STOCKS FLAT BUT OIL SOARS: Here's What You Need To Know

China Hands Oil

Photo: Newscom/Zuma

Stock didn’t move much on what was a light news day, but oil surged higher.First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow up 0.19%
  • S&P 500 up 0.03%
  • NASDAQ down 0.01%

Now, the headlines:

  • In Asia overnight, the Nikkei opened strong but fell back on worsening news out of Fukushima. The plant’s radioactive leak remains, and TEPCO is now dumping polluted liquids into the ocean to clean out the plant.
  • Across the rest of Asia, stocks were strong, with both major Chinese indices rising.
  • Instability continues in the Middle East, with a conclusion to the conflict in Libya still looking someways away. Qaddafi’s government has sent representatives to both Greece and Turkey to try to sort out some sort of cease fire deal.
  • That instability in the Middle East, coupled with supply disruptions out of Gabon, Kuwait, and Yemen, sent oil prices higher today. Oil is now at a two and a half year high.
  • In Europe, little new news in terms of the sovereign debt crises. It was a big day for M&A on the continent, with Vodafone’s $11.3 stake sale of SFR to Vivendi leading the way.
  • In the U.S., stocks remained pretty close to flat all day, with some divergence toward the end of the trading day. Worries persist about the U.S. debt limit situation, with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner issuing a warning near the day’s end.
  • Toyota announced it would be shutting down all of its U.S. factories for a period later this month, to account for supply issues in Japan.
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