Oil Sets New Record as Stocks Slip

Oil stabilized after its record losing streak

Nov 16, 2018 at 2:34 PM
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It was a dreary week on Wall Street, with Apple (AAPL) driving most of the price action early on. And while a positive earnings reaction for Cisco Systems (CSCO) and a Buffett-inspired surge for JPMorgan Chase (JPM) on Thursday helped the Dow snap its longest daily losing streak since August, sharp declines in the semiconductor space today have the major market indexes on track for their first weekly loss of November.

Apple Dropped on iPhone Demand Concerns

Apple stock was a significant catalyst in this week's price action, as weak forecasts from several suppliers -- including Lumentum (LITE) and Qorvo (QRVO) - sparked concern over slowing iPhone demand. A number of analysts were quick to issue bear notes on AAPL, too, putting the FAANG stock on pace for its longest weekly losing streak in years.

LITE and QRVO weren't the only tech names to offer up dismal guidance, with forecasts for Nvidia (NVDA) and Applied Materials (AMAT) creating headwinds for chip stocks on Friday. Elsewhere, reports of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) subpoenas sent Snap (SNAP) shares lower, while Facebook (FB) hit a new low after a damning New York Times report.

Oil Logged Record Daily Losing Streak

Oil prices were a major headline on Wall Street this week, too, with crude futures stringing together a record daily losing streak by Tuesday. And while black gold stabilized by Wednesday on talks of potential production cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting  Countries (OPEC), it still closed lower for a sixth straight week.

Natural gas prices, on the other hand, spiked amid forecasts for a colder-than-usual winter. This sparked heavy options trading on a pair of natural gas stocks. Meanwhile, utility stock PG&E (PGE) suffered its worst week in nearly two decades as heightened expectations of massive property and equipment losses in California's deadly wildfires sparked bankruptcy buzz.

Retail Earnings Ramped Up

Retail stocks reacted to an onslaught of earnings reports, with Macy's (M) making a sharp reversal lower after its results.  J C Penney (JCP), Home Depot (HD), and Walmart (WMT) were also some of the losers -- though the former did manage to bounce off a record low -- while Canada Goose (GOOS) and Shoe Carnival (SCVL) gapped higher after earnings.

Retail Stocks in Spotlight Before Black Friday

Next week will be a short one, with the U.S. stock market closed all day on Thursday and early on Black Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday. Retail earnings will dominate the headlines again, with Kohl's (KSS) stock flashing a seasonal "buy" signal ahead of the department store's Tuesday morning event. Several other retailers are on the list of best stocks on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) during Thanksgiving week -- while a number of energy stocks are on the list of worst stocks -- including embattled Micron (MU).


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