Friday, November 23, 2018

"Stock Market Off Lows, But Crude Oil Prices Plunge To New Depths"

Today's markets are all about oil. Let's see how it's doing, shall we?

Oh Dear God:
$50.95, down $3.68 (6.74%)

From Investor's Business Daily, 10:17 AM ET:
Oil prices fell hard Friday, sending the Dow Jones and S&P 500 lower, while the Nasdaq trimmed its early losses to trade flat in a short, post-holiday session.

Energy names led the early downside in today's stock market, with Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) falling hardest among Dow Jones stocks. On the S&P 500, oil-related stocks posted 19 the index's 20 worst early declines. Tesla (TSLA) slumped after announcing it would cut prices of its cars being sold in China.
On the upside, defense contractor Rockwell Collins (COL) led the few advancers on the S&P 500, and Dow Jones stock United Technologies (UTX) jumped 2.8% after announcing regulators in China had approved the companies' planned $30 billion merger.
The Dow Jones industrials tanked 0.7% at the starting bell, then trimmed its loss to 0.4% The S&P 500 also traded 0.4% lower. The Nasdaq Composite reversed its early decline and defended a narrow gain, as China names (JD) and NetEase (NTES) led the declines among Nasdaq 100 listings, and as chipmaker Micron Technology (MU) and American Airlines (AAL) each surged more than 2%.
Markets close at 1 p.m. ET Friday, a session during which trading volume has historically been light. But pre-holiday market volume was unusually heavy on Tuesday, with the selling reportedly driven by automated trading programs. Stocks struggled to take back some of those losses on Wednesday, although the market had already shifted to "in correction" status.  Savvy investors are looking to raise cash where possible, and to avoid making any new buys or adding to positions until the market logs another follow-through day, and IBD's market pulse raises the "confirmed uptrend" flag.

Oil Prices Slide On Supply Fears
Oil prices were a driving factor in Friday's premarket trading, with West Texas Intermediate swooning 7% to below $51 a barrel. The cause of the declines appeared to be general worries about weak demand, particularly from China, and rising output from shale oil producers in the U.S. JPMorgan this week slashed its price outlook for oil, now saying that Europe's Brent crude benchmark will average $73 in 2019, down from its prior price forecast of $83.50. Brent crude traded down 4% early Friday, at just above $6o per barrel.

U.S. oil prices have now fallen more than 20% in November alone, outpacing the monthly losses recorded during the dive into the oil glut in 2014, and nearing the declines seen in the sell-off that followed oil's spike to a record high, near $150 a barrel, in late 2008.
Natural gas prices climbed out of early losses and rose 0.3%, to trade around $4.47 per million British thermal units. Cold winter weather and tight gas inventories combined to drive gas to near $5 last week. Although trading below last week's highs, gas prices remain up 31% in November, marking their strongest month since September 2009....MORE
Earlier (9:37 AM ET):
Oil Prices Pound Energy Stocks; Dow Jones Slips As Chips, Airlines Rally