It was a busy day to start the week as the age of disruption marches on. The Dow posted a modest 9 point gain to 23,548 on flat trading volume.
The US service sector grew in October at the fastest rate since 2005 hitting a reading of 60.1 as sixteen of the eighteen industries reported growth while two were in contraction. The report showed that firms are having trouble keeping up with the strength in orders which is leading to higher prices and delays. The data showed that the US economy should remain solid heading into the final leg of 2017.
The telecom space was whacked today when T-Mobile and Sprint called off their merger sending shares of both companies lower. Meanwhile Verizon fell 5% after reporting earnings that missed estimates thanks to storm damage and lingering effects of its purchase of Yahoo. Shares of AT&T were also lower as the company struggles with its acquisition of Time Warner.
Oil prices were up 2.5% and hit $57 per barrel as the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia cemented his power by arresting several family members in a crackdown on corruption. Add to that rising tensions betwixt Saudi Arabia and Iran, global economic growth and tightening oil supplies and you have WTI crude at its highest level since July of 2015. Natural gas was up over 4% to $3.1 per MBTUs.
10 Scouts hiked six miles into Thunder Creek spent the night and hiked back out. They said it was wet, cold and wonderful. The highlight was being able to start a fire in soggy conditions. Night temps got to 20 degrees with some snow. One dad commented that walking through the woods along the steel green roaring waters of Thunder Creek was like walking into a screensaver most of the way. You can tell he is a tech guy.