What's moving markets today: April 22, 2019
Elon Musk announced at an investor event Monday that he expects Tesla (TSLA) to operate full self-driving robo-taxis next year.
It’s an aggressive prediction from Musk, whose company has missed a previous deadline to have a self-driving Tesla drive across the country. Musk also said he expects to convince regulators by the end of next year that self-driving Teslas are safer than human drivers.
Monday's trading session is over, and investors are getting ready for what's next. So are we.
- Twitter (TWTR), JetBlue (JBLU), Harley Davidson (HOG) and Procter & Gamble (PG) report before the bell tomorrow, among others.
- In economic data, US new home sales are due at 10 a.m. ET, along with eurozone consumer confidence numbers for April.
- European financial markets will be back from the long Eastern weekend and open as usual ...
- ... Just as UK Prime Minister Theresa May faces new pressure to step down over her handling of Brexit, this time from a grassroots movement in her Conservative Party, including the heads of local Tory associations. The PM has previously said that she would step down if Parliament supports her Brexit plan.
Stocks ended Monday's trading day mixed.
Marathon Oil (MRO) was the S&P's strongest gainer, closing up 6.6% after oil rallied to settle at its highest level in nearly six months.
Kimberly-Clark (KMB), the consumer products brand, was another strong performer on the S&P, finishing up 5.4%.
The biggest Dow gainers were ExxonMobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX), but the index nevertheless finished lower as a whole. It was dragged down by losses in cyclical consumer brands and industrial shares. Nike (NKE) was the biggest loser of the day, dropping 2.1%.
Oil futures settled at their highest level since late October on Monday.
With European markets still closed for the long Easter weekend, oil's jump was the biggest story of the day. Oil popped in the morning after the US announced that it would no longer grant sanction waivers to five countries that buy oil from Iran -- China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey.
The anticipated squeeze in available supply boosted the price today.
WTI crude oil futures settled at $65.70, according to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, up 2.7% from Thursday's close. Futures have have rallied 54.5% since their December lows.
US oil prices climbed nearly 3% on Monday to $65.90 a barrel — a spike of 55% since prices closed at $42.53 a barrel on Christmas Eve.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, surged 3.4% on Monday and touched $74 for the first time since early November.
"It's a bit of a conundrum," said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData, an energy research firm. "We know President Trump wants to keep gasoline prices in check. But oil prices are gaining and that will only drag that retail gasoline price higher."
About halfway through the trading day, US stocks are mixed to lower.
The energy sector is leading gains in the Dow and the S&P 500, but the best Dow stock of the day so far is consumer brand Kimberly-Clark (KMB). Shares of the maker of Kleenex are up 5.6% after the company reported first quarter earnings before the opening bell.
A rally in oil prices is the big driver on Monday, leading everything higher from energy stocks to currencies in countries that rely heavily on the energy sector.
The Canadian dollar, Norwegian krone and Russian ruble all climbed higher versus the US dollar, after the US government said it will no longer grant waivers to countries that buy oil from Iran.
Russia's ruble even touched its best level since August on Monday, according to Refinitiv.