Global markets are “back from the hack”. US stocks posted solid numbers on higher trading volume to start the trading week. The Dow was up 85 point to 20,981. Both the S&P500 and NASDAQ hit new record highs.
The NAHB or National Association of Home Builders, released its latest gauge of home builder sentiment showing that builder sentiment now stands at a reading of 70. In May of last year the reading was 58 and anything above 50 is positive. Despite higher building costs, tight labor and scarce building lots, housing continues to strengthen as this is the second highest sentiment reading since the recession. By region the Northeast sentiment reading was level was up 3 points to 49, the South came in at 71, the West was 78 and the Midwest was 68.
Oil prices shot higher rising 2.1% to $48.85 for WTI crude. The reason behind the jump was word that Russia and Saudi Arabia are interested in extending the oil production cuts past the June end date. Meanwhile US shale production continues to rise and is projected to be about 120k barrels per day higher as US drillers continue to ramp up. Natural gas meanwhile sits around $3.34 per million BTUs. The news that the US signed a trade deal with China last week is positive for US nat gas producers and for Cheniere Energy in particular since it is currently the only outfit that is shipping LNG. Shares of Cheniere are up about 8% since the trade deal was announced last week.