Thanksgiving week is upon us and the markets will be closed on Thursday and only open half a day on Friday. This week usually tends to be a slow one since everyone is gone and stuck in airports while trying to fly somewhere for a good turkey dinner.
At the close the Dow was up 72 points to 23,430 on trading volume that was lower than a rock in the Grand Canyon.
The State of Nebraska gave approval for the portion of the XL Pipeline project which crosses the northeast corner of the state. The removal of this last major hurdle means the project can proceed to the construction phase baring any appeals. The pipeline “pro” argument was based on jobs and energy security since getting oil from Canada is better than getting it from the Middle East, Mexico and Venezuela while the “con” argument was based on resistance from landowners and negative environmental impacts of oil. Shares of TransCanada which is the driving force behind the project were slightly higher on the news.
Oil prices pulled back a bit with WTI crude falling to $56 and change per barrel. OPEC meets next week to discuss production cut extensions and currently OPEC is forecasting an increase in production while the IEA is forecasting a decrease in production. Meanwhile Saudi Arabia held a meeting on Sunday in Cairo to discuss aligning Arab nations in the region against Iran. While at the meeting they labeled Hezbollah a terrorist organization and hinted at the prospects of war with Iran which funds them. It is interesting to watch the dynamics and policy changes in Saudi Arabia since new younger leadership has taken over. Oil production disruption from the Middle East and Venezuela seems to be a constant threat to global supplies. Word out of Venezuela is that due to defaulting on loans to Russia, the Maduro gubment is starting to give refining assets to Russian interests in lieu of payments. Time to pay the piper! Or in this case……the Putin.