Crude Oil Drops Below $50 Per Barrel
  PUBLISHED ON: Jul 20, 2015
Markets were essentially flat in trading today. The Dow rose by 13.96 points to settle in at 18,100.41. The NASDAQ was up 8.72 points on the day, more than doubling the real gains that the Dow posted. The index closed out the trading day at 5,218.86. The S&P 500 brought up the rear, with gains of 1.64 points to close at 2,128.28.

Crude Oil Prices Fall Under $50

Crude oil prices managed to plummet even further today, breaking through what had been a rock-solid $50 support level. There are at least three reasons for this movement, which has been anything but sudden.

The first is the coming deal with Iran, which promises to flood the marketplace with cheap Iranian oil.
The second is the state of the economy in Europe, and the fact that people there are using even less gasoline than they typically would. Finally, the US and OPEC are producing oil at record levels, and the US strategic reserve is at capacity.

In fact, the domestic oil reserve has actually been increased by 4% but it still isn't enough to stave off falling prices. The US energy sector is currently a dangerous place to put your money, although there are deals to be had. It's just too soon to say when the demand for crude oil will increase, or when OPEC and the US will cut production, so until the the best use for the energy sector is a fertile dumping ground for short sales.

Facebook (FB) Still on the Rise After Marketing Trial

Social media and advertising giant Facebook was up 3% today on the success of a new marketing scheme. The company plans to make it even easier to micro-target groups of people with advertising than it already is.

Currently, most of Facebook's targeted advertising is location-based, but it's trying out a new scheme where you can advertise based on gender and income level, among other factors. The new features are expected to go live by the end of the year. In trading today, Facebook added 2.94 points to close at $97.91 per share.

PayPal (PYPL) Worth More Than eBay (EBAY) on First Day of Spinoff

Today, the markets told us what a lot of online shoppers already knew. The days of eBay (EBAY) are well in the past. After spinning off PayPal (PYPL), the financial services arm of the online auction house, eBay rose slightly to $28.57 per share. PayPal was up over 5%, gaining 2.08 points to close at $40.47 per share.
Aaron Phillips is a financial researcher and journalist based out of Michigan. He regularly writes the IG Daily and IG Weekly columns.

Copyrighted 2015. Content published with author's permission.

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