This morning's main driver of prices is the ongoing OPEC meeting in Vienna, where member nations and non-member states are hammering out an agreement to extend oil production cuts for nine more months.
Stocks on Wall St opened higher this morning looking for a sixth straight day of gains. The S&P 500 closed at a new high of 2,404. The DJIA grabbed 74 points to close back above 21,000, while the Nasdaq closed 0.4% higher at 6,163.
Precious Metals Yesterday
The precious metals futures market missed out on late afternoon gains Thursday, with all four major metals logging losses. June gold futures slid $2.40. July silver was nearly steady, losing 2 cents an ounce. The PGMs also showed losses. July platinum prices softened by $2.10, while June palladium contracts were the big loser, falling $10.70.
Precious metals fared better on the spot market Thursday. Gold closed at $1,258.60 an ounce $7.90 higher for the day. Spot silver jumped 17 cents to $17.22. Platinum closed at $949 on the spot market, for a gain of $5 an ounce, but palladium fell $8.00 to end the day at $764 an ounce.
Nine (Months) Is Not Enough
Oil markets are suffering from a "buy the rumor, sell the fact" trade this morning, or perhaps just a case of greed. Some traders wanted OPEC to not only extend cuts for nine months, but to make deeper cuts. The refusal of OPEC to come through with more than was promised sent oil prices 1.5% lower in early New York trading.
First-time jobless claims last week rose by 1,000 applications for a total of 234,000 newly-unemployed seeking benefits. This was slightly below estimates of 238,000. The rolling four-week average of first-time jobless claims dropped by 5,750, as previous weeks' low claims work through the system.
This morning's reading of the CME Group's FedWatch fed funds futures analysis is predicting an 83.1% chance of a rate hike at the Fed's next policy meeting in three weeks.
US Government debt continues its range-bound behavior today, with the yield of the benchmark 10-year Treasury note only marginally higher after this morning's auction of $28 billion of seven-year bonds.
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