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Morning stock market summary

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It was a long weekend for most, but it’s now back to the grind for the final five weeks of 2022.  After gains for US stocks last week, things are starting off on a down note as widespread protests in China weigh on sentiment and have raised concerns over supply chains for large companies like Apple (AAPL).  US futures are down about 0.8% as of this writing, and the 10-year yield is down below 3.7%. The Dallas Fed Manufacturing report is the only report on the calendar today, but it’s a busy week ahead culminating with the November Non-Farm Payrolls report on Friday.

Those protests in China over the government’s strict COVID policies and continued concerns over the prospects for the global economy have crude oil prices down nearly 3% this morning, and that now takes the price of WTI down to its lowest level of the year.  Yup, crude oil is down YTD.

Despite the weakness in crude oil, Energy stocks remain well in the black YTD with the Energy sector still up over 70%.  That’s nearly 70 percentage points above the next closest sector (Utilities: +1.21%).  The ten largest components of the sector are also all well into positive territory for the year with gains in the range of 50% for Pioneer Natural (PXD) to more than 140% for Occidental Petroleum (OXY).  When WTI was trading well over $100 per barrel, the bullish case for energy stocks was that these companies would be profitable even if crude oil prices corrected sharply.  Now that WTI has corrected by more than 40% from its closing high earlier this year, energy companies may still be profitable at these levels but not by nearly as much as they were just a few months ago.

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