Oil prices rise on leaked information. That is right! The jobs report was leaked causing a rally in the stock market! Who got their hands on this valuable inside information and leaked it to the marketplace at large? Well believe it or not it was Obama himself. What!? I know! Yet that is exactly what he did. Speaking at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, the President said, “After losing an average of 750,000 jobs a month during the winter of last year, we have now added jobs for five of the last six months, and we expect to see strong job growth in Friday's report.” Ah ha!!! Do you think he knows something? Now that is just one day after the Vice President Joe Biden said that the upcoming May employment report would show a much larger number of jobs created than in the previous month, when 290,000 jobs were added. Do you think he knows something? Ok, silly question. But of course the market took the President seriously anyway helping to drive stocks and the oil market higher.
Why oil? Well based on improving U.S. demand expectations on better U.S. jobs outlook we might actually consume more oil. That thought was enforced by some pretty strong auto sales data. It seems that in the Month of May while the stock market was tanking auto sales were soaring! Maybe some people were taking their stock profits to buy new cars. Ford, GM and Chrysler all saw double digit sales gains over May of a year ago according to the AP. The AP reported, “May marked the seventh straight month of year-over-year sales increases for the auto industry. Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., and Chrysler Group L.L.C. saw double-digit sales gains over the same month last year, when GM was headed into bankruptcy, joining Chrysler.” The AP also said that, “most Asian and European-based automakers also posted big gains last month. The exception was Toyota Motor Corp. The Japanese automaker has relied on generous discounts the last three months to keep its sales afloat after huge safety recalls. Those incentives appeared to lose their luster in May, because sales rose just 7%. Only Lexus matched the performance of rivals. The luxury brand saw sales rise 31%. Industry wide sales rose just over 19% in May compared with last year, and 12.3% compared with April.”
And what did people do with all those beautiful new cars? Well believe it or not they put gas in them! According to the MasterCard SpendingPulse report gasoline demand increased by 3.7% last week which according to Barbara Powel at Bloomberg News was the largest amount of demand since August 2007. Over all fuel consumption is 5% above a year earlier according to the report and daily fuel use over the past four weeks averaged 9.46 million barrels a day, up 2.2% from a year earlier. Year-to-date, demand is up 1.2% from 2009. The increase was helped by the fact that gas prices fell. The MasterCard report showed that the average pump price for regular gasoline fell 8¢ to $2.75 a gallon.
Obama not only inspired higher energy prices with leaking the jobs report results but by talking about ways to increase your energy costs. Obama, never one to let a crisis get away declared, "The time has come to aggressively accelerate that transition [to clean energy]. The time has come, once and for all, for this nation to fully embrace a clean energy future. That means continuing our unprecedented effort to make everything from our homes and businesses to our cars and trucks more energy efficient. It means tapping into our natural gas reserves, and moving ahead with our plan to expand our nation's fleet of nuclear power plants. And it means rolling back billions of dollars in tax breaks to oil companies so we can prioritize investments in clean energy research and development." Of course who is going to pay for those “billions of dollars in tax breaks” that the oil companies have been getting? You guessed it! You are!
The BP oil spill is going to make Obama do whatever he can to pass cap and trade. He is going to try to take a negative and turn it into a positive. And if his drive to get his health care bill passed is any indication on how he operates, it is clear that the gloves are going to come off. Get ready to rumble. Not that all of Obama’s ideas on energy are bad. His continued open minded attitude on drilling, nuclear power and natural gas is an admission that taxes and carbon caps cannot solve our energy problems.
The problem for the oil bears right now is that the world is once again optimistic that the economy is going to survive. U.S. data seems to be driving us. The API data was pretty much in line with a strong normalization of demand trends. The API reported that crude supply fell by 1.42 million, distillates increased by 852,000 barrels and gasoline fell by 962,000 barrels. The threat to the bulls is that the world will face another economic shock. But we know the world is in a better economic place than we were. How do we know this for sure? Timothy Geithner told us. Bloomberg News reports that Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said, “The world economy is in a much better place" and that the U.S. is meeting its pledge to the Group of 20 nations to strengthen financial oversight and boost growth, and he called on developing and industrial countries to accelerate efforts to reinforce the global recovery.
Phil Flynn is senior energy analyst for PFGBest Research and a Fox Business Network contributor. He can be reached at (800) 935-6487 or at email@example.com