Stocks traded weak at the open but rallied into the close as the Dow gained 186 points on heavy volume to close at 16,336. The Dow continues to hold at support levels as global economic issues play out.
WTI crude oil today shot higher by almost 9% after an economic report showed the mighty US service sector growth rate was starting to moderate. This news sent the dollar lower and helped boost oil prices which snapped a two day correction. Meanwhile Russia has indicated it is interested in discussing oil production levels with OPEC members giving hope that a coordinated production cut might be a possibility. WTI crude closed the day up 8.9% to $32.54 per barrel. Energy related stocks were higher despite reports of a record level for US crude stockpiles.
US car sales were reported for January and the results were respectable. Sales were off 0.4% to 1.14 million vehicles. The drop was attributed to the snow storm on the east coast. Ford saw sales fall 2.6%, GM reported a half point decline and Fiat Chrysler posted a 7% increase.
Gold continues to rally gaining about $15 per ounce to $1,142. Gold is up as investors begin to look at the shiny metal as a way to diversify out of weakening global currency values. Silver gained 2.6% to $14. 66 an ounce.