US Stock Market Overview – Stocks Rally Led by Energy, Technology shares Buck the Trend

Oil prices buoy energy shares
David Becker

US Stocks moved higher on Wednesday led by a rally in energy shares following a larger than expected draw in crude oil inventories. Most sectors were higher, but technology and cyclical shares bucked the trend. These are generally considered the growth sectors, which means that there is a sector shift occurring. Over the last 7-trading days, energy shares are higher by slightly more than 2.5% while technology shares are down 1.5%. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was on the hill testifying in front of the house finance committee. The topics of conversation surrounded the Libra cryptocurrency that Facebook is looking to launch. Facebook shares rallied on Wednesday despite the touch questioning in front of congress.

Energy Shares Were Buoyed by a Rally in Crude Oil

Energy shares rallied leading the S&P 500 index higher as oil prices rallied more than 3% following a larger than expected draw in petroleum inventories. According to the Department of Energy, crude oil inventories decreased by 1.7 million barrels from the previous week. Gasoline inventories decreased by 3.1 million barrels last week. Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 2.7 million barrels last week and are about 12% below the five year average for this time of year. Ahead of the winter, this could put upward pressure on crude oil prices. Total commercial petroleum inventories decreased last week by 9.0 million barrels last week. Product demand over the last month was 21.1 million barrels per day, up by 3.4% from the same period last year. Distillate fuel demand averaged 4.1 million barrels per day over the past four weeks, up by 0.8% from the same period last year.

Zuckerberg Defended Cryptocurrency

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social-media giant would continue to develop its plans to help create a cryptocurrency-based payments network, despite requests from some lawmakers to curtail the project until Congress had a chance to examine it further.

The VIX Whipsaws on Brexit

The VIX volatility index whipsawed initially moving higher and then tumbling lower to close the session down 2.9%. Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal was approved but the timeline was not, leading to a delay and maybe general elections, which is generating volatility.

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