The WTI crude price gained 1.32% this week, up 44.9% for the year, to close at $53.72 per barrel on Friday, while the Brent crude spot price surged 3.01%, up 52.4% for the year, to close at $56.82 per barrel. The WTI crude price is bumping into a $53.96 resistance level, or 76.4% Fibonacci retracement, as the market is in a wait-and-see mode ahead of the OPEC and non-OPEC production cut of 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd), beginning in January 2017.
The EIA weekly U.S. oil inventory report on Thursday showed that domestic crude supplies rose by 614,000 barrels to 486.1 million barrels, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, in the week ending December 23, compared to The Wall Street Journal forecast for a stockpile decline of 1.2 million barrels. The American Petroleum Institute (API) inventory data on Wednesday showed a U.S. crude inventory increase of 4.2 million barrels.
Separately, the EIA said the weekly U.S. crude oil production dropped 20,000 bpd for the week ending December 23, to 8.766 million bpd. Weekly U.S. crude oil output has fallen about 8.78% from the peak level of 9.61 million bpd during the week ending June 5, 2015. Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said on Friday that the U.S. oil rig count inched up 2 to 525, compared to 316, when the rig count hit the low on June 6, 2016.
S&P 500 Summary: +9.54% YTD as of 12/30/16
Barclay Hedge Fund Index: +6.30% YTD
Outperforming Sectors: Energy +23.65% YTD, Financials +20.12% YTD, Telecommunication services +17.81% YTD, Industrials +16.08% YTD, Materials +14.08% YTD, Utilities +12.20% YTD, and Information technology +11.99% YTD.
Underperforming Sectors: Consumer discretionary +4.32% YTD, Consumer staples +2.58% YTD, Real Estate +0.01% YTD, and Healthcare –4.36%