US crude oil prices
US crude oil (DBO) (USL) futures contracts for November delivery fell 0.9% to $49.98 per barrel on October 4, 2017. Brent (BNO) crude oil prices fell 0.4% and closed at $55.8 per barrel on October 4, 2017.
Oil prices are at a two-week low. The rise in Cushing crude oil inventories by 1.6 MMbbls (million barrels) on September 22–29, 2017, weighed on crude oil prices. The rise in US crude oil production also pressured oil prices. The EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) released the data on October 4, 2017.
Meanwhile, US crude oil exports rose by 493,000 bpd (barrels per day) or 33% to 1.9 MMbpd (million barrels per day) on September 22–29, 2017. Exports rose because US crude oil prices were trading at discount compared to Brent.
US crude oil (USO) (UCO) prices have fallen 4.2% from the five-month high hit on September 25, 2016. The rise in OPEC’s crude oil production in September 2017 and the strong dollar (UUP) also pressured crude oil prices.
However, crude oil prices’ downside was limited on October 4, 2017, due to bullish comments from Russian President Putin. He said that major producers’ production cut deal, which would expire in March 2018, should be extended until December 2018. Extending the production cut deal would curb excess supplies and support oil (BNO) (SCO) prices. Moves in crude oil prices impact oil and gas producers (VDE) (IXC) like Saudi Aramco, Rosneft, Shell (RDS.A), and ExxonMobil (XOM).
Wall Street hit a record again
The S&P 500 (SPY) rose 0.1% to 2,537.74, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (DIA) rose 0.09% to 22,661.64 on October 4, 2017. Similarly, the NASDAQ (QQQ) rose 0.04% to 6,534.63 on the same day. All of these three indexes closed at record levels on October 3, 2017. They closed at a new record level on October 4, 2017.
The utilities (XLU) (VPU), real estate (VNQ) (IYR), and consumer discretionary (XLY) (VCR) sectors supported the S&P 500 on October 4, 2017. The top gainers in the S&P 500 were Mylan (MYL) and Acuity Brands (AYI). The stocks rose 16.2% and 5.1%, respectively, on October 4, 2017.
EIA’s crude oil inventories
The EIA released its weekly crude oil inventory report on October 4, 2017. In this series, we’ll analyze US crude oil inventories, production, and gasoline and distillate inventories.