Stocks turned in a high volume session which saw lots of churning during the day. At the close the Dow was up 8 points at 21,182. During the day the Dow hit a new all-time high but eased slightly into the close. It seems markets are signaling that the Comey testimony is a non-event.
Shares of Nordstrom’s gained big on reports the company is considering taking itself private. With the last earnings reports showing a respectable 3% revenue gain and a 19% hike in net income, Nordstrom’s saw its shares fall to a 52 week low which is not a good thing if you are an enterprising and hardworking member of the Nordstrom family. This, apparently makes them want to take their ball and go home as they are now considering going private and eliminate their exposure to the whims of Wall Street.
While everyone in the US is watching the Comey story the real drama is happening in the Middle East thanks to the latest tensions between Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE who are cutting ties with Qatar which is a big exporter of LNG. It seems Qatar moves its LNG ships through the Suez Canal which is controlled by Egypt. Nat Gas prices spiked after it was reported that two Qatar ships in route are now on hold meaning that Egypt might not allow passage through the canal. While this benefits US LNG exports it shows that tensions in the Middle East could affect pricing of both oil and gas. At the close, WTI crude was down slightly at $45.50 per barrel while natural gas was up slightly on the day but is trading back over $3 per million BTUs. Stay tuned as this diplomatic spat heats up.