On the last trading day of 2002, most futures markets will close early ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations. Only stock index futures and the major contracts at the New York Board of Trade -- contracts that have had shortened trading hours since Sept. 11, 2001 -- will keep their normal schedules. The light volume that accompanies shortened trading schedules increases the risk on most trades. So lightening your contract load or watching from the sidelines may be the preferred approach to Tuesday's markets.
Commitment of Traders report also showed a net speculative long position in excess of 100,000 contracts, highlighting the overbought condition in the metal and increasing the allure of last-day-of-the-year, safe-haven trades in the five- and 10-year notes. molds such as aflatoxin. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported a 30% decline in export shipments last week, underscoring reports that 800,000 bushels of U.S. grown corn landed in Japan contaminated with the genetically modified StarLink hybrid. Two years ago, demand from Asia nosedived after StarLink was detected in shipments. Finally, February live cattle (LCG3:CME) traded lower Monday after scoring a contract high on Friday. Momentum has stalled in this market after a three-week lull. The quick retreat and failed breakout that left a tail Monday indicates selling of the high.