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Category: Gold News

Uptick in Gold and Oil Lifts Mining, Energy Stocks

By Published On: March 14, 20242.4 min readViews: 1970 Comments on Uptick in Gold and Oil Lifts Mining, Energy Stocks

Key Takeaways

  • The S&P 500 fell 0.2% on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, retreating from the prior day’s record close as the rally in the tech sector wavered.
  • An uptick in gold prices helped lift shares of Freeport-McMoRan and other miners while rising crude oil futures underpinned gains for Valero Energy and peers in the oil sector.
  • Shares of Dollar Tree tumbled after the discount retailer missed quarterly forecasts and announced plans to close around 1,000 stores.

Major U.S. equities indexes were mixed Wednesday as the rally in the tech sector lost steam in the midweek trading session.

Following Tuesday’s report showing higher-than-expected inflation in February, investors will get a look at that month’s retail sales and Producer Price Index (PPI) data on Thursday. The reports will serve as additional data points for the Federal Reserve as it evaluates potential interest rate cuts.

The S&P 500 slid 0.2%, receding from Tuesday’s record close. The underperforming tech sector contributed to declines of 0.5% for the Nasdaq, while the Dow was up 0.1%

After gold prices slipped on Tuesday, the rally in the precious metal regained momentum, providing a boost to mining stocks. Shares of Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), operator of the mine with the world’s largest known gold reserve, topped the S&P 500 on Wednesday, adding 7.6%.

Gold was not the only commodity trading higher on the day—crude oil futures prices also jumped roughly 3% following an unexpected withdrawal in U.S. crude inventories and Ukrainian strikes against Russian refineries. The higher prices helped underpin a strong performance by companies in the oil and gas sector. Valero Energy (VLO) shares were up 5.2%, while shares of Marathon Petroleum (MPC) and APA Corp. (APA) added 4.2% and 3.6%, respectively.

Shares of 3M Co. (MMM) moved 5.4% higher, adding to gains posted Tuesday after the conglomerate announced a leadership shakeup. Incoming CEO Bill Brown will take the reins as the company prepares to spin off its health care division and continues to face litigation related to “forever chemicals.”

Dollar Tree (DLTR) shares posted Wednesday’s weakest performance on the S&P 500, plummeting 14.2% after the discount retailer missed profit and sales estimates for the holiday quarter. The company also announced plans to close around 1,000 of its Family Dollar stores over the next few years, citing macroeconomic uncertainties and issues with the timely stocking of merchandise.

Shares of Fair Isaac Corp. (FICO) tumbled 6.2% amid reports that Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sent a letter to the Department of Justice requesting an investigation into anticompetitive practices by the credit reporting firm. According to Hawley’s criticism, because obtaining a loan from the Federal Housing Administration and other government entities requires a FICO score, the situation equates to a “government-granted monopoly.”

Tesla (TSLA) shares fell 4.5% after Wells Fargo downgraded the stock to underweight and slashed its price target to $125 from $200. Analysts said the electric vehicle (EV) giant is unlikely to generate sales growth in 2024, even as price cuts across various markets curtail profits.

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