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Markets have been bending from the spike higher in interest rates, but they have yet to break yet. This morning, they’re getting another test as retail earnings from Home Depot (HD) and Walmart (WMT) has put a drag on futures. Dow futures are down over 300 to kick off the week, the Nasdaq is down about 1%, and the S&P 500 is down about 0.85%.
Oil prices are modestly higher this morning as they continue to churn around in the high 70s which is a range is has been stuck around for more than two months. As shown in the chart below, the low $70s has been a price floor since early December while the low 80s has been a ceiling. As the sideways range has extended at levels much lower than where they were in all of 2022, the 50 and 200-day moving averages continue to drift lower, and this morning, WTI is back below both of those levels.
The sideways range of the last 50 trading days has now shrunk below 18%, which as shown in the chart below, is the narrowest trading range since May 2021. Not necessarily extreme by historical ranges, but given the war with Russia and its impact on the oil market, it’s been a bit of a snoozer in energy markets.
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