Tag Archive: Crude Oil

Crude Contradictions Therefore Uncertainty And Big Volatility

This one took some real, well, talent. It was late morning on April 11, the crude oil market was in some distress. The price was falling faster, already down sharply over just the preceding two weeks. Going from $115 per barrel to suddenly less than $95, there was some real fear there.But what really caught my attention was the flattening WTI futures curve.

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I Told You It *Wasn’t* Money Printing; How The Fed Helped Cause, But Can’t Solve, Our Current ‘Inflation’

Trust the Fed. Ha! It’s one thing for money dealers to look upon Jay Powell’s stash of bank reserves with remarkable disdain, more immediately damning when effects of the same liquidity premiums in the real economy create serious frictions leaving the entire world exposed to the consequences. When all is said and done, the Federal Reserve has created its own doom-loop from which it won’t likely escape.

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Weekly Market Pulse: What Now?

The yield curve inverted last week. Well, the part everyone watches, the 10 year/2 year Treasury yield spread, inverted, closing the week a solid 7 basis points in the negative. The difference between the 10 year and 2 year Treasury yields is not the yield curve though. The 10/2 spread is one point on the Treasury yield curve which is positively sloped from 1 month to 3 years, negatively sloped from 3 years to 10 years and positively sloped again...

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Weekly Market Pulse: Is This A Bear Market?

I don’t know the answer to the question posed in the title. No one does because the future is not predictable. I don’t know what will happen in Ukraine. I don’t know how much what has already happened there – and what might – matters to the US and global economy. I don’t know if the Fed is making a mistake by (likely) hiking interest rates by an entire 1/4 of 1% this week.

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Weekly Market Pulse: Fear Makes A Comeback

Fear tends to manifest itself much more quickly than greed, so volatile markets tend to be on the downside. In up markets, volatility tends to gradually decline.

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One Shock Case For ‘Irrational Exuberance’ Reaching A Quarter-Century

Have oil producers shot themselves in the foot, while at the same time stabbing the global economy in the back? It’d be quite a feat if it turns out to be the case, one of those historical oddities that when anyone might honestly look back on it from the future still hung in disbelief. Let’s start by reviewing just the facts.

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Playing Dominoes

That was fast. Just yesterday I said watch out for when the oil curve flips from backwardation to contango. When it does, that’s not a good sign. Generally speaking, it means something has changed with regard to future expectations, at least one of demand, supply, or also money/liquidity.

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Weekly Market Pulse: Has Inflation Peaked?

The headlines last Friday were ominous: Inflation Hits Highest Level in Nearly 40 Years. Inflation is Painfully High… Groceries and Christmas Presents Are Going To Cost More. Inflation is Soaring..

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Far Longer And Deeper Than Just The Past Few Months

Hurricane Ida swept up the Gulf of Mexico and slammed into the Louisiana coastline on August 29. The storm would continue to wreak havoc even as it weakened the further inland it traversed. By September 1 and 2, the system was still causing damage and disruption into the Northeast of the United States.

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Perfect Time To Review What Is, And What Is Not, Inflation (and why it matters so much)

It is costing more to live and be, so naturally people are looking for who it is they need to blame. Maybe figure out some way to stop it. You know and feel for the basics since everyone’s perceptions begin with costs of just living. This is what makes the subject of inflation so difficult, even more so in the era of QE.

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Weekly Market Pulse: As Clear As Mud

Is there anyone left out there who doesn’t know the rate of economic growth is slowing? The 10 year Treasury yield has fallen 45 basis points since peaking in mid-March. 10 year TIPS yields have fallen by the same amount and now reside below -1% again. Copper prices peaked a little later (early May), fell 16% at the recent low and are still down nearly 12% from the highs.

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Another Round of Transitory: US Retail Sales & (revised) IP

Same stuff, different month. We can basically reprint both what was described yesterday about supply curves not keeping up with exaggerated demand as well as the past two months of commentary on Retail Sales plus Industrial Production each for the US. Quite on the nose, US demand for goods, anyway, is eroding if still artificially very high.

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Extending the Summer Slowdown

A big splurge in September, and then not much more in October. While it would be consistent for many to focus on the former, instead there is much about the latter which, for once, is feeding growing concerns. Retail sales, American consumer spending on goods, has been the one (outside of economically insignificant housing) bright spot since summer

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Counting The Corroborated Stall, Not The Coming Lawfare Election Mess

While we wait for the electoral count to be sorted out by what we hope are competent and honest people (not holding our breath), there’s a greater muddle growing where it actually counts and where it’s never fully nor properly accounted. By a large and growing number of accounts, the US economy’s rebound seems to have stalled out back around June or July, an inflection unrelated to COVID case counts, too.

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COT Black: German Factories, Oklahoma Tank Farms, And FRBNY

I wrote a few months ago that Germany’s factories have been the perfect example of the eurodollar squeeze. The disinflationary tendency that even central bankers can’t ignore once it shows up in the global economy as obvious headwinds. What made and still makes German industry noteworthy is the way it has unfolded and continues to unfold. The downtrend just won’t stop.

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The Path Clear For More Rate Cuts, If You Like That Sort of Thing

If you like rate cuts and think they are powerful tools to help manage a soft patch, then there was good news in two international oil reports over the last week. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) cut its forecast for global demand growth for the seventh straight month. On Friday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) downgraded its estimates for the third time in four months.

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Monthly Macro Monitor: Well Worried

Don’t waste your time worrying about things that are well worried. Well worried. One of the best turns of phrase I’ve ever heard in this business that has more than its fair share of adages and idioms. It is also one of the first – and best – lessons I learned from my original mentor in this business. The things you see in the headlines, the things everyone is already worried about, aren’t usually worth fretting over.

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Living In The Present

It’s that time of year again, time to cast the runes, consult the iChing, shake the Magic Eight Ball and read the tea leaves. What will happen in 2019? Will it be as bad as 2018 when positive returns were hard to come by, as rare as affordable health care or Miami Dolphin playoff games? Will China’s economy succumb to the pressure of US tariffs and make a deal?

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Industrial Fading

It is time to start paying attention to PMI’s again, some of them. There are those like the ISM’s Manufacturing Index which remains off in a world of its own. The version of the goods economy suggested by this one index is very different than almost every other. It skyrocketed in late summer last year way out of line (highest in more than a decade) with any other economic account.

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Monthly Macro Monitor – November 2018

Is the Fed’s monetary tightening about over? Maybe, maybe not but there does seem to be some disagreement between Jerome Powell and his Vice Chair, Richard Clarida. Powell said just a little over a month ago that the Fed Funds rate was still “a long way from neutral” and that the Fed may ultimately need to go past neutral.

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