Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Shanghai Surprise

Copper soared on news of Chinese reserves selling on auction today at prices much higher than traders had envisioned. All of the fundamentals were in place for this bullish run, as low inventories clashed with a strong demand-yet many market participants were still surprised. Read More....

Just How High Can Gold Go?

Strong demand for commodities, creeping inflation, and growing interest in safe-haven investments have pushed gold futures to their highest price in roughly two decades. Many traders and investors are wondering just how high the price of gold can go. The last time Gold futures traded at or above $500 per ounce was 1987. To surpass that price again and to climb to even loftier levels, the global economy would most likely find itself in the midst of either a serious geopolitical conflict or would be facing the prospect of runaway inflation. Read More...

GBP/JPY....A Nice Week

Preliminary U.S. Q3 GDP was revised up to 4.3% on an annual basis this morning. The estimate trumped analyst expectations, which anticipated a number closer to an even 4%. Obviously the figure implies a stronger level of underlying strength in the overall U.S. economy. Read More....

Four-Digit Prices Attract Sellers In Platinum

Four-digit prices attract sellers in Platinum: The thought of $1000+ Platinum prices sent traders on a selling spree overnight, causing prices to fall to the lowest levels of the week. The selling started in Japan overnight, as traders there booked profits once the market traded over $1000 for the first time since 1980. Read More....

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Gold At 25 Year Highs

Gold at 25 year highs: Not since 1987 has Gold traded at such lofty levels, as the December Gold futures contract just missed touching $500 during the day session. During the rally, large speculators increased their long positions to 162,982 contracts, as of November 22nd. Read More....

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

Yesterday was a volatile day for the Dollar that has many analysts trying to pin-down the exact causes. Like so many things, it may have been a combination of various issues that caused the Dollar plunge nearly 200-points against the Euro in mid-day trade. Read More....

Weather Forecasts Keep Natural Gas Traders Guessing

Weather forecasts keep Natural Gas traders guessing: Nowhere are long-term weather forecasts more closely followed than in the trading rooms of Natural Gas traders. Warmer than normal temperatures in the Northeast and Midwest have helped push gas prices well off their fall highs. Read More....

Monday, November 28, 2005

CBOT Gold Futures Tops 10,000 For First Time

CBOT 100 oz. Gold (ZG) Daily Volume Tops 10,000 Contracts

CBOT 100 oz. Gold futures (ZG) topped 10,000 contracts in daily trading for the first time Nov. 28, 2005.

LIVE 100 Oz. & 33.2 Oz. Gold books
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Read More CBOT Newsletter....

It's All About The Weather!

It's all about the weather, as crude oil fell and heating oil reached a four-month low, as warm weather in the eastern U.S. reduces fuel consumption, pushing inventories higher. Heating demand in the Northeast, where 80 percent of the nation's heating oil is consumed, will be lower than normal this week, as temperatures in New York creep up into the 60's. Read More....

Overnight FX Markets Were Muted

Overnight FX markets were muted and kept to the same themes, as traders await the release of U.S. October existing home sales. The number is forecast at 7.20 million on an annual basis, from 7.28 million in September. Most analysts expect to see a cooling-down in the "frothy" housing sector. Read More....

Friday, November 25, 2005

Soybean Oil Closes At 9-Month Lows11/25/2005

Soybean Oil closes at 9-month lows: Bearish Soybean Oil traders were out in force during this holiday's shorten session, as the December contract fell to the lowest levels since February. Speculative sales were the culprit in today's sell-off, in spite of decent export sales totaling 11,600 tons. Read More....

How Much Do You Know About Options?

Since there are options on so many different commodities - and so many ways to trade options - you might not know where to begin. But getting started and trading commodity options is easier than you think, once you've determined your goals. Options can achieve a variety of trading objectives, and picking a goal narrows the field of strategies you might choose. Take our quiz and see just how much you know.

Thanksgiving (Almost) For Sterling 11/25/2005

The North American session was predictably muted yesterday, owing to Thanksgiving holidays in the U.S. European trade, however, did see a reaction to hawkish commentary by BoE officials during their testimony to parliament. Read More....

Brent Crude Oil Futures Have Taken A Breather

After a three-month decline, Brent Crude Oil futures have taken a breather, with prices caught in a narrow two-dollar range. Traders expect the market to test the lower-end of the range, as follow-through from Wednesday's bearish U.S. Department of Energy's report showing that increasing U.S. distillate stocks, which include heating oil and diesel, should be sufficient to make it through the winter season. Read More....

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Bears Get Trampled As Copper Charges Higher 11/23/2005

Bears get trampled as Copper charges higher:Copper futures made up yesterday's losses and then some today as traders feared being caught short going into the long holiday weekend. After trading as low as 190.00 today in the December contract, buyers came out of the woodwork bidding up prices. Read More....

Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule

What Do I Do With My Uninvested Money?

Not sure what to do with your uninvested cash in a futures account? Here is a solution! Futures brokers aren't permitted to offer you a money market fund (because this is technically a security product), but buying a T-Bill is the next best thing.

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?

Ever since ECB President Trichet announced that the ECB was ready to move, FX markets have been trading on interest rate expectations. His initial comments on Friday were followed by Monday's qualification that the move would not necessarily constitute a trend. Read More....

Crude Oil Prices At A Crossroads

Crude Oil prices at a crossroads: Going into the Thanksgiving holiday, traders are divided as to the next direction of Crude Oil prices. Yesterday, Crude closed sharply higher on forecasts for colder weather in the Northeast and Midwest going into the long holiday weekend. Read More....

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Copper Rally Halted 11/22/2005

Copper rally halted: Bulls finally decided to take some profits ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, as Copper prices plunged. After a double-top appeared in the December contract at 198.00, traders wanted to lighten-up on their positions at these lofty levels. Read More....

Contact XPRESSTRADE Today!

Whether you’re an existing XPRESSTRADE customer or are interested in learning more about trading Futures and Forex with XPRESSTRADE, we look forward to hearing from you.

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 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

With a thin calendar today, FX markets have begun the day in a tame mood, following yesterday's volatility. The main event on Monday was the follow-up comments by ECB President Trichet, who effectively crushed the emerging view that Eurozone rates would be progressively raised throughout Q1 2006. Read More....

Trader's Kept Guessing On The Euro's Next Move

Trader's kept guessing on the Euro's next move: Just when it seemed that the Euro Currency was ready to move higher, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet throws cold water on the rally. On Friday, Mr. Trichet gave strong signals that the ECB was ready to raise rates by 0.25% in December. Read More....

Monday, November 21, 2005

Reversal day in Coffee 11/21/2005

Reversal day in Coffee: After a 14-cent decline this past week, Coffee staged a reversal today, as market bears decided to book some profits. The market started the day lower, as sell stops were triggered once the March contract gapped through the recent low at 99.40. Read More....

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

FX markets have been choppy since Friday's comments by ECB President Trichet. The prospect of rising Eurozone rates has proven a difficult thing for analysts to digest. At first glance, the narrowing yield spread between U.S. and EU rates was seen as supporting the Euro. Read More....

How Low Can Wheat Go?

How low can Wheat go? With new contract lows being made on Friday, traders are wondering where the bottom will be for Wheat prices. Weak exports are the main culprit, as China, usually a key buyer in the U.S. Wheat market, has been absent this year. In addition, there has been hope that India, the second largest wheat grower, would need to import grains this year. Read More....

Friday, November 18, 2005

Cocoa pops! This Is Not Just A Breakfast Cereal Anymore!

Cocoa pops! This is not just a breakfast cereal, but the reaction of the Cocoa futures market today as speculator's covered short positions. The action started in London, this morning when reports of commodity funds buying over 5000 contracts sent the market jumping. Read More....

After 6 Weeks, Our Current Leaders Have Posted Double Digit Gains!

After the first 6 weeks of our quarterly trading contest, our current leaders have all posted triple digit gains in their accounts since the start of the contest on October 1st. The metal's markets have provided rich trading opportunities for a number of our leading traders, particularly the Silver and Copper markets. Read More....



ECB Comments: Rally or Spike?

With no further data on the calendar this week, the U.S. session will be closing out the trading week without fundamental guidance. As such, Friday's trade will likely have a technical and momentum bias. Yesterday saw the Dollar take a break from its recent gains, on the back of relatively soft data and short-term profit taking. Read More....

Google's Surge Sends NASDAQ Futures to Highs:

Google's surge sends NASDAQ futures to highs: Stock index traders have something to cheer about, as the NASDAQ100 futures closed at their highest levels since 2002 on the back of a strong showing by internet-related stocks, such as Google, which pushed past $400 a share for the first time, more than doubling in seven months. Read More....

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Next Stop $500, Battle Cry of Gold Bulls 11/17/2005

Next stop $500! That is the battle cry of Gold bulls, as the 4 1/2 year uptrend is heading close to the magical $500 level. The market has not seen prices this high since December of 1987. Gold's current strength comes in spite of a rising U.S. Dollar, which recently made a 2-year high against the Euro. Read More....

The Safety of Your Futures Trading Funds

Following the recent bankruptcy filing of heavyweight futures broker Refco, many traders have expressed concern about the safety of their trading funds and about the financial stability of the entire industry. While a certain degree of anxiety is to be expected, these fears have been vastly overblown. Truth is, the futures industry’s consistent record of financial soundness has been nothing less than remarkable. It’s a story worth telling.

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

Heading into Thursday's North American session, recent themes continue to shape the market. The Dollar remains especially firm due to improving fundamentals, rising rates, and most recently, yesterday's robust overseas inflows. Read More....

With Housing Starts Down, Is Lumber Far Behind? 11/17/2005

With housing starts down, is Lumber far behind? That is what traders will be asking today, as the Commerce Department announced that housing starts for October fell 5.6% to a seasonally adjusted 2.014 million annual rate. The figure surprised traders who were expecting a 2.8% decline. Read More....

Bullish Traders Sweet On Sugar 11/16/2005

Bullish traders sweet on Sugar: Trade and speculative buyers helped send Sugar futures to new contract highs today. A report out today by ED&F Man predicted a world Sugar production deficit of 3.8 million tons for the 2004-05 crop year. Read More....

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Electronic Traded Contracts See A Shift

Electronic Trading is gaining an ever-increasing share of overall futures trading volume. Electronic trading is less expensive, more accurate and provides much faster fills when compared to traditional open-outcry markets. Most electronic exchanges provide nearly instantaneous fill reporting. Electronic exchanges also allow traders to access more relevant and accurate information on current market conditions including current bid/offer price and size. These advantages have facilitated the replacement of most all foreign pit-traded contracts with electronically traded versions.

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

It was difficult not to notice last week that the U.S. trade deficit swelled more than 11% to an all-time record of $66 billion in September. At this rate, the burgeoning trade gap looks poised to exceed last year’s record of nearly $618 billion.

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

The U.S. session began the day with news that core inflation growth had increased slightly more than expected. The .2% rise for October will strengthen the expectation that U.S. rates will continue rising. The Dollar also reacted favorably to yesterday's retail sales data. Read More....

Gold Shines Brightly In Traders' Eyes 11/16/2005

Gold shines brightly in traders' eyes: The metals markets have been among the best movers this year, with Copper and Platinum making new highs. Now it looks like Gold might be ready to join the party. Gold has just broken out of a month-long slump with a nice jump overnight. Read More....

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Front Month Crude Oil Falls Below $57 11/15/2005

Front month Crude Oil falls below $57: Who would have imagined a year ago that Crude Oil trading under $57 would be positive for consumers! Well, this is what we are facing today, as the lead month December Crude Oil contract closed below $57 today for the first time since June. Read More....

Paris Is Burning And The Dollar's On Fire Against The Euro 11/15/2005

Paris is burning and the Dollar's on fire against the Euro, setting new a two year low at 1.1640. Consensus among real money traders targets the EUR/USD breaking through 1.1400 in the short-term. However, the confirmation hearings of the Fed's newest Chairman, Ben Bernanke, set to begin today, may have an effect on bull Dollar traders' confidence in a sustained rally. Read More....

What Is A Futures Contract Anyway?

So, you've heard about the futures market and want to trade. You want to see what all the hype is about. "What is a futures contract anyway?, you ask yourself. Looking for answers? We have them!

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

The Copper saga continues: Here is a story that has all the intrigue of a good mystery novel! There are rumors of a Chinese government copper trader, who is believed to have a large short Copper position on the London Metals Exchange, having ended contact with other dealers recently. Read More....

Monday, November 14, 2005

Bulls Get Burnt As Coffee Spills 11/14/2005

Bulls get burnt as coffee spills: Longs threw in the towel today, as Coffee futures plunged to nearly 2-week lows. After initial sideways trading, prices started to fall, as commodity funds started liquidation of their long positions. Friday's release of the weekly Commitment of Traders report showed speculators long 7,175 contracts as of 11/1, with estimates of additional long positions added during last week's run. Read More....

The Dollar AKA The Comeback Kid 11/14/2005

The Dollar comeback continues to strengthen against Eurocurrency and Sterling weakness. The annualized producer price inflation declined in the United Kingdom to a new four-month low of 2.6% for October. The weaker than projected PPI disclosure drove the Sterling down from recent support in the Asian session, and the currency looks to continue in a downtrend until year's end. Read More....

Daily Futures Spotlight 11/14/2005

What's ahead for the S&P500? S&P futures are in the midst of a month-long rally that has seen the index gain 66 points. How long will the rally continue? Well, several economic reports out this week may tell the tale. Inflation and the housing market have been hot topics as of late, and traders will have a few reports on these topics to digest this week. Read More....

Friday, November 11, 2005

Should I Buy or Should I Sell Now?

Whenever we see dramatic moves in the market, reporters and analysts become very emotional. After the market has made significant gains over a three-day period, the major news channels bring out the cheerleaders to pump up their audience and sing the praises of a bull market. We are provided every reason for the market’s rise, and even more for its continued upward surge. After a fall over the same period, we are subjected to every Chicken Little who is willing to stand in front of a camera, shouting, “The market is falling, the market is falling”. These purveyors of doom and gloom have just as many reasons for the continued drop. As most of us with any experience in the markets can attest, rarely are these extremists right, but why is this true?

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

Today is a banking holiday in the U.S. and FX trade may be light and there remains no additional data on the calendar. The Dollar has, thus far, managed to hold onto to last week's gains and is trading in tight ranges near 1.71 to the Pound, 1.17 to the Euro, with the USD/JPY just under 118. Read More....

Daily Futures Spotlight 11/11/2005

Copper rose to a new all-time high on Thursday based on speculation that demand for the metal from builders and manufacturers is outpacing production from mines. Copper inventories have drawn consistently lower because global copper production has not kept pace with demand. Copper has gained more than 25 per cent this year and has more than tripled since 2001. Read More....

Futures Closing Bell 11/10/2005

New contract highs in Copper: Copper futures soared to new contract highs today on what traders called a "technical driven rally". Buy stops were triggered once the December contract broke through 185.00. Momentum traders added to their long positions as new contract highs were made. Read More....

Thursday, November 10, 2005

FX Markets Today 11/10/2005

The U.S. trade deficit was released this morning at $66.1 for September, which was significantly higher than August's -$59. The figure was also much higher than analyst consensus, and a new record. While oil import costs were less than expected, it was the non-oil segment that grew, which implies the arrival of core inflation growth. Read More....

Daily Futures Spotlight 11/10/2005

Commodity funds vs. commercials in the battle for lumber: Commodity funds are flexing their muscles in Lumber futures, as their continued buying in the January contract has propelled prices to 6 month highs. Floor sources estimate that commodity funds may control just over 50% of the total open interest in the January contract. Read More....

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Futures Closing Bell 11/09/2005

Platinum trades at 25 year highs: Platinum futures soared to prices not seen since 1980, as strong demand for the metal, as well as very tight inventories, have traders clamoring for the metal. Today's rally started in Tokyo, as Tokyo Commodity Exchange (Tocom) platinum futures closed at Y3,524/gram, breaking the old record of Y3,520/gram in the October contract. Read More....

Why Don't All Of The Markets Trade Electronically?

Recently, the futures markets have been gaining exposure with the volitility of the energy markets. With this exposure come traders looking for more opportunities in placing trades. Traders are looking at both the open outcry arena, as well as the infamous electronically traded sessions. Unlike many of our competitors, we don't restrict our clients' trading opportunities by ignoring the fact that many important futures products still trade in the old-fashioned trading pits. Hence, both are available to our clients at their discretion. However, one story we offer, that has a different spin on the tired, old story that everyone's covered pretty exhaustively, is why aren’t all products traded electronically? Why wouldn’t all the exchanges go completely electronic, you ask?

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

For the time being, the Dollar seems to have settled into technical trading ahead of tomorrow's budget releases. The new ranges have held and rather tight ranges have developed in most of the majors. For the moment, crude prices remain below $60/barrel. The U.S. trade deficit for September is being touted near $60b, and larger than the previous month due to rising costs of imported oil. Read More....

Daily Futures Spotlight 11/09/2005

Is the Lean Hog rally for real? That is the question traders are asking today, as the recent breakout to the upside came despite bearish fundamentals. Early calls are for steady to weak cash hog bids today, following a sharp decline in pork cut-out prices on Monday. Read More....

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Futures Closing Bell 11/08/2005

The coffee futures market came alive today, trading at its highest levels since August, as commodity funds and speculative accounts were all in a buying mood. The market started the day higher, taking its cue from a rally in London, as trade buying by roasters helped start the ball rolling. Read More....

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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

Round II of the Dollar's renewed strength was felt overnight as the greenback rallied further against the Euro, reaching the 1.1709 before pulling back some. At present, the positives remain a gradually increasing interest rate environment, solid growth (the developed world's best), and good momentum. Read More....

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

What is next for the Japanese Yen? After dropping to a 26-month low against the Dollar last week, can the Japanese Yen fall further? Yen bears would argue that the Yen is still ripe for further declines, citing indications that the Federal Reserve is not finished with its tightening cycle, and that the interest rate differential between the U.S. and Japan will continue to widen. Read More....

Monday, November 07, 2005

Futures Closing Bell 11/07/2005

Mild weather cools Crude Oil Rally: Unseasonably warm U.S. temperatures have thrown a curve into the supply and demand picture of energy supplies, as reduced demand for Heating Oil has sent Crude Oil futures to its lowest levels since July. Read More....

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

Now that the Dollar has broken through, traders will be re-adjusting their yearend outlooks and taking a fresh look at matters. For the moment, the greenback seems to be comfortable just above 1.18 to the Euro and off just slightly against Friday's lows in the other major pairs. Read More....

Daily Futures Spotlight 11/07/2005

U.S. Dollar at its highest level for the year! Even a weak employment number couldn't stop the Dollar's charge to yearly highs. Traders have now turned their attention to the actions of the Federal Reserve, and their continued quest to keep inflation at bay, by raising short-term interest rates. Read More....

Friday, November 04, 2005

Futures Closing Bell 11/04/2005

Euro finally falls through 1.1900: After four previous attempts, Dollar bulls were finally able to push the Euro through the key 1.1900 level today, as the market shrugged off a weaker than expected non-farm payrolls number, erasing earlier gains. The Dollar versus the Euro is trading at levels not seen since May of 2004, as rising U.S. interest rates and a strong U.S. economy have traders flocking to the Dollar. Read More....

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

The U.S. non-farm payroll was released for October this morning at 56,000, while the unemployment rate was reported at 5%. The payroll number was on the low side of expectations, though still indicative of job growth. Initially the Dollar slipped lower on the news. Read More....

Daily Futures Spotlight 11/04/2005

The Labor Department reports non-farm payrolls increased by 56,000 jobs: There was something for everyone (to get wrong) in today's release of the October employment report. The Labor Department reported that non-farm payrolls increased by 56,000 jobs in October. This was less than half of the 124,000 increase estimated by analysts and economists. Read More....

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Futures Closing Bell 11/03/2005

Bullish traders stampede into Coffee futures: Renewed by yesterday's strong up-move, bullish traders continued their buying spree, as December Coffee futures closed at the highest level in a week. Buying was widespread, with commodity funds, speculators, and roasters all active purchasers. Read More....

FX Markets Today 11/03/2005

The Dollar remains firm heading into the U.S. session. Weekly jobless claims fell 8000 to 323,000, pulling the 4-week average to a 7-week low. Good news was also seen in productivity, which also moved up 4.1% on an annual basis through the 3 rd quarter. Read More...

Daily Futures Spotlight 11/03/2005

Can we hold the rally in S&P futures? That is the question traders are asking as the December S&P futures closed at its highest level in nearly a month. Yesterday's strong move upward was due to continued optimism for a strong U.S. economy, lower oil prices, and a strong U.S. Dollar vs. the Japanese Yen. Read more....

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Futures Closing Bell 11/02/2005

Coffee Futures perk up on short-covering: Following a rally in London, Coffee futures at the NYBOT gapped higher, in what was termed a "short-covering frenzy." Buy stops were triggered when the December futures broke the psychologically important $1.00 level. Read More....

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

Dollar sentiment remains strong, as the greenback continues to trade on rising rates and improving fundamentals. Yesterday's ISM manufacturing number was strong enough for most, posting a 59.1 reading in October, marginally less than the previous month, yet slightly above expectations. Construction spending was significantly more robust. Read More....

Daily Futures Spotlight 11/02/2005

Has Soybean Meal bottomed? Soybean Meal finally broke out of its slump yesterday, with a strong rally on the back of rumors that China might be in the market for beans. The recent price slump for the Soybean complex has finally brought out physical buyers who were waiting for lower prices to enter the market. Read More....

Online Webinar Wednesday at 12:00 Noon CST and Thursday at 1:00PM CST

Though we expect you'll find our website to be refreshingly intuitive and user-friendly, you might still like to join us for a live, online system walk-through. This is a new service that we've decided to offer, and we think it'll be a great way for both new and existing clients to learn about everything our browser-based trading platform has to offer.

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

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Futures Closing Bell 11/01/2005

Higher prices in Asia lead to Soybean rally: The two-week downtrend in Soybean futures came to an end today, as lower prices may have finally caught the attention of importers. Buyers came out at the opening on the back of higher Soybean prices in Asian trading. Read More....

How Much Does It Cost To Trade?

XPRESSTRADE is one of the best overall values in the futures industry. We offer low commissions to trade 300+ futures products worldwide -- electronic or open-outcry, U.S. or international, day or night. Our prices include a comprehensive set of powerful, yet easy-to-use trading tools and resources that come standard with every account. Plus, you’ll have our exceptional customer support in your corner. Our goal is to give you everything you need to be successful in the futures markets, at an affordable price!

FX Markets Today 11/01/2005

Today is FOMC meeting day, and yet another .25% rise is widely expected. The commentary too, is expected to include the standard reference to "remaining accommodative." Rate expectations have, however, been rising of late, with the upper limit now touted as being as high as 5.5%. Read More....

Daily Futures Spotlight 11/01/2005

Winter weather will determine the direction of Heating Oil: The weatherman has become the best friend of bearish traders in Heating Oil. Private weather forecasters are calling for warmer than normal temperatures for the Eastern part of the U.S. in the first part of November. Read More....