Daily Market Color

Tech Weighs on Stocks While Crude Jumps Post-Holiday

Oil Prices Surge After Libyan Pipeline Blast

Crude oil futures touched multi-year highs following reports of a pipeline explosion in Libya earlier today.  It was determined that the pipeline, which carries oil to the Es Sider terminal in central eastern Libya, was blown up by armed attackers who planted explosives at the facility.  As a result, Libyan output is projected to fall by roughly 90,000 barrels per day for some time, nearly 10% of the estimated one million bpd production in the North African nation.  WTI crude is currently trading 2.2% higher on the day to $59.80/barrel as Brent crude is similarly up more than 2% to $66.75/barrel.



Today’s stock and bond trading volumes were thin (as expected) following the Christmas holiday.  Major US stock indices trended 0.1%-0.4% lower for the day, weighed down by shares in Apple (-2.6%) and a few of its suppliers after it was reported that demand for the iPhone X has been lower than initially predicted.  The decline in tech shares more than offset gains for retailers, whose stock prices benefitted from a report issued by Mastercard SpendingPulse which revealed that sales during the 2017 holiday period was the highest since 2011.  US Treasurys traded mixed on the day, with the yield curve flattening as short-term rates rose 1-2bps while long end yields fell 1-4bps.  In the crypto world, Bitcoin prices continued to see volatility, trading more than 11% higher on the day to $16,000/BTC after falling to as low as $11,000/BTC last Friday.



More Positive Housing Data

A very light day of economic data releases featured the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, which displayed home prices across the nation rising at their fastest annual rate in more than 3 years at 6.2% for October.  A shortage of inventories continues to be the largest catalyst in the acceleration of property values.  The biggest YoY gains were recorded in Seattle (+12.7%), Las Vegas (+10.2%) and San Diego (+8%).



Consumer confidence (Expected: marginal fall from 17-year high) and international trade (Expected: $500mm narrowing) will be the other key data releases in focus during the remainder of the holiday-shortened week.


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