will take is for Ben to say all is well and the market will be up 500 tomorrow. Seriously, it will be interesting to see just how serious the market takes Bernanke at whatever word he gives on Wednesday.

Can no one tell the truth anymore? What's turning out to be a big lie from Microsoft about Vista continues to snowball. Microsoft fudging facts on Vista sales? What about Office 2007?

It looks like a 'fun' day ahead in the markets tomorrow.

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