Equities remained volatile again this week with a slight uptick in volume. All five trading days saw triple digit moves in the Dow Industrials with a net change of only 0.26% when all was said and done. Other major indexes were up slightly, as well. Wednesday’s gain was attributed to a potential move by OPEC to cut output by 750,000 barrels a day, the first time the organization reduced supply since 2008. While not set in stone, the plan is set for November. On Friday, markets were relieved to hear that Deutsche Bank – Germany’s largest bank – was in somewhat better financial shape than previously believed, at least for now. The bank is in multi-billion-dollar settlement talks with the U.S Justice Department over their role during the financial crisis.
With the OPEC news, domestic crude oil shot up 8.5% to close at $48.24/bbl. and world Brent also moved higher for the week. The prospect of a stabilizing supply demand scenario sent energy and energy related stocks higher by nearly 5%. Aggressive candidate Hess Corp. advanced 14.3% or $6.71 per share on the week; income choice Total, SA was up $1.17 or 2.5%; and conservative pick Schlumberger was ahead by $2.72 per share, all making up for some lost ground. Elsewhere, sectors were mostly split down the middle. Along with oil and gas shares, basic materials and industrials saw some bidding, while utilities and health care moved lower by 3.8% and 1.5%, respectively.
On Friday, the September employment report will be released with estimates of some 170,000 new jobs created vs. 151,000 in August. Results from the Labor Department that are much higher than projected would further cement a rate hike by the Fed sometime this year. As we close the books on September with a loss of 0.12% in the S&P 500, October will not likely fare a whole lot better, if history is any guide. However, I think a fairly high weighting in stocks is still appropriate over the longer term with the election and third quarter earnings’ reports as wildcards.
Here is the answer to last week’s trivia question: The person responsible for providing liquidity and maintaining an orderly market for an exchange listed stock is known as a? Floor Broker, Registered Representative, Broker-Dealer or Specialist. Answer: Specialist.
Today’s Trivia Question: The NASDAQ, the first electronic stock exchange focusing on the trading of OTC stocks, was established in? 1966, 1971, 1979 or 1982.