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Markets Up on Oil Rise to $56

By: , dated April 15th, 2015

All three major markets ended the day up, with the NASDAQ leading the way in real gains at 0.68%. The Dow added 75.91 points to close at 18,112.61, peeking its head through the 18k ceiling again. The NASDAQ gained 33.73 points and closed at 5,011.02. The S&P 500 was up 10.79 points and closed at 2,106.63 as regular trading ended today. In world markets, everything was relatively quiet. The Hang Seng held steady with a 50 point gain, and London's FTSE essentially tread water by adding 20 points.

Oil At $56, Marking YTD High. The futures price of a barrel of crude oil rose more than $3 in trading today, settling in at $56.39 as the markets closed. This represents the high-water mark for the price of oil in the year to date, and domestic drillers all saw share prices rise on the news. Transocean (RIG) stock was up 10% today, and closed at $18.90 per share. CONSOL Energy (CNX) followed closely behind, with share prices shooting up 8% to close at $30.78.

Shake Shack Up 15% On Expansion Plans. It looks like investors are excited to see Shake Shack (SHAK) opening more locations, because their share prices have been shooting up all week. Although things steadied today, with a -2.40 point decline, the stock price is up over 15% in the past 5 days. Share prices have risen from just below $50 to $57.45 at the close of the market today. Shake Shack is the exception to the fast food retail market segment, though. Its competition has not been growing as fast as shareholders have wanted, and that's lead to flat share prices if not outright declines.

But What About The Rest Of Fast Food? Not every fast food retailer is having the same boom as Shake Shack (SHAK), and share prices among the major brands have been mixed. Yum! Brands (YUM) -- which holds KFC, Taco Bell, and others -- has had some limited success but is struggling in general. Yum was flat today, losing -0.03 points to close at $79.59. Darden Restaurants (DRI) has had some success with Olive Garden after making changes, but was down -0.85 points to close at $67.05 today. McDonald's (MCD) lost -1.14 points today, and closed at $96.44. Wendy's (WEN) was flat today and has been having a down week, losing 2.50% over 5 days to close at $10.54. Domino's Pizza (DPZ) is much the same as Wendy's, having lost 2% over 5 days to close at $98.36.

A Rare Down Day For Health Care Providers. Health care providers have been a reliable earner in the market, even when the economy was struggling much more than it is now. Today was a bad day for the sector, though, as investors sold their shares and prices fell. UnitedHealth Group (UNH) lost -2.60 points and closed at $117.32. Cigna (CI), another managed care provider, lost -2.68 points per share and closed the day's trading at $130.22. Anthem (ANTM), one of the largest providers of managed health care, was down -2.95 points to $151.30.

Aaron Phillips is freelance writer and journalist based in Mid-Michigan. He writes the daily market commentary and weekly market recap for investorguide.com.

Copyrighted 2015. Content published with author's permission.

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