Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov says the oil giant is in an unrecognizable state right now. » Read More
After jumping up over 200 points this morning, the Dow has reversed course and is now in negative territory for the day. The S&P 500 also jumped, rising above 1300 before falling back down. Interestingly, at one point during the swing, the S&P was down more than the Dow was down. The Dow is priced roughly 9 times higher than the S&P 500. Given the difference in scale, it is somewhat unusual to see this happen when they move in the same direction.
Stocks came charging out of the gate, inspired by oil's drop and the dollar's surge, but weakness in technology stocks sucked the air out of the rally.
Stocks kicked off September with a rally, inspired by the more than $7 drop in oil prices and a surge in the dollar.
Stocks shot out of the gate Tuesday as the price of oil plunged more than $7 and the dollar surged.
Several major U.S. refiners said early checks on Monday showed their facilities were unharmed by Hurricane Gustav, but at least two others were said to be considering dipping into the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to keep operations going after the storm shut down key waterways.
Gustav weakened to a Category 1 hurricane as it approached the Louisiana cities of New Iberia and Lafayette with maximum wind speeds of 90 mph.
Gustav hasn't even made landfall, and it's already hitting consumers in the pocket book. Gasoline could jump 10 to 15 cents a gallon at the pump over the Labor Day weekend for some drivers, according to Tom Kloza, chief analyst at the Oil Price Information Service.
The Dow rose on Wednesday as surprisingly strong data on durable goods orders soothed some concern about the sluggish economy.
Futures popped nearly 10 points as durable goods jumped more than expected. Dollar rallies a bit but is still down, bonds decline. Commodities up as the dollar is a bit weaker today. While oil is up $1.82 to $118.09, it is a fairly poor response to Gustav and the tensions with Russia. Airlines are weaker.
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Stocks finished flat Tuesday, caught in the August crosswinds of a strong dollar and Hurricane Gustav. Oil rose more than $1 to settle at $116.27 a barrel.
The oil market's taking notice that Hurricane Gustav could be the first major storm to wreak havoc with Gulf of Mexico oil production areas in several years, and it should be clear by the weekend just how serious that threat could be. "This could be the most significant storm in that area since Katrina and Rita" in 2005, said John Kilduff, M.F. Global senior vice president.
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The market rallies on Friday with the Dow, NASDAQ and S&P all up 1% or more, on light volume, but Friday's gains are not enough to boost the market's weekly performance out of negative territory. Energy stocks dominate.
The Dow and S&P 500 rose on Thursday as surging oil prices drove up energy shares, though fresh fears of more credit losses on Wall Street kept gains modest.
US stocks ended mixed Thursday as a jump in oil prices boosted oil stocks and speculation about a government bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and a possible takeover of Lehman Brothers, gave investors some hope that relief is coming.
Ronald Weiner, president and CEO of the RDM Financial Group, says his two favorite stock picks are in the defense and energy sectors.
US stock index futures briefly pared their losses after a drop in jobless claims. Investors remained tentative, however, amid worries about the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the impact of geopolitical tensions on oil prices.
Tim Parker, an energy analyst at T. Rowe Price, says his best stocks picks are in the oil services sector.
Oil production has begun falling at all of the major Western oil companies, and they are finding it harder than ever to find new prospects even though they are awash in profits and eager to expand.