Crude oil prices are roaring back as earth-shaking developments rock the markets: The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) vows to follow through with a production cut, Hillary Clinton gets an all-clear from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and an earthquake in Cushing, Okla.--the major oil storage hub that is the delivery point for the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) contract. Despite false reports that caused wild swings in the markets the secretary-general of OPEC Mohammed Barkindo says that, "OPEC remains committed to the Algiers accord and all OPEC members remain committed to the implementation.”
Friday, though, oil was whipsawed as unnamed OPEC sources dropped a story that Saudi Arabia threatened to flood the market with oil if Iran and Iraq failed to cut production. This was denied on the record by OPEC secretary General Barkindo. And then after breaking hard, crude oil roared back but was thwarted again when another unnamed source from OPEC said that all OPEC nations are threatening to raise output if a deal is not done. It is amazing that these unnamed OPEC sources make the news and whipsaw markets but at the end of the day if the markets are nervous, it does not take much to influence market direction. I wonder if that unnamed OPEC source was short.
In what could be one of the fastest investigations in FBI history, it appears that the FBI hasn’t changed its opinion that Hillary Clinton should not face criminal charges after a hurried review of new e-mails found on Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin computers. Donald Trump was quick to respond by saying that, "Right now, she is being protected by a rigged system. It's a totally rigged system I've been saying it for a long time. You can't review 650,000 new emails in eight days. You can't do it, folks.”
The stock market had sold off due to the uncertainty about a Trump presidency, posting a 9-day loss and the worst skid since 1980. Oil also got caught up in the negative stock momentum as fears that a Trump presidency would cause a recession and hurt oil demand. It could also see weakness because Trump is a drill baby drill believer that could potentially lower costs and allow more supply. A Hillary Clinton presidency would mean more oil regulation and less fracking causing prices to rise. The crude oil market is still reeling from that massive 14-million-barrel build in supply from last week. We’ve had tremendous volatility to contend with.
Crude oil will get support from a 5.0 earthquake in Cushing, Oklahoma. The AP reported that there has been significant damage and they are warning people to stay out of the area. Bloomberg reported that the OCC's Pipeline Safety Department has been in contact with pipeline operators in the Cushing oil storage terminal under state jurisdiction and there have been no immediate reports of any problems," the commission's spokesman, Matt Skinner, said in a statement. "The assessment of the infrastructure continues.”
City Manager Steve Spears said a few minor injuries were reported and questioned whether some of the community's century-old buildings might be unsafe. Police cordoned off older parts of the town to keep away gawkers. "Stay out of the area," Spears told residents during a late-night news conference. Megan Gustafson and Jonathan Gillespie were working a shift at a McDonald's in Cushing when the quake hit. "It felt like a train was going right through the building, actually," Gustafson, 17, said Sunday night as she and her co-workers stood behind a police barricade downtown, looking for damage. "I kind of freaked out and was hyperventilating a bit."
Gillespie, also 17, described the building as shaking for about 10 seconds or so. But he said he wasn't as alarmed as Gustafson because he lives in an area that has experienced multiple earthquakes, especially in recent years. "I didn't think it was anything new," he said. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission said it and the Oklahoma Geological Survey were investigating after the quake, which struck at 7:44 p.m. and was felt as far away as Iowa, Illinois and Texas. "The OCC's Pipeline Safety Department has been in contact with pipeline operators in the Cushing oil storage terminal under state jurisdiction and there have been no immediate reports of any problems," the commission's spokesman, Matt Skinner, said in a statement. "The assessment of the infrastructure continues.”
Natural gas really got hit hard on the warm weather. Yet, the weakness in price will not inspire what will be a much needed increase in production. Use market weakness to put on long term bullish strategies.