Your Weekly Blip 2/18/22

Your Weekly Blip 2/18/22

The Markets,
Since Presidents Day is Monday and the markets are closed I figured I would send out an early market blip.
The Dow closed today down 232 points on heavy trading volume to close at 34,079. It seems some traders are clearing out positions and lightening the load heading into a three day weekend. IBD has stocks listed as being under pressure. We have experienced several high volume down days and volatility is on the rise.
Stocks have been under pressure over this week as several geopolitical issues bring uncertainty to the table. Top of the list is the situation in Ukraine which seems to go back and forth as fears of an invasion come and go. The other issue is that Iran is nearing some kind of deal with the US which will let it start exporting oil again and OPEC is hoping they can help ease the supply crunch.
The Economy and Earnings
Walmart reported earnings this past week with both top and bottom lines beating estimates as revenue was up 1% and net profits gained a solid 10%. The company managed the supply chain issues with alacrity and even raised their common stock dividend by 2%. Going forward Big Wally expects solid full year results and the report showed that US consumers are alive and well.
With covid on the downswing some money managers are starting to buy hotel and travel related stocks. IBD shows that the hospitality sector is now one of the top performing groups as industry players like Airbnb, Hyatt, Hilton and others trade near highs.
Speaking of trading near highs, oil and gas prices remain at elevated levels. Natural gas is at $4.44 per mbtu while WTI crude finished the week at $91.65 per barrel after hitting the $95 mark. The outlook for demand is good while supply continues to be choppy. Prices could fall if Iran is cleared to produce again and according to some oil gurus, or what we call “slicks”, this could be the only thing that would prevent prices from trading over $100 per barrel.
Items of Interest
No news from the scouts. All quiet on the western front.
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