The market took another step backwards today. Again, trading volume was lighter than average, but the Dow was still down 54 points and closed at 22,295. The NASDAQ and S&P were down as well.
Energy stocks were the big winners today. Oil prices were up, and analysts at UBS upgraded these stocks as they continue to believe that oil prices will increase. U.S. crude oil jumped over $51 per barrel for the first time in four months, and UBS conservatively sees oil being in the high 50’s to low 60’s by 2020. Gold had a big day as well. At the close it was at $1,314.20, up $16.70 for the day.
Hurricane Maria has caused a myriad of problems for Puerto Rico, and right now another major problem arising is cash supply. With the power out, vendors are not accepting credit cards, and there are massive lines at the banks filled with people in desperate need of cash so they can pay for basic necessities. One bank customer was so in need of cash that he paid an undisclosed fee to be in a shorter line. The all cash business is also a concern to the Puerto Rican government. Already struggling to collect enough tax revenue, as illustrated by the bankruptcy protection they sought before the hurricane, it could now be even more difficult for them to track revenue and enforce tax rules. Puerto Rican officials believe that Hurricane Maria has set them back 20 to 30 years.
As Congress continues to hatch out healthcare reform, they are also trying to find acceptable changes to the tax code. The “Big Six” are hammering out a plan, and supposedly President Trump will be speaking about it in Indiana on Wednesday.