US stocks trade mixed as investors digest March inflation surge and J&J vaccine pause

Stock Market Traders
  • US shares traded mixed on Tuesday as consumer prices surged in March.
  • Consumer prices rose 0.6% in March fueled by an economy rebounding from the pandemic recession.
  • Traders nervously eyed calls to halt use of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine following reports of blood clots in six recipients.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell

US shares trade mixed on Tuesday as consumer prices surged in March and officials called for a halt in the administration of Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Consumer prices rose 0.6% in March from February, the Labor Department reported Tuesday, fueled by an economy rebounding from the pandemic recession.

It shot up 2.6% from the same period a year ago – roughly in line with the 2.5% expectation from economists polled by Reuters – when large swathes of the country were in lockdown to curb the spread of the virus

The year-over-year climb is the highest since August 2018. It is also higher than the 1.7% recorded in February.

Among the biggest contributors were gasoline prices, which surged 9.1% in March, and food.

Consumer inflation data aim to capture the cost of buying goods and services, which the Federal Reserve and financial markets watch closely.

Bond yields meanwhile have temporarily risen on expectations of higher growth and inflation. This, in turn, has weighed on technology shares, which look relatively less attractive when yields rise.

The 10-year US Treasury note rose higher Tuesday by 1.5 basis points to 1.691% from the 1.675% at the end of Monday. Yields move inversely to prices.

On Monday, all three major indexes ended lower as investors took a breather from Friday’s record highs.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Tuesday:

Johnson & Johnson shares fell by as much as 3.5% after the US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention jointly recommended a pause in its Covid-19 vaccine over blood clot reports in some people who had received the shot. It remains unclear if this will impede President Joe Biden’s goal of administering 200 million vaccines in his first 100 days.

GameStop could see its rally fade because of strong digital competition from Microsoft and Sony, Ascendiant Capital analyst Edward Woo said. Woo pointed to GameStop’s low market share in digital game sales and expects the company’s long-term share price to drop sharply.

“Due to the popularity of GameStop on Reddit chat boards and with Robinhood retail investors, GameStop shares appears to no longer trade on traditional fundamental valuations or metrics, but on retail investors’ sentiment, hope, momentum, and the powers of crowds,” he wrote.

Bitcoin breaks its record for the second straight day, soaring to an all-time high above $63,000 amid excitement ahead of Coinbase’s direct listing on the Nasdaq. The world’s most famous cryptocurrency rose as much as 5.3% to hit $63,179 on Tuesday, well above the last all-time high of just over $61,700 seen in March.

Oil prices edged higher after strong Chinese import data, Reuters reported, shrugging off tensions in the Middle East, which thus far have not affected oil supply. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 0.92%, to $60.251 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, rose 1.01% to $63.92 a barrel.

Gold slipped 0.24%, to $1,739.81 per ounce, as the treasury yields weighed on the precious metal’s appeal.

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US stocks decline as investors digest volatility from Archegos meltdown

NYSE Trader
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 9, 2020.

US stocks ended lower on Tuesday, with the the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 retreating from record highs reached the previous day.

New trades linked to Archegos added unease to markets after US data highlighted an economic rebound.

Companies linked to the Archegos Capital Management meltdown last week were struck by a new wave of volatility after Credit Suisse initiated a block trade worth around $2.3 billion in an attempt to limit further losses.

Stocks including ViacomCBS, Discovery, and Tencent all whipsawed, and were down in premarket trading before recovering throughout the day.

The S&P 500 and Dow hit record highs Monday in the wake of a better-than-expected jobs report and record-high expansion in the services sector last month. Optimism around the economic recovery continues to drive markets.

Here’s where US indexes stood after the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Tuesday:

High valuations and other factors have been driving comparisons between current US stock market conditions and those during the dot-com era, but fundamentals are healthier now, said Charles Schwab’s chief investment strategist Liz Ann Sonders. Meanwhile, Nouriel Roubini, an economist known as “Dr. Doom” for his pessimistic market views, said markets are “extremely frothy” and participants are taking “too much risk” in an interview Tuesday.

Gold rose to 0.8% to $1,742.80 per ounce.

West Texas Intermediate crude rise by 1.24%, to $59.37 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, was down 1% to $62.74 per barrel.

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S&P 500 punches above 4,000 for first time as Biden targets $2 trillion for infrastructure spending

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York.

  • The S&P 500 closed above 4,000 for the first time after President Biden outlined a $2 trillion infrastructure spending proposal.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average started the second quarter by rising for the first time in two sessions.
  • Biden will likely hit resistance to his proposal of raising the corporate tax rate to 28%.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The S&P 500 notched a milestone as US stocks rose Thursday, carried higher following plans by President Joe Biden to seek $2 trillion to upgrade infrastructure in the world’s largest economy.

The S&P 500 climbed and ended above the 4,000 mark for the first time, a strong start to trading in the second quarter and in April, a month that’s typically been a winner for the benchmark index. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained for the first time in two sessions.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET close on Thursday:

The moves came after Biden late Wednesday outlined an eight-year plan to embark on investments in transportation systems, including shifts toward electric vehicles, as well as in road, bridges and broadband. Tracking infrastructure plays, the Global X US Infrastructure Development ETF and the iShares Global Infrastructure ETF each picked up 0.6%.

Biden’s plan will also include an accompanying tax hike for corporations, to 28% from 21%.

“We expect the project to be passed along party-line votes, probably in October. While many members of the Republican Party support infrastructure improvements, the tax hikes will prompt criticism that they will hurt US competitiveness and raise the cost of industrial production,” said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, in a note.

Elsewhere in the markets Thursday, AMC shares fell after the movie-theater chain’s CEO discussed the company’s potential issuance of 500 million shares.

BlackRock has made $360,000 on bitcoin futures since January, according to a regulatory filing.

Uber shares could rise as much as 65% with profitability ‘around the corner,’ Jefferies says.

Micron Technology shares moved higher after the memory and data-storage maker beat quarterly financial expectations and offered a positive outlook for its fiscal second-quarter.

Gold rose 1.2% to $1,728 per ounce. Long-dated US Treasury yields eased, with the 30-year yield down 9 basis points to 2.34%, and the benchmark 10-year yield lower by 7 basis points to 1.679%.

Oil prices rose after OPEC and its allies reportedly agreed to start raising output in May as they expect demand to increase. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, rose 1.6% to $64.61 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 3.6% to $61.27 per barrel.

Bitcoin rose 0.3 % to $58,904.77.

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S&P 500 tops 4,000 as Wall Street cheers Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock exchange
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock exchange

  • The S&P 500 topped the 4,000 mark for the first time as second-quarter trading kicked off.
  • Stocks rose after President Joe Biden outlined his $2 trillion multi-year infrastructure plan.
  • The 10-year Treasury yield edged lower after weekly jobless claims rose by more than expected.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

US blue-chip stocks hit record highs on Thursday, starting off the second quarter with a bang, after President Joe Biden’s plans to spend $2 trillion to upgrade and modernize US infrastructure ignited investor risk appetite, boosting equities and commodities.

The S&P 500 pushed past the 4,000 level for the first time, getting off to a strong start for April, a month that typically has been one of the strongest in the year for the benchmark index.

Here’s where US indexes stood at 09:57 a.m. on Thursday:

Tesla shares were among so-called green stocks that rose after Biden late Wednesday outlined an eight-year plan for investments in transportation systems, including shifts toward electric vehicles, as well as spending on broadband and roads. He’s also aiming for investment in other areas such as child care.

Biden’s plan will also include an accompanying tax hike for corporations, something which could temper some of the enthusiasm on Wall Street, analysts said.

“The larger impact to markets will be whether or not the corporate tax rate is raised to 28% — or somewhere in between there and the current 21% level — and whether or not a global minimum tax on corporations can be established,” Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance, said in a note.

“It’s likely that the stock market can withstand a hike in the corporate tax rate to 25%, but unclear how much room there is above that if stocks are going to keep moving higher between now and year-end,” he said.

Meanwhile, the 10-year Treasury yield fell below 1.7%, as bond prices rose following the release of US jobless claims data that cast some doubt on the robustness of the labor market. Claims totaled 719,000 last week, higher than the median estimate of 678,000 from economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The reading also marked the second increase in three weeks.

Elsewhere, US-listed shares of Nio and Xpeng jumped after the China-based electric vehicle manufacturers reported strong first-quarter delivery figures.

Gold rose 0.7% to $1,727.15 per ounce. Long-dated US Treasury yields eased, with the 30-year yield falling 6 basis points to 2.368%, while the benchmark 10-year yield also fell 6 basis points to 1.697%, still close to its highest since the onset of the pandemic last year.

Oil prices rose as OPEC and its allies met to discuss their production strategy. Brent crude futures, the global benchmark, gained 1.7% to $63.80 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude traded up 2.1% at $60.41 a barrel.

Bitcoin was last up 0.7% on the day at $58,961.

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US stocks edge higher as traders mull impact of Biden’s infrastructure plan

trader Gregory Rowe

US stocks edged higher on Wednesday investors brace themselves ahead of President Joe Biden’s unveiling of a multi-trillion dollar spending plan.

The bill will include major investments into a range of sectors, and investors are absorbing its potential impact on both inflation and earnings as a large part is to be funded with tax hikes on corporations. The bill is part one of two in Biden’s overall infrastructure plan, with the second to be announced in mid-April.

Rising Treasury yields, meanwhile, continue to put pressure on stocks, especially high-growth tech names that soared during the year of the pandemic. The benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield rose to its highest in 14 months on Tuesday, as investors priced in expectations of higher inflation and a stronger US economy.

The US private sector added 517,000 jobs in March, according to ADP’s monthly employment report Wednesday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg held a median estimate of 550,000 payroll additions. This climb is the third straight monthly gain since payrolls shrank in December. The March gains are also the largest seen since October.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Wednesday:

Stocks affected by the Archegos-linked selloff that roiled markets rallied. ViacomCBS and Discovery were both higher, as well as American depositary receipts of Chinese companies.

Bitcoin edged lower by 1.50% to $58,159.09.

Goldman Sachs on Wednesday said it could begin to offer bitcoin and other digital-asset-related investments to its private wealth-management clients, CNBC first reported.

Ethereum developers defended a decision to destroy ether tokens and cut the fees paid to miners ahead of major changes this summer. The developers said the changes could boost the cryptocurrency’s price.

West Texas Intermediate crude climbed as much as 0.12%, to $60.48 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, also rose by 0.42%, to $63.87per barrel. Both benchmarks are on track for weekly losses.

Gold slipped 1.47% to $1,687.47 per ounce. The precious metal slipped below $1,700 on Tuesday for the first time in three weeks, under pressure as long-dated Treasury yields and the US dollar both rise.

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Dow drops 308 points as rising COVID-19 cases cloud economic-recovery optimism

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on November 20, 2019 in New York City
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

  • The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average mark their third declines in four sessions.
  • European COVID-19 cases are rising and spurring more lockdowns in the region.
  • US economic recovery continues but is ‘far from complete,’ says Fed Chairman Powell.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

US stocks dropped Tuesday as a rise in COVID-19 cases in Europe stoked concerns about the path for recovery in the global economy from the pandemic.

All three of Wall Street’s major indexes fell, with losses picking up pace in afternoon dealings. The S&P 500 and the Dow industrials declined for the third time in four sessions. Tech stocks as tracked on the Nasdaq Composite lost grip of earlier gains.

Stocks struggled in the face of rising coronavirus cases in Europe. The higher case counts have prompted Germany, Europe’s largest economy, to order lockdown measures over Easter and France has enacted more restrictions in the country.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET close on Tuesday:

Meanwhile, Italy has issued new lockdowns. In the UK, the government in an effort to control cases is seeking to impose a £5,000 fine ($7,000) on people traveling outside of England without a valid reason. The worsening conditions in Europe pressured the demand outlook for oil, sending Brent oil prices sharply lower.

The US economy is seeing a lower amount of COVID-19 cases compared with Europe, alongside encouraging data and an improved rate of vaccinations, said Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Tuesday.

“But the recovery is far from complete,” he cautioned in remarks prepared for testimony to the House Financial Services Committee. The Fed “will continue to provide the economy the support that it needs for as long as it takes.”

AstraZeneca shares fell after US health officials raised questions about the drugmaker’s COVID-19 vaccine, saying the company could have used some outdated trial data in its update about the formula.

GameStop fell before the video game retailer late Tuesday releases its first quarterly financial report since its Reddit-fueled rally in January. Meanwhile, Melvin Capital, the hedge fund at the heart of the GameStop frenzy, is facing nine lawsuits from retail investors who alleged a conspiracy to limit trading caused them to lose money.

While stocks have pulled back in recent session, the market’s fear gauge, the Cboe VIX Volatility Index, is back at pre-pandemic lows, and it’s signaling big upside ahead, says Fundstrat’s Tom Lee.

Anthony Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Capital and investment firm First Trust Advisors have applied for regulatory approval for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund.

Oil prices tumbled, with West Texas Intermediate crude down 6% to $57.60 per barrel. Brent, oil’s international benchmark, was down 6.5% to $60.47.

Gold fell 0.6% to $1,727 per ounce as US treasury yields eased.

Bitcoin lost 2.5%, to trade at $55,328.

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Dow, S&P 500 close at records after Fed upgrades its growth outlook and indicates no rates hikes until 2023

Barclays Traders NYSE
  • The Dow and the S&P 500 closed at new records after the Federal Reserve reiterated an accommodative policy stance as the economy recovers.
  • It’s “not yet” time for the Fed to start talking about reducing asset purchases, says Fed Chairman Powell.
  • The 10-year yield eased back from its highest level in 14 months.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

US stocks turned higher Wednesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 closing at new record highs. Tech stocks recovered after the Federal Reserve reiterated its pledge to continue supporting the US economy as it continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Nasdaq Composite reversed course after losing more than 1% during the session and the S&P 500 clawed out of negative territory during afternoon trading. The run higher in stocks during the session came after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said it was “not yet” time to begin discussions about tapering its purchases of bonds and other securities.

“We want to see that labor market conditions have made substantial progress toward maximum employment and inflation has made substantial progress toward the 2% goal,” Powell said in an afternoon press conference. “When we see actual data coming in that suggests that we’re on track…then we’ll say so,” and “well in advance of any decision to actually taper.”

The Fed at its policy meeting ended Wednesday left its benchmark interest rate unchanged, as expected. The Fed currently buys $120 billion a month in assets in part to help keep the financial system running smoothly as the worldwide pandemic persists.

Here’s where US indexes stood at 4 p.m. ET at the close on Wednesday:

Investors had earlier shoved down high-performing tech stocks as borrowing costs increased as implied by the 10-year Treasury yield. The yield approached 1.7% and reached its highest level since January 2020, which was before the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic.

The Fed upgraded its economic projections including its view that gross domestic product will expand by 6.5% this year, up from the prior estimate of 4.2%. Economists have said the vaccinations of millions of Americans and the $1.9 billion fiscal stimulus package from Washington are key factors in driving economic recovery. The Fed also indicated that no rate hikes will take place before 2023.

In equities, Uber fell over 4% after the company said late Tuesday it will reclassify drivers in the United Kingdom as “workers,” guaranteeing them minimum wage, paid vacation and other benefits.

Plug Power shares tumbled as much as 23% after the hydrogen fuel-cell company said it will restate some of its financial reports because of accounting errors.

Legendary investor Bill Gross said he’s betting against GameStop stock again after walking away from January’s wild volatility with $10 million.

Meanwhile, short bets on the stock market may be bottoming out as indexes hit record highs, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Gold rose 1.09% to $1,751.05 per ounce. Long-dated US treasury yields rose.

Oil prices fell. West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 0.46% to $64.64 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, dropped 0.55%, to $68.06 per barrel.

Bitcoin rose as much as 4.4% to $58,184.

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Tech stocks lead losses as US indices pull back from rally

NYSE Trader worried red

US stocks were lower on Tuesday with tech stocks leading losses in the Nasdaq and S&P 500 after a strong rally on Monday led investors to profit-taking. 

US and European markets are racing ahead of their real economies, potentially creating bubbles that could pop, China’s banking regulator has warned.  Guo Shuqing, chair of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said US and European markets are racing ahead of their real economies, potentially creating bubbles that could pop. 

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Monday:

SEC chair nominee Gary Gensler said the agency under his watch would at look ensuring investors get “best execution” for their trades and whether payment for order flow provides that during a virtual confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Banking Committee today. 

Gensler also said the SEC will seek to eliminate fraud and manipulation in crypto markets. 

Several ETF filings made excited investors today. In the latest attempt to launch a bitcoin ETF in the US, the Chicago Board Options Exchange filed an SEC request for approval of VanEck’s bitcoin ETF on Monday. In Canada, Evolve Funds filed a prospectus for an ETF that would track Ether, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency. 

An exchange-traded fund designed to track sentiment on platforms like Reddit, StockTwits, and Twitter will launch on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. In a video posted on Twitter on Tuesday, the Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy promoted the fund.

Oil prices fell. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 1.58%, to $59.68 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, declined by 1.65%, to $62.64 per barrel.

Gold fell around 0.6%, to $1,733.40 per ounce.

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US stocks mixed as investors hit pause on Monday’s rally

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on November 20, 2019 in New York City
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on November 20, 2019 in New York City


US stocks were mixed on Tuesday after a rally on Monday that saw the S&P 500 post its strongest daily gain since June, as the full reopening of the US economy seemed within reach. 

US daily coronavirus cases are falling and on track to be below 40,000 this week after a slight surge last week, according to Fundstrat data. This positive news, along with falling volatility and rising bond prices, likely led Monday’s rally that investors are hoping to continue on Tuesday.

Here’s where US indexes stood after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Tuesday:

US and European markets are racing ahead of their real economies, potentially creating bubbles that could pop, China’s banking regulator has warned.  Guo Shuqing, chair of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said US and European markets are racing ahead of their real economies, potentially creating bubbles that could pop. 

Zoom jumped 9% after the video platform beat earnings estimates and forecasted strong growth. The company’s revenue forecast for the coming year was above Wall Street expectations.

Bitcoin traded above $48,000 after briefly climbing back above $50,000 for the first time in six days. 

Oil prices were higher. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped as much as 0.54%, to $61 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, rose by 0.44%, to $63.96 per barrel.

Gold jumped 0.16%%, to $1,726.20 per ounce. 

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Tech stocks pare deep losses but still decline as Fed’s Powell eases concerns over runaway inflation

NYSE Powell Traders
Traders work, as a screen shows Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s news conference after the U.S. Federal Reserve interest rates announcement, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., October 30, 2019.

  • US stocks pared losses but closed lower on Tuesday after Fed chair Jerome Powell staved off fears of rampant inflation.
  • Stimulus and reopening could lift price growth, but the effect will likely be small and temporary, Powell said.
  • Bitcoin tanked below $49,000 after trading as high as $55,053.91 Monday afternoon as investors snapped up crypto profits.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

US equities erased major losses and swung higher on Tuesday after commentary from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell eased concerns of stronger-than-expected inflation.

Growth favorites tumbled immediately after the open as investors bet on Biden-backed stimulus to supercharge the US recovery. The increasing likelihood of a stimulus boost has revived fears of near-term inflation as fiscal support lifts consumer spending. Value stocks and small caps historically outperform momentum names as inflation rises.

The rotation faded through the session as Powell testified to the Senate Banking Committee. New stimulus and economic recovery could lift inflation, but an uptick will likely be small and only temporary, Powell said, adding some reopening-fueled price growth is “a good problem to have.”

Falling COVID-19 case counts and vaccine rollouts “offer hope for a return to more normal conditions later this year,” he added.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET close on Tuesday:

Aside from consumer discretionary stocks, every S&P 500 sector rose through the day. Energy and communications stocks rose the most.

The bounce-back marks a sharp reversal from the drop seen one session prior. Stocks closed mixed on Monday as inflation concerns pulled cash out of large-cap names and into reopening bets. The Nasdaq composite ended the session down nearly 2.5%, while the Dow rose slightly. 

Encouraging virus trends have also prompted investors to position for a summer recovery. The US reported 52,530 new cases on Monday, according to The COVID Tracking Project. That’s the lowest daily total since mid-October. And while the pace of vaccinations has moderated slightly from last week, the US is still averaging about 1.4 million doses a day.

Tesla sank for a second straight day, temporarily hitting its lowest level since December before rebounding. Monday’s losses saw more than $64 billion erased from the automaker’s market cap and led CEO Elon Musk to lose his title as the world’s wealthiest person.

AMC extended a two-day rally after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced movie theaters could reopen at 25% capacity in New York City next week.

Bitcoin plummeted as investors took profits from the cryptocurrency’s latest run-up. The token hovered around $47,000 after trading as high as $55,053.91 Monday afternoon. To be sure, prices are still up roughly 55% year-to-date.

Spot gold dipped as much as 0.77%, to $1,795.73 per ounce, at intraday lows before erasing most losses. The US dollar wavered against a basket of Group-of-20 currencies. Treasury yields edged higher as investors dumped the safe havens.

Oil prices erased early losses and rose. West Texas Intermediate crude gained as much as 2.1%, to $63 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, dropped 2.4%, to $66.79 per barrel.

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