U.S. Equities Pull Back From Record Highs

The sigh of relief rally in stocks and energy prices looks like it may be taking a break this morning as U.S. equities pull back from new record highs set in Wednesday’s session.

The API was said to show a build of 4.2 million barrels in U.S. crude oil inventories last week, while both gasoline and distillates saw declines of around 2.6 million barrels. The EIA’s weekly report is due out at 11 a.m. Eastern today.

That increase in crude, and decrease in refined products is consistent with the heavy maintenance activity expected at U.S. refineries this time of year, and with the six or more unplanned shutdowns we’ve experienced over the past week. That pattern has also helped crack spreads recover from the multi-year lows seen in several markets earlier this year.

The FED minutes noted that the committee that sets monetary policy was keeping a close eye on impacts from the coronavirus, which seems to be translated to more “bad news is good news” if you like low interest rates, which helped U.S. equity indices set fresh record highs.

Something to keep an eye one: The U.S. dollar is reaching multi-year highs this week, which can be a headwind for dollar-priced commodities like petroleum products, and even for U.S. stocks. So far all three asset classes are rallying in tandem, which historically isn’t something that lasts for long stretches of time.

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