Markets fell slightly over the course of trading today. After reaching daytime highs of nearly 18,100, the Dow settled back late in the day to close down -28.43 points at 18,011.94. The NASDAQ closely mirrored the Dow throughout the day, and closed in much the same way, losing -6.40 points to end the trading day at 5,076.53. The S&P 500 closed down -0.10%, falling just -2.13 points to close the day at 2,109.60. Trading today largely erased Monday's small gains.
10-Year Bond Yield Starting to Run Away
Bond yields have been up and down lately, but they seem to have settled into a pattern of small daily gains, interspersed with large jumps when the Fed makes news. In trading today, yields for 10-year treasury notes rose by 0.08%, bringing them up to 2.27%. Bond yields are a good indication of the relative strength of the US dollar, and investors -- both domestic and overseas -- often turn to bonds when they believe the market will remain stagnant or fall.
Oil Companies Rise on Second Day of Crude Rally
Crude oil prices are up for the second day straight, jumping another 1.76% to close the day at $61.26 per barrel. This is a new ceiling for the price of oil, which has been hovering around $60 for over a week now. The price of crude is expected to rise over the summer months for a variety of reasons, but the biggest one -- high demand -- may not be a large factor this year in the price of oil. Since prices for crude are set globally, and Europe is still in the midst of a recession, American demand may not be enough to spike the cost of a barrel of crude.
Oil companies rose today on the news, continuing their roller coaster ride through the spring and likely into the summer and beyond. Noble PLC (NE) and Ensco PLC (ESV), two companies who fell yesterday in spite of rising prices, had the best day in the energy sector. Both energy producers rose by over 4%, with Ensco adding 1.06 points and Noble up 0.78. Ensco closed out the day at $24.46 per share, while Noble ended at $17.17. Both companies are down over 20% on the year to date.
PPL (PPL) Spins Off Business, Stock Prices Fall
Electric utility PPL Corp (PPL) completed a spin-off of part of its core business today, and the market responded by selling off shares of the company. PPL dropped like a rock, losing -8.50% of its value and closing the day down nearly -3 points to $31.81.