Markets ended the week on a mixed yet slightly positive note as the Dow gained 35 points to close at 17,576. Trading volume was mixed but it seems everything is mixed lately as markets are some what leadersless. Stocks had the worst week since February with the Dow giving back about 1.3%. Earnings season begins next week when Alcoa reports late Monday.
Oil prices were up big on Friday as traders begin to sense that US production may have peaked. Scott Shelton, an energy guy with ICAP in North Carolina said: “We are starting to draw crude inventories in the US. Run rates are rising and US production is falling”. WTI crude gained 6.6% on the day and is up 8% for the week. North Sea Brent was also up 6%. WTI closed at $39.72.
The leaders of Japan are starting to worry about a rising yen versus the US dollar. Despite a negative interest rate policy (NIRP) designed to make the yen cheap in order to boost Japanese exports the opposite has started to occur and now the Abe gubment is indicating it might jump in and try to push the yen back down again. Economist and investors are not sure why the yen is acting this way but some feel central banks might be near the end of their ability to boost economic growth. The US Federal Reserve is watching this closely.
Gold today closed up another $4.00 an ounce to $1,241.