1:00pm (EST) 

The Dow has almost managed to make its way to breakeven and the bulls are just shy of pushing the index into positive territory.  They have managed to bring the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq into the green but Wall Street seems slightly nervous ahead of this afternoon’s Fed minutes.

In about an hour, the Fed will release details from its March 16 meeting and analysts will be listening to what the big wigs said about their pledge to keep interest rates at low levels.  We don’t expect a curveball and once we clear this hurdle then we could see some type of “relief” pop into the close.

As a result, the Dow is currently down by 10 points to 10,963 after touching a low of 10,927.  The S&P is flat but showing a pulse at 1,187 while the Nasdaq is up a point to 2,430.

Oil continues its recent surge and is at 18-month highs.  The black gold has jumped nearly 25% since February and is at $87/ barrel.  Crude had traded in a tight range of $69-$84 for quite some time before breaking out last week.   

Massey Energy (MEE, $49.30, down $5.49) is down 10% after one of its West Virginia coal mines exploded.  Although America has some of the safest mining practices in the world, Massey is known for its safety violations and this is sad to see as the blast killed at least 25 miners.  Rescue efforts are still ongoing.


CA (CA, $23.08, down $0.77), formerly known as Computer Associates, is taking a little hit today after announcing it will cut 1,000 jobs as part of a cost-cutting effort to trim the fat.  The company also said it expects to incur a pre-tax restructuring charge of about $50 million and lowered its full-year guidance range.


There are pockets of good news out there…

Netflix (NFLX, $82.00, up $2.01) continues to rip-it-up on the iPad momentum and has hit another 52-week high today.

Dendreon (DNDN, $40.03, up $1.84) made us look good today by breaking $40.  We have traded call options on this stock in the past and we recently listed a few plays on our Watch List.  The premiums were a little high at the time for us to pull the trigger but looking back we should have. 

We are still scanning the option pits and there may be an opportunity to trade this one although it will depend on where we think the stock is headed.  We know shares are going to take out $50 but Dendreon will likely get a lot of takeover chatter once the FDA releases the hounds for the company’s drug, Provenge.