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Iran Strike Called Off, U.S. Refinery Blows Up

Mark Vickery
Is (HAS) Outperforming Other Consumer Discretionary Stocks This Year?

Friday, June 21, 2019

On the heels of another robust trading day — bringing the S&P 500 index to all-time highs, as well as striking distance of 3000 points — we’re seeing a slight pullback this morning in the pre-markets. Perhaps a bit of this is booking profits at the end of the third-straight up-weeks on major U.S. indexes, but growing tensions in the Middle East may have something to do with it, as well.

Last night, a military strike on select defense bases in Iran was called off at the last minute by President Trump, against the interests of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton. Missile silos and radar stations were in the sites of the U.S. military aircraft, already airborne, at the time of the stand-down order from the Commander in Chief.

Obviously, tensions have increased greatly in the region, following the shooting down of an American drone over the Strait of Hormuz, which followed attacks on foreign oil tankers near the strait that the U.S. blamed on Iranian aggression. All of this came after Trump tore up the accord the Obama administration had reached with the Islamic republic, whereby nuclear proliferation would be halted and trade embargoes lifted. Now Iran is announcing it is reconstituting its nuclear capacities.

What happens next is anyone’s guess. It is not immediately clear why Trump changed his mind on the military mission, so it’s too early to say whether tensions are cooling in the region or not. For more on what this topic may mean for investors, click here: Middle East Tensions Perk Up Oil Prices: Here’s How to Profit

Also, a massive explosion at an oil refinery — the largest and oldest on the Eastern Seaboard — occurred overnight at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex. Amazingly, no one was killed in the blast. This morning, reports are that the fire has been contained but not fully put out. The refinery produces over 330K barrels per day.

Oil futures are up on the news, but only slightly, although gasoline futures are likely to head northward today. Fortunately, this disaster did not happen while a majority of the plant’s workforce was on the job. We will monitor this situation as the day goes on, as well.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

Questions or comments about this article and/or its author? Click here>>

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