Market Outlook – May 31, 2018

WiU.S. Stocks Rebound from Tuesday’s Rout


U.S. stocks rebounded mid-week from the previous day’s rout as the political noise from Italy subsided and news of a status quo on oil production spread.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 306.33 points (+1.3%) and the S&P 500 Index rose 34.15 points (+1.3%). The broader index recovered all of Tuesday’s losses. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 65.86 points (+0.9%).

Dow Jones components Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Chevron Corp. were the best performers after being boosted by reports that OPEC will keep crude production curbs in place until at least the end of the year.

Washington Prepares to Slap EU with Metals Tariffs


The White House will announce on Thursday plans to slap tariffs on EU steel and aluminum imports. The exemptions previously granted are due to expire on Friday.

Wilbur Ross, U.S. Commerce Secretary, himself told French daily Le Figaro the announcement will be timed either before the market opens or at the close of trading. On the possibility of a trade dispute escalating, Ross said the U.S. will respond accordingly to the European block’s reaction.

Exxon Woos China’s Refiners


Executives of Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM),the world’s biggest oil and gas company by market value, flew into China this week to independent refiners known as ‘teapots.’ Their global oil marketing team attended an oil trade show in Dongying. It is the teapots’ hub in the eastern province of Shandong.

Exxon is exerting its clout on the global oil market. Most of the refiners are big foreign crude buyers. China is now the world’s largest oil importer. Exxon’s team is composed of crude oil traders, products marketers and finance staff from Houston, Singapore, Thailand and Shanghai.

Google Brings 2nd App to China


After the successful launching last year of its language translation app, Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL) Google has brought in its file management app to China. With Google Translate and Files Go,  Google has two apps in the world’s second largest economy.

Alphabet Inc. was ecstatic that Google Translate grew 400% in the first five months. They expect its file management tool to grow in the same magnitude.

Many of Google’s best-known services such as search, Gmail, YouTube and Maps remain banned, if not inaccessible in China. Files Go is unlikely to alarm the country’s censors. The app merely suggests files to delete, organizes images, videos and documents, and lets users share files offline.

Shares of Sears Sinks


The shares of Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) shrunk 3.4% in premarket trade on Thursday after reporting a fiscal first-quarter loss. The reported sales of the struggling department store chain were telling. Sears store sales dropped 13.4%, same-store sales fell 11.9% and Kmart store sales declined 9.5%. Revenue dropped from $4.2 billion to $2.89 billion. Store closures accounted for about two-thirds of the decline.

According to CFO Rob Rieker, they have identified 100 non-profitable stores. The company will begin closing 72 of them “in the near future.” SHLD has tumbled 56.6% over the past 12 months through this mid-week.

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