Wishy-Washy Crude Lulls Stocks

by Rick Ackerman

Crude oil’s ups and downs are once again leading the stock market by the nose. Yesterday, for instance, an ambiguous rally in the former produced similar behavior in the latter. This dynamic comes and goes, but it seems most unlikely that the correlation is random. Neural net whizzes have probably figured it out precisely enough — i.e., to four decimal places — to profit from the relationship consistently, but it doubtless remains arcane to many plain-Jane chartists. My hunch is that the effect is strongest when Wall Street’s decision makers, including some of their dumber trading machines, are at their most wishy-washy. Obviously, Trump-versus- Clinton headlines are not enough to move the markets. But oh, what a little drivel from Janet Yellen can do to stampede the herd!

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