The US Census Bureau said that new home sales were at an annual rate of 590,000 units in February, down 1.8% on the month and down 29.8% from a year ago. Even though sales were down, they were a little better than expected. May lumber was up $1.30 at $226.30.

The U.S. Commerce Department said that durable goods orders were down 1.7% in February. Excluding transportation, orders were down 2.6%. The December eurodollars were up .03 at 97.725.


July wheat closed down 36 cents at $10.325 per bushel, blamed on profit taking and second thoughts about these high price levels with a new crop of wheat just a few months away from harvest.

Argentina's farmers have been on strike for two weeks, protesting the government's decision on March 11th to tax soybean exports by as much as 40%. July soybeans closed up 43.5 cents at $13.655, the highest close in a week.


Early guesses are that Friday's USDA inventory report will show hog numbers up roughly 4.6% from a year ago. June lean hogs fell 1.65 to 70.95.

Orange juice

May orange juice closed up 2.75 cents at $1.1420, blamed on bargain hunting at recent contract lows.


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) said that crude oil supplies were unchanged last week at 311.8 million barrels. Supplies of gasoline were down 3.3 million barrels and heating oil supplies were down 1.3 million barrels. May crude oil shot up $4.68 to $105.90, the highest close in a week.

The DOE also said that refinery use dropped from 83.8% to 82.2% of capacity last week. Over the past four weeks, gasoline demand was down .3% from a year ago while distillate demand was down 4.0% from a year ago. May reformulated gasoline closed up 6.39 cents at $2.7349, near its contract highs.


June gold closed up $14.50 at $954.20 with support from today's weak U.S. economic news.


The Ifo Institute's index of German business confidence increased from 104.1 to 104.8 in March, better than expected.

Eurostat said that its index of industrial new orders for the Euro area 15 was up 2.0% in January and up 7.3% from a year ago. The June euro closed up 2.24 cents at a new contract high of $1.5754.