In late 2014, when crude oil was vacillating between roughly $60 and $80 a barrel, Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service called for a plunge in crude prices over the next year. Now, Kloza sees further downside for the commodity that's already tumbled nearly 8 percent this year as U.S. production keeps climbing. "Back to the drawing board for crude oil prices," he remarked Friday in an interview on CNBC's "Trading Nation." Kloza's comments come on the heels of crude oil's worst weekly performance since early March, in which the commodity lost nearly 7 percent to settle just below $50 a barrel. "It's the sense that too much gasoline and really a drop in U.S. demand in particular, but a little bit of softness in India and some other places, is going to lead to an undertow for refinery runs," Kloza, who co-founded the Oil Price Information Service and is the firm's global head of energy analysis, said Friday.
So much for people using their tax refund checks for a few splurges at fast casual restaurant Chipotle (CMG) in the first quarter. Same-store sales for the restaurant industry fell 1.6% in the first quarter, marking the fifth consecutive quarter of negative results, according to industry research firm Black Box Intelligence. The last time the industry experienced a similar ugly period was in 2009 and the first half of 2010 as the economy was in the grips of the Great Recession. Restaurant traffic plunged 3.6% in the quarter, says Black Box Intelligence, with the average check up 1.9%. The increase in check is of little comfort: it's slower than the average 2.3% increase seen in 2016 as brands
If Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) had one foot in the grave coming into the year, then it has just dipped the second foot into a six foot hole. The dying retailer said in a new filing on Friday that same-store sales since the start of the year crashed 11.9% between its two banners. Excluding one-time gains related to the sale of the Craftsman tool business and certain real estate, Sears lost between $190 million to $230 million. That is worse than a year ago when it lost $181 million. Shares of Sears fell slightly to $13.35 in early trading on Monday. Sears also announced the departure of CFO Jason Hollar, who had only been on the job for about six months. The company hinted strongly it will move