Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Stocks rally after oil refinery explodes, kills hundreds

BATON ROUGE, La.—(TYDN) Stocks jumped higher Tuesday, bolstered by an upswing in crude prices, after the nation’s largest oil refinery by daily output exploded, killing hundreds of workers and nearby residents, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.
TYDN Photo: Pat Joyce

Analysts said the explosion came at a perfect time. Crude prices have been hovering at modern, all-time lows as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries continues to rebuff demands to ease output, which would lift prices. With the explosion, 500,000 barrels of oil per day are now out of circulation—prompting an immediate 8 percent spike in crude prices in the disaster’s aftermath.

“Given OPEC’s resistance to production cuts, continued accidents in refineries are our only immediate hope of increasing prices and lifting our portfolio values,” Smith-Barney analyst Blake Jorgstein told TheYellowDailyNews in an exclusive interview. “The market is really fortunate that this explosion came when it did.”

Markets cheer. Photo: thetaxhaven
Investigators have not said what sparked the blast here at the ExxonMobil-owned Baton Rouge Refinery. A thick black plume of soot and smoke could be seen miles away from the disaster.

Shares of ExxonMobil, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, rallied 6 percent and were moving higher in after-hours trading.