Happy New Year Everyone: Oil Hits the Magic Number


And a fond hello on a day when the markets have already made history.

Today the price of a barrel of crude oil briefly touched $100 a barrel. Yeah, I know. You’d think that maybe because it was a New Year, the oil pricing gods would do something different to celebrate the occasion, but no, it ain’t going to happen. Current price levels have oil trading around $99.42.

Reasons for the uptick today? Same old, same old. Plus some African-based tension to add to the angst. Inventory levels were less than expected last week (we’ll have new ones tomorrow), and there is the continued drop in the value of the dollar. However, traders are also a bit nervous about news out of Africa today, as there was an attack on Nigeria’s Port Harcourt, a major oil industry hub.

As you can imagine, this rosy news has sent shares of airline stocks skittering for cover.

Yep, now I really am sounding like a broken record, aren’t I?

If you haven’t been paying much attention to airline stocks as you basked in the warm glow of the holidays, you’re in for a rather nasty awakening. We’d been talking in December about the continued drop in airline stocks — and unfortunately the news just continues to get worse.

If you haven’t checked your favorite airline stock of late — it’s going to be an eye-opener.

As we post this, here’s just a smattering of the latest prices we’re looking at for the sector.

American Airlines, down 3% to 13.54.

Continental Airlines, down about 4%, at 21.42.

Delta Air Lines, down almost 8% at 13.74.

US Airways, down 7% at 13.63.

Southwest Airlines, down 1% to 12.12.

Northwest Airlines, down 10% to 13.10

United Airlines, down 9% to 32.48. 

Tickers: (NYSE:AMR); (NYSE:LUV); (NYSE:NWA); (Nasdaq: UAUA); (NYSE: LCC); (NYSE:CAL), (NYSE:DAL).