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Wall Street Opens Mixed as Biden Moves to Lower Oil Prices; Dow up 100 Pts

Stock MarketsNov 23, 2021 09:52AM ET
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© Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith -- U.S. stock markets opened mixed on Tuesday after President Joe Biden's widely-trailed measures to lower oil prices appeared to backfire. 

Biden said that the U.S. and other major importers including China, India, South Korea and Japan will all release oil from their strategic reserves to ease the short-term pressure on crude prices, which hit seven-year highs earlier this fall as the global economic recovery meant that demand - at least temporarily - ran ahead of supply.

However, the move had already been heavily discounted by markets after weeks of leaks, and crude prices rose over 2% in response - though they're still nearly 10% below where they were when the leaks first suggested that the move was coming.  Chevron (NYSE:CVX) stock rose 1.9% and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) stock rose 1.7%.

By 9:50 AM ET (1350 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 101 points, or 0.3% at 35,721 points. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were up 0.2% each.  

While the overall market was reasonably steady, the pattern of stocks getting hammered for disappointing quarterly updates repeated itself as Zoom Video stock tanked 14%, despite its top and bottom line meeting estimates in the latest quarter. Analysts were disappointed by the lack of growth in its large corporate customer numbers, which they said boded ill for its ability to grow beyond its videoconferencing roots. The stock is now at its lowest since June 2020, when the market euphoria about its ability to profit from the pandemic was at its peak.

Another stock to fall heavily was Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), after the electronics retailer warned of possible product shortages during the holiday season due to supply chain issues. Best Buy stock fell 14% to its lowest in over a month. Fashion retailers Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) and Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN), both of which are dependent on trans-Pacific supply chains, both fell over 11% after making similar warnings in their updates.

Elsewhere, Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) stock fell 1.6% after reports suggesting that Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) will pull some of its content from the Disney-controlled Hulu streaming service to improve the offering of its own rival streaming product, Peacock.  Also in the streaming space, Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) stock reversed early losses to be down only 0.8% after announcing a partnership with Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) to create a Netflix 'hub' on its platform. Netflix stock edged down 0.3%.

On a more positive note, Chinese electric vehicle maker Xpeng (NYSE:XPEV) ADRs rose 12% to their highest since January after the company announced record quarterly deliveries.

Wall Street Opens Mixed as Biden Moves to Lower Oil Prices; Dow up 100 Pts

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Graham Kinnear
Graham Kinnear Nov 23, 2021 10:29AM ET
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Any move to release strategic oil stocks to alleviate price rises will be short lived.
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