News Column

Daily Wrap: Oil jumps; Ford 'fesses up; stocks gain

June 13, 2014

By Jim Gallagher, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

June 13--TODAY'S INDEXES -- Dow Industrials 16776 +41

S&P 500 1933 +2

Nasdaq 4311 +13

OIL OUCH: Oil prices today capped their biggest weekly price gain of the year on more scary news from Iraq. The stock market also had a bad week as the Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.9 percent, its first weekly loss in the last four.

Oil prices finished up 4.1 percent for the week, although today's gains were slight. West Texas Intermediate rose 38 cents today to $106.93. Brent crude was up 39 cents to $113.41.

The Dow Jones hit a new high on Tuesday, then beat a retreat as jihadi forces advanced toward Baghdad. Stocks showed a modest gain on Friday, with the Dow up 0.25 percent, the S&P 500 up 0.13 percent and the Nasdaq up 0.3 percent on the day.

Rising oil prices are often reflected quickly in gasoline prices. But that didn't happen today in St. Louis. Prices early this morning averaged $3.57 on the Missouri side of the metro area. In Metro East, prices held even at $3.65, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.

Still, prices are about 11 cents higher than a month ago on the Missouri side and 20 cents higher in Metro East.

MORE AUTO GOOFS: The 'fess-up fest continued in the auto industry as Ford admitted overstating gas mileage estimates on some models. The company says it will pay buyers up to $1,050 to make amends. The move involves Fiesta, MKZ, Fusion and C-Max models.

Meanwhile, General Motors announced four new recalls, including one to fix ignition switchES on Camaros. GM is in very hot water over long delays in recalling other models with faulty switches blamed for shutting off engines of moving vehicles, leading to several deaths.

COALBOSS HITS THE STUMP: Coal companies had a good day on Wall Steet. Peabody Energy, based downtown, rose 44 cents to $16.78. Arch Coal, headquartered in Creve Coeur, rose 14 cents to $6.69 and Pittsburgh-based Consol Energy rose 25 cents to $46.07.

Peabody's chief was off stumping for his product, in the face of Obama administration demands for cuts in carbon emissions. America doesn't want to end up like Europe, he said.

"Europe has seen job losses, sluggish economies and soaring energy costs as nations have faced high renewable energy mandates and a price on carbon," Peabody CEO Greg Boyce told told a Goldman Sachs conference on energy.

LOCAL INDEX: The Bloomberg St. Louis Index rose 1 to 904.


Arch Coal 3.94% Synergetics -1.6

Reliv International 3.25% Esco Technologies -1.35

Peabody Energy 2.69% Aegion -1.33

THE WEEK AHEAD: We'll get news on inflation, housing starts and industrial production next week, along with a new pronouncement from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday.

Analysts expect a bounce-back when industrial production numbers are released Monday. The consensus forecast sees a 5 percent rise in May, following April's 0.6 percent decline.

The Consumer Price Index will be released Tuesday, and economists expect a 0.2 percent rise for May following a 0.3 percent rise in April. They think May's prices were up 2 percent from a year before.

Figures on housing starts are due Wednesday, and analysts expect to see a 3.4 percent decline following May's heartening 13 percent increase.

The Federal Reserve is expected to hold short-term interest rates at near zero, but analysts will be parsing the Fed's statement closely for any hint on when the Fed's very-easy-money policy may begin to change.

Jim Gallagher is a reporter for the Post-Dispatch


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Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

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