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Focus Shifts to Oil Prices

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Well, if you thought this political season was getting in the way of other things before, post-debate you’re just going to have to get used to this as a near-term reality. If anything, last night’s presidential debate solidifies that an interest rate hike by the Fed 6 days before the election this November is extremely unlikely to happen.

Market futures were up earlier in the pre-market today but have now tumbled into negative territory. However, instead of the debate appearing to have a direct result on today’s trading activity, we instead direct your attention to oil prices: after growing 3% yesterday, the WTI read has given more than 2.4% of that back so far today. Low oil prices are good for consumer pricing, but — as we’ve seen repeatedly over the past 8 quarters or so — bad for overall business growth.

This is even with a report out today that OPEC is discussing a 350 million-barrel reduction over a 1-year period. Supposedly, we may see Iran agree to cut to 3.7 million barrels, which would help ease the supply glut in the industry. As followers of the oil market well know, between oil fracking in the U.S. and Iran bringing more of its substantial oil resources on-line, pricing for the commodity has been a dicey proposition.

This week, we’ll see the 3rd read on Q2 GDP (and a slight upward revision is expected), but other than Initial Jobless Claims, there is little else on this week’s agenda. Nike NKE reports Q1 2017 earnings after the bell today. Next week we will see much more activity, capped off by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) non-farm payroll report a week from Friday.

Until then, everyone’s talking about the debate. Best advice I can give is to grin and bear it.

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