Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
The stock market was dominated by concern that the U.S. and its allies will soon begin a military offensive against Syria. Oil jumped to more than $110 per barrel midweek and ended the week at $107.76. A conflict in Syria would have to spill over into surrounding countries to have a big impact on oil supply, but the short-term reaction by traders was to bid up oil and sell stocks. By the end of the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) was down 1.33% and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) had fallen 1.83%.
Home Depot (NYSE: HD ) was one of only two stocks that moved higher this week, gaining 0.8%. The company reported a solid earnings report late last week, and there was leftover momentum in trading early in the week. So far, rising interest rates haven't hurt Home Depot, but we're still early in the adjustment consumers are making to higher mortgage costs. That's the long-term challenge facing the housing market and home-improvement companies, but for this week, Home Depot was the biggest winner on the Dow.
Chevron (NYSE: CVX ) was up 0.8% as well, jumping sharply when oil spiked. Higher oil prices seem like a big positive for oil companies, but they can actually raise costs for downstream operations. It's also unlikely that oil will remain high, because Syria isn't a huge global supplier and past conflicts in Iraq and Libya haven't resulted in sustained high prices. I don't think this week was a big reason to change your investment thesis on oil or Chevron.
I don't think oil will spike significantly higher on Syria concerns, but it will probably stay above $100, a level the economy seems to be able to absorb. For investors positioned to profit from rising oil prices, there's a lot of opportunity left in the energy market. To help investors get rich off rising oil prices, our top analysts prepared a free report that reveals three stocks that are bound to soar as oil prices climb higher. To discover the identities of these stocks instantly, access your free report by clicking here now.