Category: Dr. Duke's Blog
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Oil prices rose today on rumors that OPEC may be near the point of reducing oil production, and stock market prices rose with the oil prices. Let me recap: we were told a few months ago that lower oil prices were forecasting reduced economic activity (reduced oil demand) and the risk of a global recession. But today, the markets traded higher on the back of higher oil prices on the basis that OPEC might reduce the oil glut on the market - what about declining oil demand signaling declining economic output and recession? This is one more illustration that the markets often move in irrational ways, or, at least, that the market analysts don't have explanations that appear to hold water.

SPX gained $27 to close at $1904 and RUT closed up $21 at $1018. The VIX pulled back by 1.6 points to 22.6%. Trading volume was close to flat on the day with 2.7 billion shares of the S&P 500 trading (almost back to the 50 dma). Trading volume declined 1% on the NYSE, but rose 3% on NASDAQ.

The Case Schiller housing price survey came in at an annualized +5.8% for November, up from October's 5.5%. The Conference Board's consumer sentiment survey reported 98.1 for January, up from the previous month's 96.3.

Tomorrow brings the FOMC announcement and I am sure the market will be parsing every word, but who knows what strange interpretation may move the market? My cynicism is showing...

The largest potential market mover comes on Friday with the 4th quarter GDP report. After all of the recent hand wringing about global recession, that report will be pivotal.