Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Just How High Can Gold Go?
GBP/JPY....A Nice Week
Four-Digit Prices Attract Sellers In Platinum
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Gold At 25 Year Highs
Special Financial Times Article
Last week, the Financial Times ran a special insert entitled “FT World Commodities.” This informative report highlighted many developing trends that have boosted the profile of the futures industry. Listed below are some of the key points:
- China. As the world’s most populous country continues to grow economically, it has boosted demand for many base commodities, which are used to construct its modern infrastructure. Surging Chinese demand has drastically affected everything from crude oil, steal, and copper, to numerous other financial securities markets, including foreign exchange. Naturally, this is a well-known trend, but consider the statistics. China accounts for 25% of the world demand in agricultural products, second only to the U.S. at 28%. China accounts for 8% of world oil demand, up from 2.5% in 1990. And the country accounts for a full 20% of the demand for base metals.
- India. The story is much the same in India, although to a lesser extent. A key difference concerns Gold. Even with relatively tame inflation across the globe, Gold is now approaching $500/per troy once. Much of this increase can be seen as evidence of the boom in futures speculation. On the other hand, it also reflects strong demand in the underlying market. As India becomes more prosperous, there is no evidence that their purchases of Gold will diminish. In fact, their purchases are likely to increase. Keep in mind, also, that both India and China are major producers of many base commodities.
- New Entrants. Whereas futures trading has traditionally been seen as a niche market, dominated by “insiders” and large producers, many others have entered this market. Although major banks -- namely, Goldman Sacks and Morgan Stanley – have continually been active in futures markets, now many others are getting in. And these major banks are seeing the profits from commodities trading add significantly to their overall group results. The involvement of large banks in the market has resulted in higher liquidity. And let’s not forget the hedge funds, whose large trading has had a similar effect.
- Difficult Equity Markets. Lastly, with global equity markets trading sideways ever since the tech bubble of 1999, many savvy investors have been looking into “alternative investments”. This increased interest has sent a flood of new investors into the markets, which in turn, has spurred an increase in new products.
- Electronic Markets. Although progress has been achieved more slowly in certain markets than others, the shift towards electronically traded markets is real, and has generally lowered the cost of trading and improved market efficiency. As more global networks are established, the opportunities and ease of use continue to improve. The easier it is to trade, the more apt investors will be to participate in these markets.
All of the above are major trends that look likely to continue. As such, markets are likely to become more efficient, transparent, and hopefully, more profitable for global investors.
Wild Day For The Dollar
Weather Forecasts Keep Natural Gas Traders Guessing
Monday, November 28, 2005
CBOT Gold Futures Tops 10,000 For First Time
It's All About The Weather!
Overnight FX Markets Were Muted
Friday, November 25, 2005
Soybean Oil Closes At 9-Month Lows11/25/2005
How Much Do You Know About Options?
Thanksgiving (Almost) For Sterling 11/25/2005
Brent Crude Oil Futures Have Taken A Breather
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Bears Get Trampled As Copper Charges Higher 11/23/2005
What Do I Do With My Uninvested Money?
XPRESSTRADE offers the ability to purchase Government Issued Treasury Bills in $10K increments with 90-day maturities. The current interest rate on T-Bills is 3.48%, and all purchase requests take place on the Monday auction and are reflected in your account on Thursday. There is a $15 fee to purchase T-Bills and they will automatically roll-over at maturity unless you give us timely notice. If you would like your T-Bill to mature, as opposed to rolling it over, please let us know before the Monday auction, the week of maturity.
95% of your T-Bill value may be used toward margin, but remember you must always maintain a positive cash balance. For example, if you had $50,000 in your account, it would not be advisable to use the entire amount for the purchase of T-Bills, due to the fact that any market move against you would cause you to be debit cash in the account, even though you would have $47,000 available to be used toward margin (95% of the $50,000). Instead, you may want to purchase 40K and have $10,000 in cash available, to allow for price movement against you. This way you avoid the $50 charge for an early sale and the loss of interest you would have earned on the T-Bill if held until maturity.
Due to the costs associated with selling T-Bills prior to maturity, we recommend that you monitor your equity closely and not allow it to fall below zero. If you find that your equity is close to falling below $0, we recommend depositing additional funds. For More Information, contact an XPRESSTRADE representative today!
Strong Dollar, Weak Yen...Til When?
Crude Oil Prices At A Crossroads
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Copper Rally Halted 11/22/2005
Contact XPRESSTRADE Today!
We are happy to help you with any questions you may have concerning your account, the trading platform, or trading with XPRESSTRADE. While we are not in the business of providing trading advice, we are in the business of customer service and look forward to assisting you.
Contact us toll free at 1.800.947.6228 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also be reached using Live Chat; just click the Live Help link and communicate in real time with one of our futures and forex specialists.
You can reach XPRESSTRADE customer service 24 hours per day during the trading week. We're fanatical about delivering the fastest support in the brokerage business -- we respond to e-mails and answer the phones promptly. All of our representatives are experienced, knowledgeable, well-trained professionals who answer your questions in a straightforward way and don't sidestep your concerns. Most importantly, every member of our team is cheerful, courteous, helpful, eager to please, and committed to serving you -- we understand that XPRESSTRADE exists to deliver the best possible online futures and FX trading experience.
ECB President Trichet's First Move
Trader's Kept Guessing On The Euro's Next Move
Monday, November 21, 2005
Reversal day in Coffee 11/21/2005
Multiple Volume Records for CBOT®
CBOT Metals Complex Volume Record
New Record: 14,830 Date: November 17, 2005
100 Oz. Gold (ZG) Futures Volume Record
New Record: 8,320 Date: November 17, 2005
5000 Oz Silver (ZI) Futures Volume Record
New Record: 1,060 Date: November 16, 2005
See Live 100 oz. & 33.2 oz. Gold Books
See Live 5000 oz. & 1000 oz. Silver Books
Early Monday Rally In The Dollar
How Low Can Wheat Go?
Friday, November 18, 2005
Cocoa pops! This Is Not Just A Breakfast Cereal Anymore!
After 6 Weeks, Our Current Leaders Have Posted Double Digit Gains!
ECB Comments: Rally or Spike?
Google's Surge Sends NASDAQ Futures to Highs:
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Next Stop $500, Battle Cry of Gold Bulls 11/17/2005
The Safety of Your Futures Trading Funds
For starters, it’s important to point out that the financial integrity of the U.S. futures industry is of paramount importance to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the National Futures Association. Both agencies enforce strict regulations designed to safeguard customer trading funds. Futures brokers, too, recognize the importance of financial stability and customer protections. Everyone in the industry understands keenly that without adequate financial protections, you simply won’t have the confidence to trade our markets. Let’s get specific about how the system works.
Daily Cash Settlement: As futures prices move up and down each day, the market value of customers' open positions increases and decreases. Resulting gains and losses from futures trading are credited or charged to every customer's account each day following the close of trading. This mark-to-the-market system doesn’t allow losses to accumulate, and it stands in direct contrast to many other financial markets, where market participants regularly assume credit exposure to each other.
Margin Requirements: Each futures exchange sets minimum margin requirements for all products traded through its facilities, and adjustments are periodically made to account for volatility, current or anticipated market conditions, and other factors. Buyers and sellers of futures contracts are required to maintain the prescribed margin or good-faith collateral in their brokerage accounts to cover losses that might arise as a result of their trading. The availability of such funds is what makes daily cash settlements possible under all market conditions.
Exchange Clearing Houses: In every matched transaction executed through the facilities of a regulated futures exchange, the clearing organization of the exchange is substituted as the buyer to every seller and the seller to every buyer. In other words, the exchange’s clearing organization becomes, in effect, the counterparty to each of your trades. The purpose is to provide a mechanism that assures the payment of all gains and collection of all losses on a daily basis. As a trader, you needn’t worry about the creditworthiness of the party on the other side of your trades. Segregated Accounts: Every futures brokerage company is required to hold customer trading funds in a “customer segregated funds account,” totally separate from their own corporate bank accounts. This is one of the industry’s cornerstone protections. Rules further stipulate that such funds can be used only for the purposes the customers intended and can at no time be commingled with the firm's funds or the funds of the firm's principals. Compliance is strictly enforced, and regulators possess power to take such immediate action as is considered necessary to protect the security of customers' money.
Capital Requirements: Finally, every firm that conducts business with the public as a Futures Commission Merchant must meet demanding financial requirements and is audited continuously. In fact, every licensed FCM that maintains a customer segregated funds must file financial reports each and every morning with industry regulators, and in volatile markets, any exchange’s clearing organization can demand that a firm provide additional capital with just one hour's notice! If there’s another industry that’s subject to greater scrutiny, more aggressive auditing, and tighter controls, we’re not aware of it.
There’s no reason to be concerned about the safety of your trading funds or the futures industry in general, even if the 800-pound gorilla in the industry has filed for bankruptcy. Thanks to all the protections described above, customer funds held in Refco’s regulated futures trading unit are perfectly safe, and more generally, customer losses due to the insolvency of a futures brokerage firm have been virtually non-existent over time. In fact, such losses have totaled less over 50 years than the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) has paid, on average, to reimburse customers of the securities industry for member firm insolvency losses each year! The futures industry’s system works.
Dollar Remains Firm and Jobless Rate Falls 11/17/2005
With Housing Starts Down, Is Lumber Far Behind? 11/17/2005
Bullish Traders Sweet On Sugar 11/16/2005
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Electronic Traded Contracts See A Shift
While the New York markets continue to lag behind on this trend, as you can see, Chicago is seeing a major shift in volume on those contracts that are traded electronically. Here are the latest numbers related to the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange electronically traded contracts.
Deficits Hit Record Highs
Sophisticated futures traders really ought to be running through the various trading scenarios in their heads. With enormous (and evidently, growing) trade and budget deficits, the U.S. is heavily dependent on foreign capital to keep our economic engine purring along. If foreigners lose their appetite for additional Dollar-denominated assets, it seems likely that interest rates will have to rise in order to keep their attention. And should they ever begin to question the ability of the U.S. to repay its mounting debt, it wouldn’t be inconceivable that they also might demand a greater risk premium (much like bond investors demand higher yields on the securities of companies with highly leveraged balance sheets).
Keep an eye on these trade and budget deficits. If interest rates rise further, there’s a possibility GDP growth could slow, the stock market could be pressured, and the Dollar’s recent rally may fizzle. That means potential trading opportunities in the interest rate, stock index, and currency futures markets. Even for the most technical traders, there’s still a place for fundamental analysis.
A Resurgent USD Stops Canada's Long Rise 11/16/2005
Gold Shines Brightly In Traders' Eyes 11/16/2005
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Front Month Crude Oil Falls Below $57 11/15/2005
Paris Is Burning And The Dollar's On Fire Against The Euro 11/15/2005
What Is A Futures Contract Anyway?
We’ve created a full range of FREE, online self-study courses to help you become a better, more informed trader. You can access these courses 24 hours per day, whenever it’s most convenient for you. And you can proceed through each course at whatever pace you find comfortable. Many traders have told us, however, that going too quickly makes it difficult to really understand and absorb the lessons -- that’s why we’ve broken the material down into manageable pieces, so that you can spread each course over a few days. At the end of each lesson, you’ll have the chance to chat live, via the Internet, with one of our friendly, helpful futures and forex pros -- if you have any questions, or if you’re confused about any concepts, we’re here to help you! Click Here To Go Directly To our Education Site
The Copper Saga Continues 11/15/2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
Bulls Get Burnt As Coffee Spills 11/14/2005
The Dollar AKA The Comeback Kid 11/14/2005
Daily Futures Spotlight 11/14/2005
Friday, November 11, 2005
Should I Buy or Should I Sell Now?
This is true because the market already has this information. Good news, accounting for a market’s rise, has already been factored in. Bad news, and the potential for more bad news, has also been factored in. This is how the markets work. This has been true since the beginning of organized markets and remains true today. Advances in information technology only enforce this basic truth. Hindsight is 20/20, and any analyst, reporter, or market researcher commenting on the past, or even the rumored future, will also be behind what is already priced into the market.
One example of this is the historical data relating to the S&P 500 Index. Since 1989, anytime the index has dropped three straight days, it has rebounded over the next five. Not only did it rebound, it went up nearly four times its average weekly gain. On the upside, after three full days of gains, the index has followed that with a net gain of nearly zero over the next five trading days. We can find this same price behavior by looking at the NASDAQ 100 Index as well. What does that mean for traders? Don’t chase the market. Look to buy after the market has dropped, not after it has risen.
FX Markets Today 11/11/2005
Daily Futures Spotlight 11/11/2005
Futures Closing Bell 11/10/2005
Thursday, November 10, 2005
FX Markets Today 11/10/2005
Daily Futures Spotlight 11/10/2005
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Futures Closing Bell 11/09/2005
Why Don't All Of The Markets Trade Electronically?
Electronic trading is the direction in which the industry has been going towards and will continue to move in the future, because the benefits are undeniable. For traders, electronic trading is faster, more accurate, and less expensive. And investors in the exchanges expect that electronic trading will boost volume and profitability. This isn't even news anymore.
But looking at a different angle -- which might make for a more unique story -- is that it's actually remarkable how a number of futures markets have so far managed to fend-off and delay this change. We talked about how many important futures products still trade exclusively in open-outcry trading pits during regular business hours (copper, soybeans, corn, wheat, coffee, sugar, cocoa, cotton, orange juice, cattle, hogs, lumber, etc.). And there are even examples where electronic alternatives exist, but the pits remain the primary trading venue for certain products (gold, silver, crude oil, natural gas, etc.).
Do you wonder how the trading pits have been able to defend their turf? The conventional answer is, partly through politics. Even though the leading futures exchanges have gone public or are planning to do so, floor brokers and local traders remain important constituencies. Another good answer is that it's historically just been very difficult to launch a competing product and to wrestle market share away from an entrenched exchange. Traders all want the best pool of liquidity, the best pricing, and the best executions, so they're reluctant to try a new, competing contract -- even if the new contract is all-electronic.
To summarize, electronic futures trading is going to continue to gain ground. But three years ago, if you'd asked practically any futures brokerage executive to comment on the outlook for open-outcry trading, you'd have heard that the demise of the trading pits was imminent. And the fact is that this just hasn't happened as quickly as many expected -- the trading pits have been more resilient than anyone imagined. That's the under-reported and more interesting story, we think.
FX Markets Today 11/09/2005
Daily Futures Spotlight 11/09/2005
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Futures Closing Bell 11/08/2005
Are You Someone Who Knows Java? We May Be Looking For You!
We offer a number of benefits, including health insurance contributions, a retirement savings plan, a generous number of paid time off days, futures and forex training, and a fun, high-energy workplace providing plenty of opportunities to learn. We're proudly an Equal Opportunity Employer. If you're interested in any of the below positions, and you meet the specified criteria, we'd love to talk to you! Please e-mail Marcia Cremin, and send us your resume. Click Here For More Details
FX Markets Today 11/08/2005
What is the Commitments of Traders Report and How Can It Be Used?
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) releases the weekly Commitments of Traders report each Friday to the public. This report shows the open positions of large non-commercial traders (commodity funds), commercial traders (normally hedgers), and non-reportable positions (small speculators) in the futures and options market. It also displays the net change of these positions from the previous week.
Traders can use this report to gauge recent market sentiment and look for possible turning points if one market segment is holding a large net position in the market. For example, if non-commercial traders are holding a large net long position in Sugar one week, and then the following week the position decreases, we can assume that the commodity funds are liquidating their long positions, and it's quite possible that a change in market sentiment may be at hand.
For example, for the week ending October 25th, 2005, the COT report showed a combined futures and options net short position in the Corn market of 19,417 contracts for non-commercial traders. The net change portion of the report represents an additional 4,341 contracts added to the short side. Knowing this information, traders can look for an opportunity to get long the Corn market on any rally, as there could be some potentially heavy buying interest by these non-commercial traders to liquidate their short positions and possibly reverse their positions to the long side.
For more information on the Commitment of Traders report please feel free to contact XPRESSTRADE.
Futures Closing Bell 11/08/2005
Monday, November 07, 2005
Futures Closing Bell 11/07/2005
Who Knew We Offered So Many Different Order Types?
Now’s a great time to be an online futures trader, and one reason is the ever-expanding selection of special orders that give you more convenience and control. In addition to all the conventional order types, more and more online futures brokers have begun to offer a wide range of advanced and contingent orders. Let’s look at a just a few of the special orders now available at various online futures brokers:
One-Triggers-Others: Suppose you’ve identified a head-and-shoulders pattern in the crude oil market, and accordingly, you enter a limit order to go short at $62. You’re looking for an objective in the low-to-mid $50s, and you see strong resistance around $66. Accordingly, you place three trades, all on a single order entry screen you enter the primary limit order to sell at $62, a contingent limit order to take profits at $54, and a contingent stop order at $66 for protection. There’s no need for you to sit in front of your computer all day once the primary order’s been filled, both contingent orders will be activated automatically. Many trading platforms even allow you to specify that if either contingent order is executed, the other should be cancelled.
Trailing Stops: You’ve done your homework, you know that oat futures can lead significant grain market rallies, and the solid upturn in oats futures might be an early clue that harvest lows are close at hand. You place a limit order to buy December oats at $1.64, a contingent limit order to take profits at $1.85, and a contingent trailing stop $.05 below the market, since a nickel is the most you’re willing to risk on this trade. If your primary order is executed, both contingents activate.
Think of the market and the trailing stop as being linked by an imaginary chain. When the market moves in your favor, the chain tightens, and the trailing stop is dragged along automatically. When the market moves against you, however, slack builds in the chain, and the price on your trailing stop remains unchanged. This special order type allows you to profit from favorable movement in the market while having the protection of a stop order. And it frees you from having to constantly monitor the market and repetitively modify your stop order.
Alert-Triggered-Orders: Some futures brokers have taken price alerts to the next level. Not only can you set up their trading systems to notify you by e-mail when an alert has been triggered you also can attach an order to your price alert, and when the market reaches your target, the order will be automatically activated. Here’s an example: Silver futures have been strong and are now trading around $7.84. But the 14-day RSI indicates seriously overbought conditions, and momentum appears to be fading. You feel that penetrating the $8.00 level will be difficult. Thus, you enter an Alert-Triggered-Order. If December silver futures reach $7.92, you'd like a market order to sell 10 December $8.25 call options to be automatically entered on your behalf. Click Here To See All Order Types....
FX Markets Today 11/07/2005
Daily Futures Spotlight 11/07/2005
Friday, November 04, 2005
Futures Closing Bell 11/04/2005
CBOT® 100 oz. Gold Open Interest Surpasses 10,000 Contracts
CBOT® Chicago, IL, November 3, 2005 – The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT®) announced today that open interest for the Exchange's 100 oz. Gold futures contract surpassed 10,000 contracts setting a new record of 10,054 contracts on November 2, surpassing the previous record of 9,739 contracts. Overall, the CBOT's electronically traded Precious Metals Complex's open interest closed at 19,149 contracts yesterday. Read the full Press Release
FX Markets Today 11/04/2005
Daily Futures Spotlight 11/04/2005
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Futures Closing Bell 11/03/2005
FX Markets Today 11/03/2005
Daily Futures Spotlight 11/03/2005
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Futures Closing Bell 11/02/2005
Ever Thought of Trading Gold And Currency Futures?
Look at a gold futures chart, and you’ll see that the price of this “safe haven” investment has moved considerably higher the past five years. Can the market reach $500 or $600 per ounce? If this were to happen, the global economy would likely find itself in the midst of a serious geopolitical conflict or facing the prospect of runaway inflation. During the last major gold bull market, precipitated by the Iran hostage crisis in the late 1970s, both factors combined to propel gold from $300 to more than $800. If you think gold’s headed higher, the obvious play is to buy gold futures or call options. But are there other opportunities?
Switzerland’s longtime political neutrality as well as the fact that a significant percentage of its currency reserves traditionally has been backed by gold means that no major currency is considered to be as safe and stable as the Swiss Franc. In fact, if you were to compare charts of gold and the Swiss Franc, you’ll notice that the Swissie’s rise since mid-2001 correlates almost perfectly with the rally in gold. So, if you expect a rally in gold, you might also consider establishing a long position in Swiss Franc futures.
Canada and Australia are worth mentioning, too, since both countries possess substantial reserves of the precious metal and have very strong and well-developed mining sectors. Australia was the number two gold producer in 2004, accounting for more than 10% of worldwide production, and mining represents approximately 5% of its GDP. With respect to Canada, gold is its single most important mineral in terms of production value, and mining accounts for more than 4% of GDP. If the price of gold maintains its uptrend this year, both the Australian and Canadian currencies could follow its lead. Read More....
FX Markets Today 11/02/2005
Daily Futures Spotlight 11/02/2005
Online Webinar Wednesday at 12:00 Noon CST and Thursday at 1:00PM CST
These training sessions will be held twice weekly and take place online, in a virtual classroom. If you're interested in participating, you'll simply log into the training site at one of the designated times, and you can watch in real-time as a member of the XPRESSTRADE customer service team moves through the website, pointing out all the tools at your disposal. You can even listen to the instructor over your computer speakers.
At the end of each online group training session, you’ll have the opportunity to post questions for the instructor. Not only will you receive direct answers to your questions, but you might very well find that answers to questions from your fellow traders will be helpful to you, too. We encourage you to give this new complimentary service a try!
Every Wednesday at 12:00PM CST and Every Thursday at 1:00PM CST