Stocks rallied on easing tensions between Hong Kong and Mainland China. The Dow gained 237 points to close at 26,355. Trading volume was off a bit. IBD has markets in “rally under pressure” while the good folks at BTS are still in cash.
Sentiment regarding China improved over night when 1) Service sector data came in better than expected and 2) the Hong Kong gubment announced it was withdrawing an extradition bill that had sparked months of protests. The news boosted Chinese equities and in particular, Cathay Airlines which bolted higher as the concession appeared to ease tensions between Mainland China and the residents of Hong Kong. These two items eased overall fears of an economic slowdown but to give you a sense of the attitude of some Chinese communist leaders toward Hong Kong I read an article in the Christian Science Monitor which quoted Wang Huning who sits on the politburo referring to Hong Kong residents as “not yet advanced in the their thinking to really know their interests” and which can only be helped by the “paternalistic rule” of the CCP. Ouch! I wonder who else he has this attitude toward. Maybe the rest of the world?
Oil prices shot higher on the improved sentiment from China. WTI crude rose 4.3% and is back over $56 per barrel. Also pushing oil prices higher is an expectation that US oil stockpile data to be released tomorrow will show a further drawdown of reserves.
The Boy Scout Troop appears to have found a home. There is a local church in Ballard called Northminister Presbyterian that has space for us which includes the use of a small gym and a fellowship hall. The church was built in the 20s and was originally the Icelandic Protestant Church of Ballard. Other local organizations have reached out to offer the troop space. This is positive as the lunkheads now have a home for the upcoming scouting year.