Markets were relatively flat in general today, but there were a few big movers in the energy and tech sectors. The Dow closed up just 0.34 points, ending the day at 18,285.74 in slower than average trading. The NASDAQ moved the most, but it was a small step up. It gained 19.05 points to close at 5,090.79. The S&P 500 moved up 4.97 to 2130.82.
In overseas trading, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell -61 points today. The index is China's de facto stock market. It's a good general measure of the Chinese consumer economy, and lately it's been booming. The Hang Seng is up 18% over the past 3 months, and China has taken measures to combat inflation. By way of contrast, in America we have been able to use the Fed as a tool to keep interest rates low.
NetApp Down -12% After Missed Earnings.
Game peripheral manufacturer NetApp (NTAP) missed their earnings target for the end of the quarter by $50 million dollars. As a consequence, share prices fell today, to levels that the company hasn't seen since November of 2012. NetApp is down -6.70% year over year, and lost -3.56 points in trading today. Share prices closed at $31.77.
Oil Perks Up And So Do Energy Companies.
The futures price of a barrel of light, sweet crude was flat today, holding around $60 like it has been for the past week. As we head into summer and demand increases, OPEC has given every indication that they are going to protect their market share by keeping prices low. Projections show that the price of a barrel of oil could rise as high as $85 this summer, before settling back over the winter to $80.
Is $60 A Ceiling Or A Floor For The Summer?
Unless OPEC makes some big move to increase supply, $60 will definitely be a floor for oil in the coming weeks. We can expect prices to steadily increase well into July, before leveling in the late summer.
Gas Prices Are Going Up Either Way.
The price of gasoline in the summer rises regardless, as consumer demand drives oil companies to increase production at the refineries. All of the added costs of supply carry forward, and the price of gas goes up.
Energy Stocks Were Up Today.
3 of the 5 biggest gainers in the market today were from the energy sector. Noble Corporation PLC (NE), Transocean (RIG), and Chesapeake Energy (CHK). Noble lead the market in real gains, they added 4.51% to their share price, moving up 0.76 points to $17.63. Transocean gained 4.31% on the day, and closed at $20.09. Chesapeake Energy, an east coast, onshore oil driller, gained 3.80% to close at $15.31.