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Markets Down, Oil Over $60 as OPEC Claims Loss of Pricing Control

By: , dated May 5th, 2015

Market Check-In. Exchanges fell across the board today, but point for point the NASDAQ continued to be hit hardest. The Dow lost over -140 points in trading, and closed the day at 17,928.20. The S&P 500 lost -25 points to close at 2,089.46. The tech-heavy NASDAQ lost a full 1.5% of value and dropped -77 points today, closing low at 4,939.33. In overseas trading, markets were down. The exception was in Tokyo, where the Nikkei gained 12 points on the day.

OPEC Claims to Have Lost Control Over Oil Prices. In a press conference today, the Saudi oil minister, a member of the royal family, claimed that OPEC had lost control of pricing. In one sense, that's true, since demand dictates oil prices. On the other hand, OPEC dictates a large amount of world supply, so how much oil it chooses to pump and distribute still has a large practical effect. You can look for ongoing -- and even increasing -- instability in oil and gas this summer.

Energy Companies Rally As Oil Breaks $60. Domestic energy companies don't care about what's coming out of OPEC to a large extent, they were just happy to see fuel prices rise. It may already be too late in the fiscal year for these businesses to turn a profit. But every time the price of oil rises, these stocks float up with it. Diamond Offshore (DO), Transocean (RIG), and Ensco PLC (ESV) all posted gains of at least 2.5%. Diamond was up 1.49 to $34.59 per share. Transocean rose another 0.57 points to close at $18.98, and Ensco gained 0.71 points to end today's trading at $27.51.

Qualys Crashes After Lowering Guidance, Missing Earnings. The bottom dropped out on Qualys (QLYS) stock today, as the company announced that it would miss earnings and adjust Q2 targets even lower. Share prices fell as far as 40% before ending the day, bruised and beaten and down 32%. Qualys lost -18 points today alone, and ended the trading day at $37.03 per share.

Sell In May and Go Away. That's one old piece of wisdom from Wall Street investors. It hints toward the increased volatility and limited returns during summer. As a piece of investment advice, it's glib enough to be funny. But in reality, it just doesn't hold up. Summertime market volatility can be used to make a profit the same as any other volatility can.

The sluggish summer yields will be lower than through the holiday season, but profits are still there for the taking. "Sell in May and go away." might be worse advice this year than most, since Health Services and Consumer Durables should continue to boom through June and July.

Aaron Phillips

is a financial researcher and journalist based out of Michigan. He regularly writes the IG Daily and IG Weekly columns. Just recently, he's started covering the investment news beat for IG.

Copyrighted 2015. Content published with author's permission.

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