Wall Street New York Stock ExchangeU.S. markets were closed for Presidents Day Monday, but given what unrest in Libya did to gold, oil and stocks overseas yesterday, this holiday-shortened trading week could get off to a bumpy start.

Bloody fighting and anti-government unrest in Libya sent shockwaves through various markets yesterday, setting the stage for more turbulence in the sessions ahead. Gold, which has languished for weeks as investors sought riskier assets, vaulted Monday on a renewed flight to safety. Gold futures that trade on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange (CME) rose $18, or 1.3%, to settle at $1,407 an ounce. The yellow metal hadn't closed above $1,400 since early January.

Oil prices likewise spiked as civil war threatened to overtake Libya, a major energy producer and holder of Africa's largest proven reserves. Benchmark oil futures traded on NYMEX leaped $5.22, or more than 6%, to close at $91.42 a barrel Monday. Brent crude, a benchmark contract traded on the ICE Futures Exchange, broke above $108 a barrel, its highest close since 2008.

Major Economic Reports Are Also Due

The specter of further Middle East instability and higher energy prices left European stocks awash in red as the major averages in the U.K., France and Germany lost anywhere from 1% to 1.4% Monday. The dollar also strengthened on Mideast tensions.

The turmoil in Libya is of greater consequence than other protests now ripping through the region given its importance to global energy markets. Libya is the first member of OPEC to be rocked by mass protests, and the global oil industry has begun eying reserves that were last tapped after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Traders will also have contend with a spate of news on the housing front. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index for December comes out on Tuesday, while existing-homes sales data are due out Wednesday and new-home sales on Thursday. The week also brings two readings on consumer confidence, durable-goods orders and the second estimate on fourth-quarter U.S. GDP, which is due out Friday.

Possibly offsetting the expected market weakness would be another strong string of fourth-quarter earnings reports. Dow components Walmart (WMT), Home Depot (HD) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) are due up Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU), broader S&P 500 ($INX) and Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) are all up about 7% so far in 2011 in no small part to the ongoing V-shape recovery in corporate profits.

Of the 413 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings to date, 71% have exceeded Wall Street's estimates, according to data from Thomson Reuters. Encouraging economic data and another round of better-than-expected earnings and outlooks may ultimately trump geopolitical concerns. But if the Mideast's oil-producing countries spiral into chaos, all bets are off.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Investing in Startups

The lucrative and risky world of startups.

View Course »

Introduction to Economic Indicators

Measure the performance of the economy.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

Major Fraud Alert

The entire Federal Banking System under FirstGov has been "Consumed" and "Levied" by way of a Maryland State Circuit/District Court Ruled “Appropriation and Garnishment” of all Future Earnings prior to and after 2004 against Bank Of America by way of the F.D.I.C. Regulations Prohibiting failing Banks from Merging with other failing Banks between the Dates of 08/04/08 and 10/09/09.

Bank of America violated the 21st Century Act: Final Amendments to Regulation CC Section: http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/press/bcreg/2004/20040726/attachment.pdf

seeking reimbursement of Credit, Loan, and Finance Balances as a "Bank Entity" and not a "Nonbank Consumer" as specified on Pages 85 and 86.

The person they sued through a LLC. Debt Collection Company and Law Firm was the "World Fortune Owner" who "Counterclaimed" and won.

Now all Contracts of any Corporations (Including Employment) under the "Controlling Interest" of any Investment Bank Worldwide are "Null and Void", and are also under the stipulated Rules and Regulations of an "Closely-held S Corporation rendering all Employed under Legal Actions against “Domination”, and also means that "No Corporation can hold Shares" officially making every Stock Exchange on the Planet a "Ponzi Scheme" by default.

Businesses owned by the States (Public Corporations) are being sold Stock Shares by Corporations also under the Federal Banking System in this Worldwide "Ponzi Scheme". The World Fortune Company Merrick Inc. Sweden is dissolving Millions and Billions of Dollars from "All Levels of Government"in the U.S. of Financing based upon Years of "negligent inaction" involving this case.

The Federal Government has already been forced to discontinue supplying the Financing States use to pay their debts, Persons in Government Offices may want to begin to take their jobs more seriously, these are different times from 10 Years ago and you will not be accepted civil servants here just because you say you are here to do the right thing.

May 29 2011 at 1:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


February 22 2011 at 4:18 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Nothing the gov. has ever worked for the mass of citizens, only the theives and banksters have made money. If you dont beleave me just look at 1933 history, the million aires made out. It took a cooked up war [ ww2] to put out as many dead and what ever else, for any money to reach the poor. ED

February 22 2011 at 11:11 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to erf4638's comment


February 22 2011 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Military probably planned a takeover from the beginning.


February 22 2011 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Military probably planned a takeover from the beginning.

February 22 2011 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'd like to see The Fed audited and ended. I'd like to see the IRS replaced by a fair tax. I'd like to see Obamacare replaced with the Physicians for a national health program. I'd like to see the dollar put back on the gold standard. we need to get back to fiscal basics! please!

February 22 2011 at 10:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We need to stop worrying about these other countries. I am so sick of them always using some excuse to raise the price of oil. Back in the Bush error it was all the hurricanes that were in the gulf then the Iraq war. What happened to that food for oil thing we never heard another word did we? This is all BS so these oil companies can make billions of dollar profits and never investing it back into thing like refineries that are to old just another excuse they have used. This country has gone to hell for nothing but the purpose of greed.

February 22 2011 at 9:39 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to scrappydobdo's comment

Frankly, the price of gas is regulated - not by what is happening in other countries- but by wall street and the gamblers. Offset your gas prices at the pump by playing DIG/DUG. All prices are panic driven as is supply and demand. Look what happend to Smith and Wesson, gun sales and ammo when the sky was falling in 2008/09. You couldn't buy them on the shelves and the stock skyrocketed, briefly.

February 22 2011 at 11:06 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Mr. Burrows: As I have commented previously, I believe the small investor should be giving CONSIDERATION to how he/she might HEDGE (financial) ((this term can be found in Wikipedia)) their holdings against a downturn in the stock market. For those with small cash reserves a 3X Short (Bearish) ETF ((such as BGZ, short the Russell)) MIGHT meeet their needs if/when a serious downturn does transpire. Again, my point is that it might be wise for the small investor to plan ahead to protect themselves if the need should arise. And, again, they will need some cash available to hedge.

February 22 2011 at 8:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bfpowersjr's comment

Sell baby sell get out now, the little fish will be fodder for the big sharks

February 22 2011 at 11:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is what happens when our Washington leaders flap their lips with promises, don't plan for the future, and refuse to consider the end result of poor mis - management. Yesterday, I watched Alan Grayson (d-Ohio) rip the Inspector General in regards for not accounting for ONE TRILLION dollars. How could the US government be so careless with our money. I have to go to court tomorrow to fight wells fargo cause they lost the note, and want to foreclosre cause I have a FAnnie. Easy bucks for Wells Fargo. I hope the stock market tanks today Big Time. Wall street needs some karma. None of US will be able to get ourselves out of this poor hole until we hit bottom. Then we all can start going up hill.
Let's face, TARP did not work.

February 22 2011 at 8:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply