Stocks acting a bit more "normal" today. There's some bargain hunting for beaten-up transports and industrials, and most big energy stocks are down today.
The Volatility Index (VIX) is flat, there are only 4 stocks declining for every 3 advancing, and volume is lighter than on the previous two days.
Among stock traders, there seems to be a feeling that we may be near an interim high for oil. Not that stock traders know much about where oil prices are going; they're just reading commentary from their desks. Much of that commentary is noting that Saudi Arabia is at much less risk of political upheaval than other Arab countries, at least in the short run.
The reasons, these oil "doves" argue, boil down to a few key points:
1) Saudis are more well off than citizens elsewhere, including Libya, Egypt and Tunisia;
2) the Saudi royal family has doled out lavish benefits: no-cost healthcare, and have just announced new benefits worth over $35 billion (about $1,750 per person);
3) the king is well regarded by most Saudis.
As for the "Facebook protest," it is coming from an external group, and the Saudis have two-and-a-half weeks to prepare for it.
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