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David Becker

US stocks were mixed on Thursday with the Nasdaq outperforming climbing approximately a quarter of a percent. Stocks were led higher by the Industrials which were the best performing sector in the S&P 500 index, communications were the worst-performing sector. Energy shares continued to trend lower, weighed on by declining crude oil prices. The coronavirus that is spread across China is weighing on future potential growth. The former CEO of Wells Fargo John Stumpf was banned from the banking industry for life as part of his participation in knowing about the fake account scandal at Wells Fargo. The ECB kept interest rates unchanged and said they will conduct a review of their current policy to determine if it takes into account of climate change.

Energy Shares Drop as Crude Tumbles

Energy shares continued to trend lower as crude oil was hammered. While the inventory report from the Department of Energy was neutral, the thought that the Chinese coronavirus could contract GDP weighed on oil prices. The EIA reported that US crude oil inventories decreased by 0.4 million barrels from the previous week. Gasoline inventories increased by 1.7 million barrels last week and are about 4% above the five year average for this time of year. Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 1.2 million barrels last week and are about 2% below the five-year average for this time of year. Total commercial petroleum inventories decreased last week by 1.9 million barrels last week

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Ex-Wells CEO Announces Settlement

The SEC announced that former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf has been banned from ever working at a bank again and will pay $17.5 million for his part in the scandals in which millions of fake accounts were set up to meet sales quotas. The notice from the bank regulator which is the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said there are other people in their crosshairs including former executives, for their role in the scandals.

The ECB Left Rates Unchanged

The ECB kept its loose policy unchanged on Thursday, said it would reconsider the inflation target that defines its core price-stability mandate, along with the effectiveness and potential side-effects of the tools used to achieve it. In addition to keeping rates unchanged the ECB will examine whether it should alter its 200 billion euro corporate bond holdings to take account of climate change, Christine Lagarde promised she would launch its first strategic review in 16 years.

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