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Dow Trades at Over 18,000, First Since July 2015

FILE - A trader is seen working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

FILE - A trader is seen working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose back above 18,000 during Monday's trading for the first time this year, a level not seen since July 2015. Both the Dow and S&P 500 touched new 2016 highs in Monday trade, despite no agreement on a crude oil production freeze among the 16 major petroleum producers meeting in Doha, Qatar over the weekend. Perhaps the market is not as married to oil prices as it once was?

The big winner was Hasbro as it reported an 83% increase in first quarter earnings due to the strength in its Star Wars, Disney Princess and Disney Frozen merchandise. Shares were trading almost 6 percent higher on the stellar results. Consumer Discretionary was the strongest of the 10 S&P 500 sectors followed by healthcare.

The major U.S. indices have soared since the February 11 low and are now just trading below resistance, in other words, all-time highs. If we can break through those key levels, traders think we could easily see 2100 in the S&P 500. That is over 14 percent off the lows in just two months. So, this could potentially be a record-breaking week on Wall Street.

Where will oil go from here?

There are a few factors contributing to the bullish argument for crude: Kuwait strike, U.S. production down 700,000 barrels per day, demand is improving and the June OPEC meeting. The key questions are when will global supply peak, and where does oil go from here? Jason Bennett, Co-Head of International Global Projects at Baker Botts, a global law firm specializing in the energy, technology and life sciences sectors, believes that the global oil supply has already peaked.

“At this price, I think the oil supply has probably peaked. There is plenty of spare production capacity that could be brought on-line, but there is also a fair amount of current production that is likely not economic at today’s prices,” Bennett said. “Those two effects likely offset one another going forward. That being said, the real story is demand – oil supply has plenty of room to grow as demand increases and prices respond.”

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