Reflections on Volume

Big volume without further upside equals distribution
Big volume without further downside equals accumulation

Volume tends to peak at turning points
Volume often precedes price movement
Volume is a relative study

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Libya unrest rattles markets; oil prices jump

Violence in Libya sends oil prices spiking and stocks falling; oil production threatened
NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks fell sharply and oil prices spiked to their highest level in two years Tuesday as the unrest in Libya worsened.
Oil prices jumped 5 percent to $95 a barrel Tuesday. The fight between protesters and forces loyal to the Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi threatens the country's oil production. Libya is the world's 18th largest oil producer, accounting for 2 percent of global daily output. It also sits atop the largest oil reserves in Africa.
The Dow Jones industrial average sank 176 points, or 1.4 percent, to 12,215 in afternoon trading. Bond prices rose, sending their yields lower, as investors sought safety.

At least 250 people have been killed in Libya so far, according to the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Key government officials have resigned and air force pilots have defected following a crackdown on protests in Tripoli, Libya's capital.

Among traders, the main worry is that unrest will spread to other oil-rich countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Protests toppled longtime dictators in Libya's neighbors Tunisia and Egypt in the past month, and protests are continuing in Yemen and Bahrain.

Jim Ritterbusch, an energy analyst, said a "fear premium" has added about $10 a barrel to oil prices in recent days. Prices could tumble once the region settles down, he said.

Oil producers rose with the prospect of a drop in oil supply. Chevron Corp. gained 2.5 percent, the largest gain among the 30 large companies that make up the Dow Jones industrial average. Exxon Mobil Corp. rose 1.5 percent.
Higher fuel costs hurt airline stocks. Delta Air Lines Inc., American Airlines parent AMR Corp., United Continental Holdings Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. all dropped by 6 percent or more.

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