John Wilen for the Associated Press says that analysts had expected the opposite, that supplies would rise for the eighth straight time. Instead, they fell by 3.1 million barrels. Adding insult to injury, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said it wasn’t going to increase production.
In the service sector, the numbers were better than expected and calmed some fears about the economy, says Tim Paradis for the Associated Press. The Institute for Supply Management said that while activity in the sector declined in February, the drop-off wasn’t as steep as Wall Street had feared. They’ll take their good news where they can get it, because January’s reading had been a steep drop.
Several of the service sector-focused ETFs were lower in midday trading, including the Retail HOLDRs (RTH), Consumer Discretionary SPDR (XLY), Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) and iShares Dow Jones US Financial Services (IYG).
For full disclosure, some of Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of IEO.
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