The stock markets in the United States dropped driven by the continuing decline of oil prices. Energy companies in the S%P 500 fell 2.7% today.

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Oil prices declined to its lowest level in more than five years. The West Texas Intermediate declined 4.7% to $46.07 per barrel while the Brent fell 5.3% to $47.43 a barrel. Goldman Sachs predicted that lows prices could drop to as low as $40 a barrel.

The price of oil dropped nearly 50% from last year due to the oversupply in the global markets. Qatar estimated that there an oversupply of 2 million barrels a day in the market as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) refuse to reduce production.

The OPEC signals that it is willing to let the prices fall to a level that would slowdown U.S. output. The oil production in the U.S. surged to its highest level due to the booming share industry.

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Katherine, Spector, a commodities strategist at CIBC World Markets told Bloomberg, “In a violent move like this, it’s impossible to pick the magic number that’s the bottom. I’m not going to pick a bottom. Prices will have to go to a level that inflicts maximum pain before the bottom is found.”

On the other hand, Otto Waser, chief investment officer at R&A Research & Asset Management commented that the markets are volatile because investors haven’t figured out if the declining oil prices are positive for the consumers and the world economy or whether it could bring more financial stress.

Meanwhile, Matt Maley, an equity strategist at Miller, Tabak & Co opined, “When you get the kind of 1 percent moves we’ve had in both directions, there’s definitely still uncertainty out there and that’s usually not the sign of a healthy market.”  He added,” With earnings kicking off the question is going to be how much of the decline in energy company earnings is already priced in.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17,640.84 (-0.54%)
  • S&P 500- 2,028.26 (-0.81%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,664.71 (-0.84%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,179.86 (-0.49%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,084.18 (+1.36%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,501.42 (0.00%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,781.90 (+1.38%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 17,197.73 (+0.18%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 24,026.46 (+0.45%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,513.58 (-0.93%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Tesla Motors dropped more than 2% to $202.21 per share today. The stock was negatively impacted by the launching of the Chevrolet Bolt, an electric car from General Motors Company intended to compete against Tesla Model E. Both electric cars offer a driving range of 200 miles per charge.

SanDisk plummeted almost 14% to $83.57 per share after the company issued lower-than-expected revenue and margins guidance for the fourth quarter. SanDisk expected to post revenues in the range of $1.8 billion to $1.85 billion for the quarter and gross margins of about 48.2%.

The shares of Tifanny & Co. dropped nearly 14% to $89.01 per share. The world’s second-largest luxury jewelry retailer reported a 1% sales decline to $1.02 billion during the holiday season.  Tiffany Chairman and CEO Michael Kowalski admitted that the company’s sales performance was disappointing particularly in Japan. The company reduced its full-year earnings outlook in the range of $4.15 to $4.20 per share. Its previous earnings estimate was between $4.20 and $4.30 per share.

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