Crude Spikes, Market Likes, Lumber Liquidators – Yikes!

As crude oil prices break to the upside, market futures have spiked ahead of the opening bell for the week. Crude prices rose 4 percent while we were sleeping, and now are back up over the psychologically pleasing $30 per barrel level.

Meanwhile, Baker-Hughes (BHI) marked the ninth straight decline in overall rig count late last week, and European energy firms notched higher gains.

This pushed the Stoxx European 600 up 1.42%, giving the green light to U.S. markets this morning and setting the tone for action through mid-morning.

Is the EU Looking at a Brexit?

Great Britain is now dealing with an outspoken statement from London’s Mayor Boris Johnson, who heads a list of prominent British names favoring exiting the European Union (EU).

Of course, British currency has remained Pounds Sterling and not the Euro, but the gesture is significant: Johnson is a part of Britain’s Conservative Party along with Prime Minister David Cameron, who has advocated staying with the EU. We know how the market loves uncertainty; British Pounds Sterling is currently witnessing its worst day versus the U.S. Dollar in a year, and headed to its biggest drop since 2010.

In earnings news, Dean Foods (DF) posted a mixed earnings report before today’s opening bell, beating earnings estimates but missing slightly on the top-line. Guidance from the company was in-line, however, and this appears to be good enough for the Street: shares of DF are up 2% percent following the earnings report.

Allergan (AGN) shares started down pre-market before bouncing higher following its earnings report. Citing earnings growth of 16 percent year over year, the biopharma giant looks strong.

Lumber Liquidators (LL) shares are again under siege, as a reversal in an opinion expressed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explicitly said the risks for contracting cancer from the company’s flooring products is much higher than earlier reported.

The study cited high levels of formaldehyde, a well-known carcinogen, in the company’s flooring products. This has sent LL shares down steeply (-15 percent) as of this writing.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

(Mark Vickery is covering for Sheraz Mian, who is off on business through the end of the month.)
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