U.S equity benchmarks melted higher yesterday. The S&P hit our major three-star support dead on early in the session before reversing strongly and settling right at major three-star resistance. The two biggest companies in the world did what they do best; lead. Apple gained another 3% yesterday, tallying a near 10% gain on the week from our buy target at 188-190. Amazon added 2% and Microsoft 1.2% while the disheveled Facebook and Netflix both bounced back from recent earnings disappointments.
Snapback after a whack, give a dog a bone, this old man comes rolling home. It looked doomy and gloomy in crude oil for a while as trade war fears and reports of increases in OPEC and Russian oil production weighed on market psyche. Yet, after a report about another drop in supply in the Cushing, Okla., delivery point, and talk that U.S. oil production is not what it was reported to be, the mood quickly shifted.
Global equity markets are lower this morning and we cannot say we are surprised. In fact, we warned of this exact scenario; U.S and China trade tensions will build in the headlines once we got through Apple’s earnings and the Fed drift. The Bank of England hiked interest rates 25 basis points this morning as expected, but a warning of economic headwinds has sent the Pound a penny lower.
The U.S. petroleum markets were just trying to adjust to a surprise increase in U.S. crude supply, when The Wall Street Journal reported that the Trump Administration is considering more than doubling proposed tariffs on a further $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25%, up from an original 10% tariff that was put in place before.
Crude oil prices are back under pressure as there are reports that the United States is looking to more than double tariffs on China, as well as a shockingly bearish weekly inventory report from the American Petroleum Institute (API). Out of nowhere, the API reported a 5.590 million barrel build, confounding experts and expectations as well as a big 2.890-million-barrel increase in distillate supply. Gasoline did fall by 791,00 barrels but with trade war fears keeping us on edge, today's Energy Information Administration (EIA) supply report will be more important than today's Fed announcement.
Crude prices, which were on the rise on concerns of tightening supply and growing desperations that the loss of Iranian oil supplies would not be easily replaced, may have found a ray of hope. Present Donald Trump said in a press conference at the White House with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte that he would be willing to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani any time "whenever they want” and without preconditions, raising hopes that perhaps an Iranian crude oil embargo might be avoided.
Crude oil prices are stuck between a rock and a range with seasonal weakness, as well as the promise of more oil production, which is alleviating fears of a tightening global marketplace. On Friday, the market was looking for a reason to rally or break. It got the reason to break on a report by The Wall Street Journal that Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak, who said he “did not rule out… an increase in oil production in excess of 1 million barrels a day may be discussed.”
Big oil is back, and we have earnings today but so is big LNG. OK, maybe the market for Liquefied Natural gas isn’t big yet but it is going to be. President Donald Trump boasted that “Europe will be a massive buyer of U.S. LNG as they will be able to diversify their energy supply.” Some dismissed the comments as not likely, but those who did are thinking small or not looking at the big picture. In coming generations, the United States will be the LNG supplier to the world.
Market sentiment received a solid boost after US President Donald Trump obtained concessions from the European Union to avert a transatlantic trade war. The United States and Europe have reached a deal to work towards “zero tariffs, barriers and subsidies on non-auto industrial goods” in a bid to defuse escalating trade tensions.
Farmers looking ahead to harvest should get hedged even though President Trump will use a Great Depression-era program to pay up to $12 billion to help U.S. farmers through the trade war talks. Maybe Willie Nelson should come play at the Trade talks with President Trump and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker. Any sign that Trump and Juncker can lay the groundwork for a trade deal could set oil, distillate, grains and metals on a tear.