Go Placidly

Podcast: Play in new window | Play in new window (Duration: 13:15 — 7.6MB)

DOW + 141 = 20,804
SPX + 16 = 2381
NAS + 28 = 6083
RUT + 6 = 1367
10 Y + .01 = 2.23%
OIL + 1.18 = 50.53
GOLD + 8.80 = 1256.60

Stocks finished with triple digit gains but well off session highs as news headlines once again rattled traders. The Dow gave back more than 50 points and the S&P 500 saw gains cut in half following an afternoon news dump. The Washington Post is reporting that a current White House official is a significant person of interest in the law enforcement investigation.

Separately the New York Times reported that Trump told Russian officials at the White House that firing FBI Director James Comey relieved “great pressure” from an ongoing probe into Russia and the election. The Times report cited a document summarizing the meeting.

Trump is on the first leg of a ten-day overseas trip that starts in Saudi Arabia, then moves to Israel, the Vatican, Brussels (for a NATO summit), and then Sicily for a G7 summit. The Trump administration planned to announce $110 billion in sales of advanced military equipment and training to Saudi Arabia this weekend.

Despite the firing of James Comey, and a general sense from the mainstream media that the Trump White House is in disarray, and the lowest public approval ratings since the inauguration, Wall Street continues to trade near record highs.  For the week, the Dow and S&P dropped 0.4 percent and Nasdaq was down 0.6 percent.

The dollar index lost 1.6 percent in the five days, the worst week since July 2016. Gold capped its best week in a month. The yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed less than one basis point to 2.23 percent, after rising as much as three basis points earlier in the session. It fell nine basis points this week.

Oil prices rose. West Texas crude rose 2.2 percent to settle at $50.53 a barrel in New York, for a weekly increase of 5.4 percent, the most since March and the second week of gains, on growing expectations that OPEC and other producing countries will agree next week to extend output cuts.

OPEC and other producers including Russia are scheduled to meet on May 25. They are expected to extend output cuts of 1.8 million barrels a day until the end of March 2018. U.S. crude production has climbed 10 percent since mid-2016 to 9.3 million barrels per day as shale producers have taken advantage of higher prices to boost activity.

Iran holds its first round of presidential elections this weekend. If President Hassan Rouhani remains in office, it should encourage Western investment and boost Iranian oil production. If the winner is Ebrahim Raisi, a critic of Iran’s nuclear deal with the West, then it is possible that new sanctions could be imposed, which could reduce the oil supply from Iran.

After two weeks chock full of retailers’ earnings — largely disappointing Wall Street and missing analysts’ expectations — the S&P 500’s Retail ETF (XRT) finished the week down about 3.5%. Leading the declines were names like Ascena Retail Group (ASNA), Foot Locker (FL), American Eagle (AEO) and Sears (SHLD).

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *