“What is Aramco?” When asked whether it is an international oil company or a national oil company former Aramco CEO and former Saudi oil minister Ali al Naimi said, “I can tell you – and I’m not biased — that Aramco is no less than Chevron or ExxonMobil.” He had not quite answered the question. “We are a by-product of those companies; and we are different from, say, Kuwait National Oil Company,” Naimi continued.
Here we are at the most important trading week of the entire year. You’ll never hear about this on the business channels, but Gann designated the March change of season as the most pivotal cycle point for markets of the entire year. Longtime readers of this column know I’ve come up with all kinds of names for it through the years.
Stocks extended their short-term losses on Wednesday, as they retraced most of last week's Friday's rally. The broad stock market failed to continue its rebound from February 9 low despite technology stocks reaching new record highs.
Equity markets are coming out of a mixed session sandwiched in between critical economic indicators; while the E-mini S&P 500 was unchanged yesterday, the Nasdaq gained 0.5% and the Dow lost 0.5%. Gold surprisingly lost ground overnight, yesterday’s session should have been constructive enough to keep the sellers at bay through CPI data at 7:30 a.m. Central.
March appears to be a relatively non-distinct month on the trading calendar. It is not in the bottom or top quartile of performance metrics in any of the top three equity indexes. It lands at fourth best in the S&P 500, fifth best in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and sixth best in the Nasdaq Composite.
Last week we had one of the better jobs reports in recent memory with 313,000 new jobs in February in the United States. More important was the reaction as traders overlooked the potential for rates to rise. It was likely a given already as Powell warned they would do so. Nevertheless, the long bond maintained the low and the relief for longer-term rates has sustained since Feb. 21.
Stocks rallied on Friday, as investors reacted to better-than-expected monthly Nonfarm Payrolls number release. The broad stock market retraced its late February move down, while technology stocks reached new record highs.
Wednesday's trading session was overall bullish, as the main stock market indexes closed between -0.3% and +0.3% vs. their Tuesday's closing prices following much lower opening in reaction to Gary Cohn's resignation's news.
The 1.1% surge in the S&P 500, the 336 points rally in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the strong bounce in European markets on Monday are hard to justify after President Trump announced plans to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports last week