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Published: Thu, June 22, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Markets Right Now: Stocks open slightly lower on Wall Street

Markets Right Now: Stocks open slightly lower on Wall Street

CRUDE HITS 2017 LOW: Oil prices have fallen sharply amid ongoing signs that production levels remain high and skepticism over the OPEC oil cartel's ability to deliver on its cuts. Tech stocks have led the S&P 500's 9.4% rally this year.

Some investors were holding back ahead of a congressional election in Atlanta, according to Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James Financial in St. Petersburg, Florida.

In economic new, there were no major data releases, but investors digested remarks from key Federal Reserve officials. Asian markets were mostly lower Wednesday after overnight losses on Wall Street.

The Nasdaq composite lost 32 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,206, and the Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks fell 10, or 0.7 percent, to 1,408. The S&P 500 fell 0.7% to close at 2,437.03.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 75.64 points, or 1.23%, at 6,227.39. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slid 148.46 points or 0.6 percent to 25,694.58.

USA stocks on Monday closed higher as the technology stocks recovered from a last week's wobbly performance.

COMMODITIES: Gold was unchanged at $1,243.50, silver slipped 6 cents to $16.36 per ounce and copper added 4 cents to $2.60 per pound.

The price of oil has been sloshing between $40 and $55 per barrel for much of the a year ago, down from a peak of more than $110 in the summer of 2013. "We would expect United States crude to test $40 per barrel before any hopes of a sustainable recovery in oil prices". Further, investors remained anxious about whether the increase in production would neutralize the effects of output cuts by OPEC.

Oil entered bear-market territory, on concerns increased production out of US and Libya will dampen efforts from other major oil producers to reduce global supplies. It also projected U.S. output to exceed 14.1 million bpd. Meanwhile, exports of Nigeria's benchmark Bonny Light crude oil are set to rise by 62,000 barrels per day in August, Reuters reported. Production for the country is about to reach 226,000 bpd in August, an increase from 164,000 bpd in July.

US crude fell 2.31 percent to $43.18 per barrel and Brent was last at $45.93, down 2.09 percent. Tech is the best-performing sector this year, rising to 17.2 percent in the period. (VZ - Free Report) and Chevron Corp (CVX - Free Report) fell 1.4% and 0.9% respectively.

3 stocks that rocketed higher today. The broader Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) fell 0.8%. The euro fell to 1.1147 dollars from 1.1195 dollars, and the British pound slipped to 1.2729 dollars from 1.2780 dollars.

He sees the costliest U.S. congressional race in history - between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel - as a key political test for President Donald Trump's pro-business agenda. The move, which will begin next year, will likely cause big shifts of money into mainland Chinese stocks by mutual funds and other investors that track the index. "Last week, the Federal Reserve lowered their forecast for CPI and raised their growth outlook, if the oil slump persists, they may have to lower both in the coming months".

Technology companies and banks are leading stock indexes modestly higher in early trading on Wall Street.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said it may be worthwhile for the U.S. central bank to wait until year-end to decide whether to raise rates again.

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