The famous Fidelity money manager Peter Lynch (not related to Marshawn Lynch) used to say it was nice to be “caught with your pants up” which meant that he was fully invested when stocks took a big jump higher. Today there are some people who were fortunate enough to be in this situation as Wall Street rose with hopes running high that trade talks between President Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu would culminate in a partial deal and delay planned U.S. tariff increases. Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg said a partial deal had been made but no details were available. The Dow closed the day up 319 at 26,816 on heavy volume. For the week, the Dow was up 1.3% and is up over 14% for the year.
Oil prices jumped after an Iranian oil tanker was apparently hit with two rockets while it was in the Red Sea 60 miles off the coast of Saudi Arabia. Iranian officials did not lay blame on anyone and no one has stepped forward to take responsibility plus there are divergent accounts of what might or might not have happened. WTI crude prices jumped to $54.80 per barrel on the news. The price of gold meanwhile fell about a point and sank below $1,500 an ounce to $1,487.
For insight into the US economy some gurus are pointing to better than expected earnings this morning from a company call Fastenal which is based in Minnesota and runs 2,227 stores which sells nuts, screws and bolts to contractors. CEO Dan “Duc tape” Florness said the company posted an 8% revenue increase and a 9% gain in net profits. Shares jumped. Gurus are saying this report indicates that main street small businesses run by Joe Sixpack are doing better than big Wall Street outfits run by Cornelius Fitz Winecooler the third. There had been some worry about trade issues affecting Fastenal, but the report assuaged those worries and seemed to reveal that heartland businesses is chugging along fine.