This morning the S&P 500 e-mini futures (ES H1) are trading lower by just 1.00 point to 1319.00. Spot WTI oil is trading higher by 0.49 cents to $105.51 a barrel. Oil should still be front and center when it comes to market sentiment. Gasoline prices at the pump in the United States are now averaging $3.50 a gallon which will certainly hurt consumer spending. Traders and investors should remember that consumer spending accounts for roughly 70.0 percent of the gross domestic product in the United States.
Libya and the rest of the Middle East remains in turmoil. It appears that an oil refinery in Libya was blown up last night and this just creates more uncertainty for the region. As the stock market seems to be digesting the Libya news many traders wonder if the protests and uprisings will extend into Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producer in the Middle East. If there is any disruption in Saudi oil production oil could see a super spike that would resemble the oil rally in July 2008. The United States Oil Fund (NYSE:USO) which tracks oil is trading higher by 0.31 cents to $42.60 a share.
Gold and silver are both trading higher this morning as Chinese officials have stated they will be buyers of gold on any decline or pullback. Gold and silver have surged higher since late January 2011 and remain at new highs. The SPDR Gold Shares are trading higher by 0.60 cents this morning to $139.93 a share. The iShares Silver Trust (NYSE:SLV) is trading higher by 0.27 cents to $35.47 a share. Gold and silver are both extended on the daily charts at this time, however, they remain in a strong uptrend.
The Asian markets were modestly higher last night. The highly followed Shanghai Index (China) was higher by just 2.00 points, therefore, there is not a lot to look for at the open in the U.S. markets as far as commodity stocks.
Traders must keep one eye on oil as this is the likely catalyst for any major stock market move. Please remember right now oil and the stock market are trading inverse to each other.
|S&P 500 Gainers & Losers||Price||% Change|
|Zions Bancorporation (ZION)||23.59||+1.94%|
|Kellogg Company (K)||55.50||+1.76%|
|Tyson Foods (TSN)||19.12||+1.70%|
|Regions Financial (RF)||7.75||+1.44%|
|JDS Uniphase (JDSU)||22.41||-11.70%|
|Robert Half International (RHI)||32.05||-2.20%|
|Juniper Networks (JNPR)||43.68||-1.75%|