Wall Street was on fire for the second consecutive day, as gains in the oil market and the release of January’s Fed minutes gave traders a boost of confidence in buying stocks again.
Crude oil gained 5% as the Iranian oil minister said publicly that he is in favor of stable markets and prices, and thus will support whatever efforts are made on that behalf. However, he did not touch on any questions regarding January output levels.
In addition, the minutes from the January Fed meeting showed that policymakers were very concerned about global financial slowdowns and were tinkering with changing the 2016 schedule of interest rate hikes that were originally planned should those slowdowns impact on U.S. economic data.
That data was mixed today, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the U.S. price producer index increased by 0.1% last month, while the Commerce Department reported that housing starts were down 3.8% in January and building permits were off 0.2%. Much of that was blamed on cold weather.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.6%, while the S&P 500 was 1.7% higher and the Nasdaq surged 2.2%. Sectors were green as money, with energy stocks rising nearly 4% on the day.
Priceline Group Inc (PCLN)
PCLN stock popped over 11% today after reporting fourth-quarter 2015 earnings of $12.63 a share on revenue of $2 billion. Both numbers beat the street’s estimates for $11.80 a share on $1.84 billion.
The online booker of travel plans said a strong increase in their bookings was the catalyst for the better-than-expected quarter.
PCLN stock has recently fallen from $1,450 a share to a low of $950, but has rebounded nicely over the last six trading sessions.
Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX)
FCX stock blistered up 12% today amid a triple header of good news.
Yesterday, FCX announced a $1 billion deal in which they were selling their stake in a joint venture copper mine with Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd.
Second, the rise in oil prices today, due to the geopolitical news, is helping out commodity stocks in general.
And third, it was recently disclosed that noted investor Carl Icahn bought an additional four million shares, and other hedge companies are beginning to pick up large quantities of shares at depressed prices as well.
FCX stock was pummeled as low as $4 a share in January, but has since come back about 80%. Bargain hunters have been amply rewarded for their bravery.
Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI)
It never hurts to have Warren Buffett’s blessing, and KMI stock was soaring today after it was revealed last night in an SEC filing that Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BRK-A) had acquired 26.5 million shares of KMI in the fourth quarter of 2015.
The rise in oil prices today was another factor in KMI’s solid showing.
KMI, like so many other energy companies, has seen its share price collapse over the last few months. Yet KMI has now stormed back by about 40% since the third week of January. The action of just the last two days has put KMI stock back over its 50-day moving average.
KMI stock rose nearly 10% today.
As of this writing, Ethan Roberts did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.