Stock Market Today: Stocks Finish Mixed After Surprise OPEC+ Announcement

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies over the weekend announced a surprise cut to crude production.

silhouettes of petroleum wells collecting crude at sunset
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It was a mixed start to the new week, month and quarter for stocks. 

But while the major indexes took different directions Monday, oil prices and energy stocks made decidedly strong moves higher. This came after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) over the weekend announced a surprise production cut. 

On Sunday, members of the oil cartel, which includes Saudi Arabia, said they will reduce oil production by more than 1 million barrels per day beginning in May. This adds to the 2 million barrels per-day output cut the group agreed to in late 2022. The headlines sent U.S. crude futures spiking 6.0% to $80.24 per barrel – their highest settlement since early March. Energy shares also rose on the news, with blue chip stocks Chevron (CVX, +4.2%) and Exxon Mobil (XOM, +5.9%) among the day's biggest gainers.

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"While the announcement may be good news to U.S. energy companies and their shareholders, it is creating another challenge for central banks that are seeking to stymie price increases without sparking recessions," says José Torres, senior economist at Interactive Brokers.

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Indeed, the Institute for Supply Management said early Monday that its purchasing managers index (PMI), which measures manufacturing activity in the U.S., fell to 46.3% in March from February's 47.7% reading. This was the lowest level since May 2020 and the fifth straight month the index has been below 50, which signals contraction.

"The oil price shock and the ISM data collectively reflect powerful forces supporting higher inflation amidst deteriorating economic growth," Torres adds.

In single-stock news, Tesla (TSLA) fell 6.1% after the electric car maker said it delivered 422,875 vehicles in the first quarter – up roughly 36% year-over-year but still below the 432,000 deliveries that analysts were expecting, according to FactSet. 

CFRA Research analyst Garrett Nelson categorized the delivery figures as a "mild disappointment." However, "with the Austin and Berlin plants continuing to ramp up, first deliveries of the Cybertruck expected in the coming months, a forthcoming factory in Mexico, and a low-priced coupe that we believe will be introduced in 2024," Nelson told clients "the Tesla story has a lot going for it and we reiterate our Strong Buy recommendation."

As for the major indexes, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 1.0% at 33,601 and the S&P 500 added 0.4% to 4,124. The Nasdaq Composite, however, slipped 0.3% to 12,189.

As a reminder, it's a short week for investors, with the stock market closed for Good Friday.

April is a good month to buy stocks

Bullish investors have at least one thing on their side right now: seasonality. "April happens to be one of the best months for the S&P 500," says Michael Reinking, senior market strategist for the New York Stock Exchange, adding that this is especially true in pre-election years. "Since 1970, the average pre-election return for the month is up ~3.2% (median 3.6%), closing higher in 10 of 11 instances," Reinking says.

Investors looking to ride the hot hand of the market during a historically strong month should seek out the best tech stocks or the best communication services stocks, as these have been the top two sectors so far this year. Meanwhile, some of the best value stocks can currently be found in the energy and financial sectors. And regardless of what history says about the direction the market may or may not take in the near term, investors should always focus on quality when seeking out the best stocks to buy right now.

Karee Venema
Contributing Editor,

With over a decade of experience writing about the stock market, Karee Venema is an investing editor and options expert at She joined the publication in April 2021 after 10 years of working as an investing writer and columnist at Schaeffer's Investment Research. In her previous role, Karee focused primarily on options trading, as well as technical, fundamental and sentiment analysis.