Stocks climb as oil prices ease
The IEA vows to release excess inventory if the Libya crisis hurts supplies. US GDP grows less than expected. Boeing rallies on a tanker contract. Gold prices drop.
By Melinda Peer, TheStreet
Updated at 12:39 p.m. ET
Stocks were rising Friday as oil prices eased after oil-producing nations vowed to release reserves if violence in Libya disrupts supplies.
At 12:39 p.m., the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) was up 52.8 points, or 0.4%, at 12,121. The S&P 500 ($INX) was up 113. points, or 0.8%, at 1,317 and the Nasdaq ($COMPX) was rising 36.2 points, or 1.3%, to 2,774.
Oil came down from $100 a barrel after the International Energy Agency said it would release excess oil inventory if the conflict in Libya hurts supplies. President Barack Obama also said the U.S. would be able to withstand any supply disruptions. Reports that Saudi Arabia was working on compensating for the shortfall in Libyan oil production also eased concerns.
The North African country has been divided amid political unrest against Moammar Gadhafi's long rule. Crude oil for April delivery was falling 7 cents to $97.28 a barrel.
The U.S. economy grew by 2.8% in the fourth quarter, according to the Labor Department's second estimate. The fourth-quarter expansion was downwardly revised from the government's initial estimate for growth of 3.2%, and well below the increase of 3.3% that economists had been expecting, according to Briefing.com. U.S. gross domestic product grew 2.6% in 2010's third quarter.
Paul Ballew, economist at Nationwide Insurance, said the latest estimates confirmed that the recovery will be slow. ”The recovery has a lot of weight on its back. It will be gradual and choppy,” said Ballew who expects the economy to grow at 3% to 3.2% in 2011. He said imbalances that triggered the recession would take a long time to correct. “We are still seeing a drag from housing. The residential sector typically contributes 10% to 12% of GDP. We are getting no contribution from that sector.”
Markets received a more positive reading on consumer sentiment. The Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rose to 77.5 in February, its highest level in over three years. Economists were expecting the reading to remain unchanged at 75.1.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.8%, and Japan's Nikkei added 0.7%. London's FTSE was gaining 1.5%, and the DAX in Frankfurt was ahead by 0.9%.
American International Group (AIG) said late Thursday that it posted a profit in the fourth quarter. AIG reported net income of $16.60 a share, compared with a loss of $65.51 a year earlier. However, the gains came largely from the sales of its overseas unit, with its core insurance business turning a weaker performance. Shares were down 5.8% to $38.08.
Late Thursday, Salesforce.com (CRM) hiked its full-year sales outlook after exceeding Wall Street's expectations with adjusted earnings of 31 cents a share on sales of $457 million. The stock was adding 3.8% to $139.40.
Shares of Interpublic (IPG) was the biggest gainer on the S&P after it said it would buy back $300 million of its shares. The stock was up 7.8% at $12.53.
The April gold contract was falling by $8.30 at $1,407.50 an ounce.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury was down by 4/32, lifting the yield to 3.462%. The dollar strengthened against a basket of six currencies, with the dollar index up by 0.2%.
Alternative energy for me this spring, summer and fall is riding my bicycle (anywhere possible) just like I did when I was a kid.
That way $3,$ 4 or $ 5 dollar gas per gallon, for the most part can stick it!
cowboy...Why is it that you think the 400 richest families do not deserve what they have? Every man and woman in this country has the opportunity in life if they take it to be successful and get rich....that is what sets the USA apart from a lot of nations.....it all has to do with the drive inside a person to get there. I do not like the destruction of the middle class going on in this country but to constantly blame it on the rich is just not fair. What wealth (or poor) status you have has nothing to do with values. All the talk out of the current administration about redistributing the wealth in this country is not good for the middle class either. People in this country need to start taking care of themselves and stop looking to the government to take care of them. I truly believe that everyone is where they want to be in life, some just don't want what others may or they do not take advantage of what they have inside them to make it happen.
What?? the market is not functioning efficiently? Sometimes I wonder, Which should we should give up. I think that these are pretty average for where I live.
Real Estate Tax $5,000
Real Estate Insurance $ 900
HOA $ 500
Total RE expenses $6400
Car Gas $5200 (at 3.08/gal two cars)
Insurance car (two) $1740
Total Car $6940
Total for car and RE $12840
Total Income Tax $10,500
Want them lower by a buck, get RID of the gas tax. I know the liberals will argue, we need the money for roads, but after all the shovel ready infrastructure money blown repaving roads, we can go without for awhile...
Also, in a few weeks, we will be paying another 20-25 cents a gallon for EPA mandated 'Summer" formulation. we could eliminate this this year...
Perhaps we should just buy oil company stocks, and enjoy our spend our profits on gas...
Or maybe we should USE LESS? Maybe someone will develop an alternative. But lets not have the government throw taxpayer dollars down multiple rat holes that will not pan out....Considering we have been doing just that since Carter tell me stop reinforcing failure...
. Retail gas went up almost 30 cents per gallon in the last 24 hours where I live, not sure if this is occurring nationally or just regionally or locally. Diesel is now approaching $4/gallon, it's like deja vu, it's like deja vu, it's like deja vu, it's like deja vu...
Up fifteen cents in the last 24 hours where I am.
And if Saudi Arabia joins the chaos in a couple of weeks as rumored, we could easily hit $4.00 by 4/1.Here's another prediction by 2 sick.
Bull Rider I have a better idea,let's quit paying taxes,because as alot of others I have cut back to the point of just being able to EXIST. But yet my taxes are still paid to people having alot more fun off of my money than I am!! Life is about LIVING NOT EXISTING!!
You know I am being sensitive lately about this gas thing because every time I go to gas up the price raises and then after I's done the price goes down. How do they know that I am going to need Gas when I need it.
Why am I sensitive, because one of my progeny once said to me some years back when I got on it because of bad grades..... Its all my fault.. :(
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages punctuated a solid week with a subdued Friday session. The S&P 500 shed 0.2% to narrow its weekly gain to 1.7%, while the Nasdaq Composite (+0.1%) displayed relative strength. The tech-heavy index finished the week in line with the benchmark average.
Market participants went into today's session expecting to hear some new insight from Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who delivered the keynote address at this year's Jackson Hole Symposium. Unfortunately, the ... More
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