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Commodities (58)

Admin

Will Oil's Fall Damage The Rally?

I have to throw a flag in from the sidelines calling foul on the learned men on CNBCs Fast Money table Friday (video below) as traders remain bullish on the big screen.  In fact, they do not believe crude's fall will impact our rally.  Really?  Josh Brown stated there was no correlation b/w the price of oil and the S&P500 and did their level best to downplay the selling in crude oil.  Alright, overlay a comparison chart (left) and you won't see black gold having an enormous impact on the market with a few exceptions BUT, the energy complex represents an average of 6.9% of U.S. GDP. 

If it's a bear market, this changes the…

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Admin

Reverting To The Mean

You'll hear "reverting to the mean" or "mean reversion" bandied about occasionally however not on a daily basis......unless you're watching gold's long sell off since it's explosion to the upside.  According to Investopedia, mean reversion is:

A theory suggesting that prices and returns eventually move back towards the mean or average. This mean or average can be the historical average of the price or return or another relevant average such as the growth in the economy or the average return of an industry.

Case in point is my theory that commodities are/have been doing just that.  Click on this long term chart of the CRB Index for a better view.

After decades trading in a wide range, commodities took off as the dotcom bubble broke in 2000. …

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Admin

China's state-controlled energy giant Sinopec wants to sell some long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) import deals as a slowing economy makes them unprofitable, sources say, signalling the end of a five-year boom fueled by rising Chinese demand.

Kos here:  Note LNG and GLNG are two names in this space.  LNG shown left - click chart to enlarge..

Asia's thirst for energy has helped drive a "dash for gas" in producer countries from Australia to Canada, with LNG emerging as the fastest growing fuel source since the beginning of the century on the back of soaring Chinese imports. But just as long-planned projects…

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Admin

Energy Contagion - The Big Unknown

Indeed, I've read much concern over this area as oil collapsed so it does merit a warning.  From ZeroHedge:

The S&P 500 Energy sector stocks are down over 12% year-to-date, tumbling over 3% today to fresh 20-month lows. The spread (or risk) of high-yield energy credits surged again today, breaking above 850bps for the first time... The overall high-yield credit market is being dragged wider by this contagion as hedgers try to contain the collapse that is possible. For now,…

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Admin

Breakeven Price On Oil

It's been bandied about a great deal lately so I thought I would post these graphics from CNBC to make things simpler to understand.  Clearly some drilling projects require higher prices to remain profitable while others, maybe not so much.  To explain a little on the price spreads, it all comes down to "when" each project was established where older ones may be require updating technology speaking and higher maintenance costs where newer ones are utilizing higher-tech equipment and can operate at a lower price on oil to break even.   Cost is also affected by how deep they have to drill to reach oil and how many barrels per day it puts out versus how much you invested in the well.  Clearly Saudi Arabia has the advantage but as they do, they drain their cash reserves (as does everyone else).…

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Admin

Energy On Sale But Few Are Buying

After Friday's spectacular 10% sell off in black gold, I went back to my earlier post on shorting crude oil and felt pretty darn good as I made myself a turkey sandwich for lunch.  Some would say it was a capitulation bottom but I just didn't see the volume which would come with such a move.   Yes there was heavy selling but it was funds getting OUT of energy names and forced selling - not buying a dip.  Sure, it can snap back and a near term bottom is most likely in but I will not be trading that.  The top is in in my opinion.  I will view any move higher (without an event risk occurring) as an opportunity to re-short at a higher level.

I still believe the entire sector is…

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Admin

Swiss Referendum. A Wrench In The Works For Whom

As polls continue to swing around ahead of the Swiss gold referendum on 30th November, we expect increased volatility in the FX and gold market.  After the implementation of the EURCHF floor, gold’s share of the SNB balance sheet has fallen to 7.5% from around 30% in 2007 (top chart).  The SNB has already pointed out the untenable nature of the peg should the referendum pass, but the impact on the gold market would also be significant.  Taking the current balance sheet of 522bn CHF and spot gold prices, the requirement to hold at least 20% of assets in gold would necessitate buying 1,800 tonnes of gold over 5 years.  Total global production in 2013 was 2,982 tonnes, thus the SNB would need to buy at least 10% of the annual production every year for the next 5 years.

The bottom chart shows the latest composition of the SNB’s FX…

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Admin

Countries Hurt By Lower Crude Oil

As the price of oil extends a free fall that began this summer, countries around the world that rely on oil revenues are bracing for an imminent economic and budget hit.  The drop is widening budget gaps in the Gulf states like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain that rely heavily on oil to pay government services.

With oil and gas production accounting for some 70% of Russia's government spending, Moscow also faces a big shortfall—after budgeting based on $100-a-barrel oil for 2015. Russia's economic growth was already slowing before the plunge in oil prices. Trade sanctions imposed by the U.S. and Europe—in response to the…

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Admin

Short Black Gold? Commodity Deflation

Oil production in North America is booming, crude oil today hitting new 4-year lows, and it is now beginning to have a huge impact on global hydrocarbon markets. In fact, some believe that the U.S. will eventually overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s biggest producer of the key commodity, with some calling for the surge to happen by the end of the decade and OPEC is left if in a precarious situation.  If they cut production, prices may rise but they also risk losing customers to another provider (the U.S. or Russia).  If they do not cut production, prices will likely continue to fall due to excess capacity worldwide. 

This push towards energy self-sufficiency is largely thanks to the combination of fracking and oil shale, as previously unobtainable supplies are now…

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Admin

Lower Oil Spawns Numerous Opportunities

As many Western economies are seemingly slowing down again, with most of them still struggling with stubbornly high unemployment levels, they will only benefit from the current sharp drop in oil prices which will stimulate the global economy. Moreover, countries now have the opportunity to replenish stocks and protect themselves against future price hikes. Stockpiling begs the question: how long will prices remain relatively low compared to recent years? Will they fall further? $60 would certainly kick start substantial economic activity or will supply be rained back?

In the past, we have seen the US and its Western partners put pressure on OPEC, and the world's only swing producer Saudi Arabia, to increase supply so as to lower prices or maintain price stability. Are we about to see them…

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Admin

Beware Old Man Winter (again?)

If the Old Farmers Almanac is even semi accurate, it looks as though it's going to be another nasty Winter - colder than last year (!) ahead thanks to the sun's activity.  According to this video (below) this forecast is nothing to shake a stick at as allegedly they have an 80% accuracy but only time will tell. 

Of course, the folks back home in Chicago will immediately roll their eyes and sigh in pure disgust and they have the right to after the "polar vortex" that rolled through the area last January.  Not only were schools shut and streets impassable but even expressways, covered with salt as fast as they could spread it, froze and brought commuters and semis to a stand still.  Supplies were cutoff across the nation and insurers definitely had to have felt the pain.

Seems I relocated to Texas…

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Admin

Who Will Quench China's Thirst For Crude Oil

In September 2013, China became the biggest net importer of crude, beating out the U.S. for the first time. This came as no surprise, given how rapidly China’s thirst for oil has grown, although landing in top place happened a little ahead of U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) predictions that it would take place in 2014. However, where the U.S. has been shoring up its own internal production, China has lagged behind. Between 2011 and 2014, U.S. oil production rose by 31 percent, as opposed to China, which saw its own production increase by a little more than 5 percent over that time. This leaves China utterly dependent on oil imports, a vulnerable position to be in at a time when its economy is beginning to wobble.

China’s demand for black gold is only set to increase, causing it to spend a staggering $500…

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Admin

Gold Bulls Take Care

I can’t tell you that gold is a bad investment. Even after the recent plunge, if you bought gold in 2004, your investment would have earned you an annualized rate of about 10.4 percent, after accounting for inflation. That is darned impressive. If you bought in 1994, it would have earned about 3.9 percent per year -- not too shabby. Even if you bought all the way back in 1984, you would have earned 1.8 percent in real terms. (Of course, this assumes that shadowstats.com is wrong, and that inflation hasn’t been massively understated.)

In addition to delivering decent long-term returns, gold has been a way to spread or offset…

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Admin

While it's obvious nothing will be done until after mid term elections this Fall and new officials are sworn it, it would appear there's hope for appropriations in the drilling and exploration area going to next year.   Per GovTrack.us

H.Res. 641: Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 4899) to lower gasoline prices for the American family by increasing domestic ...

... onshore and offshore energy exploration and production, to streamline and improve onshore and offshore energy permitting and administration,…

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Admin

Filling up at the pump yesterday, paying $3.79 for low grade made me wonder.  Aren't you supposed to be kissed before you get screwed over?  Captain Obvious over the last few years is the disconnect between gasoline demand/usage in the U.S. vs. price when it comes to the stinky stuff and that price chart certainly looks like a large, bull flag which should make your head spin at the potential increase ahead unless something changes.  Surely the gentleman next to me would have to sell a body part or small child to fill up his enormous SUV.  Fool with that huge tank but he thinks he looks slick.  The powers that be decided they wanted us to become accustomed to $3/gal and it seems that we have unfortunately but I have to keep saying it, the demand just does not justify the price of oil without a supply disruption or military crisis in the Middle East.  As much as I hate to say it, the Prius is beginning to…

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Admin

(edited 1:18pm to add U.S. projections)

Germans have now achieved goals, which coal industry skeptics have been claiming for the last 40 years could not be achieved even by 2050 and is is rapidly becoming a model country for transitions to renewable and sustainable energy proving that "yes, a transition to a renewable energy economy can be done, and it can be down with continuous improvement to existing technology.

Germans have a special word for it -"'Energiewende', or energy transformation - which aims to power the entire country by renewable resources by 2050." Germans are now laying down a challenge for other countries saying there is no longer any excuse for countries to say this is impossible.

June 6, 2014 was a record breaking day for the solar power industry in Germany when the country broke through the…

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Admin

I'm Not Insane, No, Maybe

For all you doubters out there, yes I have out my pompoms on the move in gold and silver this week.  You scoffed in March when I said a right shoulder could be formed.  Then again chuckled in April and May 3rd but I ask you who's laughing now?  Already I'm seeing tweets of a possible H&SB and I'm comfortably long SLV calls, enjoying the sunshine.  Scoff all you wish you financial gurus.  Charts don't lie; people do.

This daily for GLD and SLV is intriguing, showing both breaking out of falling wedges (they should test support which would be great to get in or add more shares or calls).…

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Admin
The investigation is looking into whether single cargoes of metal were used multiple times to obtain financing, according to industry sources. Trading houses and banks have sent executives to the port to physically check on their exposure, while some banks have stopped new metal financing to some clients in China. Traders said holders of copper in Qingdao that were having difficulty obtaining finance could also be forced to deliver

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Admin

LNG Has "No Climate Benefits" Says DoE

An explosive new report from the U.S. Department of Energy makes clear that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is likely a climate-destroying misallocation of resources.

That is, if one uses estimates for methane leakage based on actual observations.

This is the same conclusion I reached back in 2012, based on

  • Emerging analyses of how even a relatively low leakage rate in the natural gas production and delivery system negate its climate benefit, and
  • A 2009 EU report on how the energy-intensive liquefaction process and transportation further increase LNG emissions.…

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Admin

Iron Ore Prices; Why Over Supply Continues

In Game of Thrones, one of my favorite shows today, you either win - or die.  Usually via beheading.

Such is the same with iron ore miners.

In a industry with heavy debt, production continues with smaller players possibly undercutting prices to gain or retain market share but can they continue against larger players such as BHP and RTP or is the Game of Thrones strategy to give big players an M&A opportunity?  ft.com takes a…

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