Your Tuesday Market Blip 12/22/15

Your Tuesday Market Blip 12/22/15

Stocks continue to oscillate within a trading range as we head into the Christmas Holiday. The Dow today rose 165 points to 17,417 on light trading volume.
Overall it has been a tough year for mister market but as the boys over at BTS Capital mentioned in a recent market letter, they do not see any sign of a recession and thus are using weakness to continue to look for opportunity. After the Fed upped interest rates portfolio managers began making adjustments based on the new reality. This, coupled with some year end tax selling, pressured stocks but so far the current trading range is holding up which is encouraging as we head into the end of the year and the beginning of the 4th quarter earnings reporting season.
Oil prices jumped back over $35 per barrel again with WTI closing today’s session at $36.15 per barrel. North Sea Brent is now trading at parity with WTI crude thanks in part to the recent lifting of the US oil export ban. Energy stocks have been seeing more support lately as share prices are recovering from recent lows on speculation that energy could be putting in a bottom. LNG exports from the US will begin in January 2016 and this could help put in a bottom on natural gas pricing as LNG export volumes going forward are set to increase.
Shares of Dow component Caterpillar were up 5% today hitting $68 per share even as the company lost a decision in a court case over trade secrets. Cat shares have been a dog (with fleas) since July 2014 when they hit a high of $111 per share. The pullback had to do with a strong US dollar, slowing sales from Asia and emerging markets and the falloff in US and Canadian energy sector activity. Cat can be an indicator of future economic activity so this stock bears watching. Cats, dogs and bears! Who said investing was for the birds!