International tensions shifted from Ukraine to Iraq and dragged the markets lower for the week. Gold decided to take a bow to the strife and moved ahead about $21/ounce to $1,273.30. And oil futures rose dramatically in the wake of a squeeze in mid-eastern supply with light crude climbing over 4% to $106.91/bbl. The spike took income candidate Total, SA higher by $0.60 to $71.60; aggressive choice Hess Corp. ahead by $2.63 to a multi-year high of $96.73, before settling back a bit; and conservative play Schlumberger in the oilfield services space moved higher by $2.26, closing in on an all-time high at $108.25. Consumer sentiment and retail sales figures for May didn’t help put investors in a good mood. With the exception of the energy stocks, virtually all other sectors were lower, especially consumer staples and utilities. The Dow Jones Industrials took a breather for the week falling 0.9% and the S&P 500 declined 13.28 points to 1,936.16. The tech-heavy NASDAQ fared somewhat better moving lower by only 0.2%.
Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC – $29.87) surprised investors with an announcement that it sees demand for enterprise PCs showing strength and the chipmaker upped its revenue forecast by $700 million for the year to $13.7 billion from what it had originally seen as a flat 2014 growth rate and the shares moved ahead $1.70 or 6%. On Thursday we will get fourth quarter results from software giant Oracle Corp. (NASDAQ: ORCL – $42.14) with a consensus estimate of $0.95 vs. last year’s $0.87, bringing the annual estimate for fiscal 2014 to $2.91/share and an outlook for next year to $3.19. The stock remains reasonably valued at these levels.
Anyway, all you dads out there enjoy this year’s Father’s Day and I’ll report back next week to see what moved the markets. Until then, stay the course.