A glut of supply and low demand has created situations where tankers full of oil are sailing the globe with nowhere to dock and unload since storage tanks are full. That has investors worried and so the few traders out there on these last few days of 2015 are selling stock positions.
The S&P 500 is down by 7 points to 2,071, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 56 points to 17,664 and the Nasdaq is dropping by 14 points to 5,093.
United Parcel Service said it had a 98 percent on-time delivery success rate for Christmas. FedEx was not able to boast of such success. UPS managed to control the statistic by adding an extra day to getting its packages delivered. For example, two-day shipping really took three days in some cases. Retailers also found they had to cut off free shipping before the last week of the holiday because sending packages that late meant they would have to go by air and that wasn’t cost effective.
FedEx suffered a deluge of last-minute e-commerce shopping and bad weather, which caused it to deliver some packages after Christmas. Heavy rains in the Northeast and tornadoes in the middle of the country affected air travel for the company’s freight planes.
DDR, the real estate company that owns and manages shopping centers in Puerto Rico, was downgraded to a “hold” from a “buy” rating by Deutsche Bank. The analysts also cut the price target from $19 to $17. Earlier this week, Capital One downgraded DDR’s stock from “overweight” to “equal weight.” Puerto Rico is close to defaulting on some of its bond payments that are due on Jan. 1. Investors are worrying that as the country struggles financially, it could affect consumer spending.
Asian markets closed today on a mixed note with Japan’s Nikkei and China’s Shanghai Composite up, while Hong Kong closed to the downside. China is taking steps to stabilize its currency. The central bank suspended three foreign banks from doing any foreign exchange trading until the end of March. The reason for the suspension is that many Chinese are trying to trade their yuan into U.S. dollars.
European markets are trading lower across the board also as a result of the weakness in oil markets. Softness in gold and silver prices pulled down mining stocks and that is also weighing on the European indices. The euro has actually been regaining some of its strength versus the U.S. dollar.