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T3’s Take 3: OPEC Drama Comes to a Head

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1) OPEC Drama Continues

The oil drama continued ahead of tomorrow’s OPEC meeting.

Reuters reported that Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest producer, is having trouble coming to terms with Iran and Iraq over a production cut.

That’s not much of a surprise, given that we’ve been seeing conflicting headlines out of OPEC nations for months now.

Crude oil fell -3.7% to $45.32, and oil service stocks led the decliners’ column today.

And judging by implied volatility readings on options of energy instruments like the S&P Energy ETF (XLE) and the United States Oil Fund (OIH), traders are pricing in a very large move in oil through the end of the week.

2) Dollar Screams… and Fades

This morning, third-quarter GDP came in at 3.2%, beating the 3.0% consensus. Consumer confidence also beat expectations.

The strong data pushed the US dollar up huge, while gold declined.

However, both moves reversed themselves a bit by the close. US economic data has been fairly strong as of late, so the numbers weren’t exactly a gamechanger.

The S&P 500 finished up 0.3% at 2209.28, while the Nasdaq rose 0.5%

Biotechnology led the market up, with the S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) rising 0.9% to $64.93.

Housing, real estate, and regional banks also performed well.

Bonds initially fell on the strong economic data, but were up by the equity market close.

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