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U.S. stocks mixed as focus shifts to Fed, oil surges 4% on OPEC hopes

Stock Markets Nov 15, 2016 11:54AM ET
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© Reuters. Wall Street trades mixed as markets refocus on the Fed, oil soars 4%
 
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Investing.com – Wall Street traded mostly higher on Tuesday, though the Dow was on track to break a six-day winning streak after hitting record intraday and closing highs a day earlier, as investors began to turn their attention away from possible incoming presidential policies and refocused on positive economic data and a speculated removal of accommodative monetary policy, while oil prices soared on renewed hopes that major oil producers could reach a deal to deal with the global supply glut.

At 11:51PM ET (16:51GMT), the Dow Jones lost 51 points, or 0.27%, the S&P 500 gained 7 points, or 0.30% while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite traded up 63 points, or 1.34%.

Retail sales rose more than expected in October, bolstering optimism over the strength of the American consumer at the beginning of the fourth quarter, with upward revisions to the prior month’s headline and core numbers lending to positive sentiment on the U.S. economy.

Separately, an index of New York-area manufacturing conditions turned positive in November for the first time in four months, pointing to a turning point on sentiment in the sector.

In other lesser economic data, the rise in import prices for October settled just above expectations, while the gain in export prices were in line with forecasts and business inventories rose slightly less than expected.

The better than expected data gave more signs of a strengthening U.S. economy, paving the way for the Federal Reserve (Fed) to move forward with policy normalization.

Policymakers have been reiterating their outlook that a rate hike at the December meeting will be appropriate as markets await Fed chair Janet Yellen’s testimony to the Joint Economic Committee on Thursday.

A handful of Fed officials have dismissed any immediate effect on the monetary policy path due to the presidential election of Donald Trump, insisting that it is too early to know the impact of possible future policies on the U.S. economy.

Since the policy decision at the beginning of this month, most members of the U.S. central bank have given strong indications that the Fed will raise rates at its December 13-14 meeting.

Markets are currently pricing in the odds of a hike at 85.8%, according to Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

On the company front, shares in Home Depot (NYSE:HD) were falling 2.6% despite better-than-expected third quarter earnings. Investors appeared to focus on the fact that, though the blue-chip home improvement retailer lifted its forecast for full-year net sales growth to 6.3%, consensus was looking for a 6.4% increase.

On the upside, airline stocks were benefiting from a filing that showed that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKa) had taken stakes in American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), United Continental (NYSE:UAL) and Delta Airlines (NYSE:DAL).

Meanwhile, oil surged 4% on Tuesday as reports reignited hopes that major oil producers might finally reach a meaningful agreement to cut production that would deal with the supply overhang.

The Russian Energy Ministry confirmed that its minister would conduct informal consultations with OPEC in Qatar on November 17 and 18.

Reuters’ sources also said that Saudi Arabia’s own energy minister would travel to Doha for oil talks on Friday.

Qatar, Algeria and Venezuela are leading the push to finalize a deal, while Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran are at odds over how to share output cuts agreed at a September meeting in Algiers, according to a delegate familiar with the talks.

Market players are also looking ahead to weekly data from the U.S. on stockpiles of crude and refined products, according to Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

Industry group the American Petroleum Institute is due to release its weekly report at 4:30PM ET (20:30GMT).

U.S. crude oil futures surged 4.41% to $45.23 by 11:54AM ET (16:54GMT), while Brent oil soared 4.05% to $46.23.

U.S. stocks mixed as focus shifts to Fed, oil surges 4% on OPEC hopes
 

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