The precipitous decline in crude oil prices continued this week as OPEC maintained current production levels. WTI Crude contracts slid 10.2% on Friday, as market prices converge toward domestic producers’ break-even production costs.
While the slide in crude prices may be hurting domestic tight oil producers, this move is seen as a boon to the overall domestic economy. 208,000 jobs were added in November according to the recent ADP report, continuing a recovery trend which began after the recession ended in 2013. US auto sales increased 4.6% last month as lower gasoline prices spurred demand. Gold prices turned slightly positive for the year, settling around $1210/oz in morning trading.
“Despite lackluster Black Friday sales, lower energy prices are providing a cushion to the domestic economy in several different areas including job creation, transportation, and production,” said John Jacobs, Executive Vice President, Nasdaq Global Indexes.
INDEX MOVES THIS WEEK
- NASDAQ BIOTECHNOLOGY INDEX (NBI) is up 0.80% since Friday’s close. Year-to-date performance for the index is up 35.1%.
- PHLX UTILITY SECTOR (UTY) is up 0.15% since Friday’s close. Year-to-date performance for the index is up 20.04%
- NASDAQ GLOBAL GOLD & PRECIOUS METALS (QGLD) is up 5.19% since Friday’s close. Year-to-date performance for the index is down 8.2%.
INDEX TO WATCH
- The NASDAQ Global Oil & Gas Index (NQG0001) follows the general oil and gas industry and includes 479 securities from developed and emerging markets. The largest companies by float adjusted market cap are Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and BP. OPEC supply remaining steady may affect market volatility and create movement in this index.