This Week’s Market Buzz

• Oil prices slipped at press time after industry data showed a surprise increase in U.S. crude inventories that revived pandemic-related fuel demand concerns, while U.S. stimulus hopes buoyed prices. Brent crude futures fell 3 cents to $56.05 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures settled 18 cents, or 0.3%, lower at $53.13 per barrel.

• Equities analysts expect Smart Sand Inc. to post sales of $19.19 million for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reported. Three analysts have made estimates for Smart Sand’s earnings. The lowest sales estimate is $18.73 million and the highest is $19.64 million. Smart Sand posted sales of $47.67 million during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a negative year-over-year growth rate of 59.7%.

• Schlumberger CEO Olivier Le Peuch looked ahead, stating, “Regarding the macro outlook, oil prices have risen, buoyed by recent supply-led OPEC+ policy, the ongoing COVID-19 vaccine rollout, and multinational economic stimulus actions, driving optimism for an oil demand recovery throughout 2021. We believe this sets the stage for oil demand to recover to 2019 levels no later than 2023, or earlier as per recent industry analysts’ reports, reinforcing a multiyear cycle recovery as the global economy strengthens. Absent a setback in these macro assumptions, this will translate to meaningful activity increases both in North America and internationally. In North America, spending and activity momentum will continue in the first half of 2021 towards maintenance levels, albeit moderated by capital discipline and industry consolidation. Internationally, following the seasonal effects of the first quarter of 2021, and as OPEC+ responds to strengthening oil demand, higher spending is expected from the second quarter of 2021 onwards. Accelerated activity will extend beyond the short-cycle markets and will be broad, including offshore, as witnessed during the fourth quarter.”

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