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Ahead of Wall Street

Monday, November 21, 2016

Much focus this week will be on Black Friday and the retailers and e-commerce companies looking to make big profits. From Walmart (WMT - Free Report) to Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) and all the smaller-caps nearby, this Friday marks not only the time where retail companies traditionally turn a profit for the year, but also represent a touchstone indicator in the confidence of the American consumer as well as the U.S. economy as a whole.

But this shortened Thanksgiving week is also an important one for travel, which translates to airline flights and driving trips. Follow this thread to oil prices, and then notice that this morning both the WTI and Brent crude indices are up more than 2.5% ahead of the opening bell this Monday.  This Wednesday marks traditionally one of the busiest travel days of the year, and the Sunday after Thanksgiving is even busier than that.

Also keep in mind that one week from today kicks off a new meeting with OPEC members, where analysts are watching to see if the world’s largest oil suppliers can finally reach an agreement on controlling output and putting a dent in the global oil supply glut. The world’s largest oil producer, Saudi Arabia, is as always key in what develops here, and closely watched will be whether the members can wring an agreement out of “new” mega-oil upstart Iran.

Apparently, analysts are hopeful they can. The WTI is up 2.6% this morning to roughly $46.90 per barrel, whereas Brent crude is +2.8% to nearly $48.20 per barrel. That said, we’ve seen snags in talks between the oil producers in the past; the last time the group met it was considered promising — but that was contingent on OPEC reaching a deal at this upcoming meeting. We shall see.

Tyson Foods' (TSN - Free Report) fiscal Q4 earnings were released before the bell today, but results were not good. The chicken-producing major missed analyst estimates for the quarter and ushered lower guidance going forward. The company also announced its CEO will be stepping down at the end of the calendar year. Shares have fallen more than 14% in the pre-market, giving up more than half the stock’s gains year to date.

Market futures overall are up to start the short week, however: S&P 500 +6, Dow +24 and Nasdaq +15. The “Trump rally” looks to be continuing as the president-elect continues to fill out his cabinet posts.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

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