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The U.S. stock indexes closed mixed today. The bulls were disappointed with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech to the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress. Bernanke said the U.S. is facing economic headwinds, especially due to the European Union debt crisis, but offered up no specifics on any fresh monetary stimulus package to promote more economic growth. The restrained tone of Bernanke's speech disappointed bulls who wanted immediate gratification on economic stimulus.
However, Bernanke at this time holding his cards close to his vest on the matter did not surprise most market watchers, many of whom still reckon the Fed will at some point down the road provide fresh monetary policy easing. The “Bernanke bust” overshadowed several significant market place developments that occurred earlier Thursday, led by news China has cuts its interest rate by 0.25% in an effort to stimulate its economy.
Crude oil closed down $0.85 a barrel at $84.17 today. Prices closed near the session low today. The crude bears have the solid overall near term technical advantage. There are still no early technical clues to suggest a market bottom is close at hand.
Natural gas closed down 14.6 cents at $2.275 today. Prices closed near the session low and hit a fresh six week low today. Bears have the solid overall near term technical advantage and gained more downside momentum today.
Gold futures closed down $44.10 an ounce at $1,590.10 today. Prices closed nearer the session low today and were pressured by the failure of Fed chief Bernanke to offer fresh monetary stimulus at today's testimony to Congress. The gold market bulls quickly lost their technical momentum today. Bears regained the slight near term technical advantage in gold.
The U.S. dollar index closed down 14 points at 82.63 today. Prices closed near mid range today and saw more profit taking. No chart damage has occurred this week but the bulls are fading a bit and a bearish weekly low close on Friday would begin to hint that a market top is in place. Bulls do still have the overall near term technical advantage.
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