Your Weekly Market Blip 12/11/15

Your Weekly Market Blip 12/11/15

Markets today fell in sympathy with oil. The Dow lost 310 points to 17,264 on heavy trading volume. Oil prices were down over 10% for the week as the global supply onslaught continues unabated. For the week the Dow was down about 3.35% and is now considered in “correction” mode again.
The most recent trading range for the Dow has been 17,900 on the high end and 17,200 on the low end. Today’s action puts the Dow back at the low end of support as we head toward the December 15th Fed meeting and a possible rate hike. Patience is advised during this time.
The US Commerce Dept. released retail sales figures for November and the numbers were better than October but not as good as the gurus had expected. Overall sales were up 0.2% missing the 0.3% increase that analysts had called for. Looking inside the numbers showed the miss came courtesy of lower gasoline sales and slower auto sales. If these two areas were factored out then sales were up 0.5% which is the best showing since July. The big takeaway from the report is that despite a boost in disposable income, retail sales are plodding along and growing slower than their potential. The numbers also reveal that when people don’t buy cars they have money to spend on leisure, groceries, cloths and electronics.
Energy prices in general continue to fall as a global supply glut continues. WTI crude oil today fell below the $36 price level while North Sea Brent fell below $40. Meanwhile natural gas slipped below $2 per million BTUs as warm weather has caused nat gas in storage to pile up. Power plants have and are converting to gas and this demand is steady but home heating use is down because heating demand is off. Gas storage levels are 13% above what they were this time last year. At the close WTI crude was down 3.4% to $35.40 per barrel and North Sea Brent fell 4.6% to $37.90 per barrel. Natural gas closed at 1.7% at 1.98 per million BTUs.