Your Thursday Blip 2/18/21

Your Thursday Blip 2/18/21

Both the Dow and the NASDAQ posted losses today after the latest jobs data badly missed estimates. The Dow finished the day down 119 at 31,493. Trading volume was off and both BTS and IBD continue to list markets in rally mode.
Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, reported better than expected 4th quarter results with sales up 7% while net income increased by 1%. The good news in the report was that online sales continued to grow and posted a 69% increase. US comp store sales also increased 8.6% and the average ticket size was up 22%. Shares were lower however as investors were worried about rising labor costs and the potential for weaker sales in 2021. Shares fell 9% and are now 10% below all-time highs.
Oil retreated for a recent high with WTI crude falling a buck to close at $60 per barrel. The storm that hit Texas took several refineries off line and this is expected to boost gas prices. The price of a regular gallon of gas nationally is $2.54 and gurus are expecting a rise to $3 per gallon because of the effects of the disruption. The storm froze natural gas pipelines which limited supplies to power plants and reduced overall electric capacity to the entire area which in turn took refineries and oil and gas production offline. Wind mills also froze up so Texas was hit by capacity reductions at its two main sources of electricity. The gubment of Texas is already starting a review of what happened with an eye toward improving system reliability going forward.