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NY futures rally this week
15
Feb '08
NY futures rallied this week, with March gaining 150 points to close at 69.91 cents, while December added just 33 points to close at 77.03 cents.

Since dropping down the limit on January 22, the March contract had been confined to a tight range over the last three weeks, closing somewhere between 66.95 and 68.99 during that period.

Then this morning - seemingly out of nowhere - the market exploded to the upside and within minutes into the open outcry session we had March trading limit up and it was wanted there for the rest of the session. Volume was extremely heavy at over 73'000 futures, which adds validity to this move.

Even though there were signs that the market was losing downside momentum and that it was due for a bounce, nobody was expecting this kind of strength. After pushing lower on Monday on decent volume, the market had failed to follow through on Tuesday and Wednesday, with most of the volume coming from rolling March into May, while outright activity had slowed to a trickle.

The fact that open interest rose by over 4'000 contracts yesterday was another sign of impending strength, since it confirmed that speculators had returned as buyers.

Commentators pointed to several potential catalysts for this rally, such as the strength in outside markets, Chinese buying, a speculative fund having to cover shorts and a merchant possibly setting up a cert. stock squeeze. It was probably a combination of these factors plus an initial lack of selling that allowed the market to surge higher.


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