The commodity world has been plagued by lawsuits and cries of foul play for what seems like decades now. For as long as there have been exchanges for physical commodities, there have been accusations of price manipulation along with some very compelling evidence. From the Hunt Brothers’ silver game to the recently accused Goldman Sachs, market manipulation for hard assets has been a continued theme [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Though many day traders base their decisions on technical trends, savvy commodity traders also incorporate factual fundamental reports into their research to ensure that they are on the right side of the trade at all times. For energy traders, the data and outlook provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) are some of the most important reports to follow [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
As earnings season gets into full swing, Wall Street’s attention will be fixated on the results of the most recent quarter. This week sees big oil step up to the plate, with some of the biggest names in the industry reporting on how they fared over the past three months. Below, we preview some of the most significant commodity earnings from the week ahead, helping investors prepare for what will ultimately be an active five day stretch for markets:
In recent years, investors have witnessed the U.S. become a dominant force in the crude oil space, thanks in part to a development in technologies like fracking as well as more pipelines distributing the energy resource around the nation. Currently, the U.S. produces roughly 11.1 million barrels per day, and in 2012 the country exported more than 1.17 billion barrels around the globe. As global demand for the U.S.’s sweet crude oil increases, other producers have started to feel the pressure of the competition and increasing stockpiles of crude. As such, regions like Europe have started to look elsewhere to sell their mounting surplus of oil and gasoline [for more energy news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
The spread between West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent Crude oil has long been under the microscope for energy traders across the world. The past few years have seen this spread heavily favor Brent, as it has been trading at a premium to its western cousin for quite some time. But as 2013 unfolds, the spread has been steadily narrowing, much to the surprise of a number of analysts [for more crude oil news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
In the commodities world, oil is undeniably one of the most important resources on the globe. Its price movements are closely tied to nearly every economic factor, as well as both domestic and international conflicts. In recent weeks, the escalating violence in Syria has put significant upward pressure on oil, pushing the fuel over $110 a barrel. While the country itself is not a major oil producer, its close geographic proximity to key sea routes and pipelines has investors understandably concerned over the immediate future of the commodity [for more oil news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
As earnings season draws to a close, the commodity world will see, arguably, its most publicized week. The next five days will feature earnings from some of the biggest oil firms in the world, with a few other companies sprinkled in. Investors will be especially keen to see how the recent spike in oil prices has impacted these major producers. Below, we outline some of the most prominent commodity firms slated to report earnings this week [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
First developed in 1947, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) remained an unheard-of tactic for extraction until it was used in the Barnett Shale Basin in 1998. The process works by pumping fracturing fluids–like slickwater, gel or foam–into a wellbore at a sufficient enough rate to fracture the rocks below. When these fractures occur, the operator injects proppants into the well to prevent the fractures from closing when the fluid pressure is reduced. And finally, oil and gas leaks from the fractures into the well for extraction. This overnight success has investors looking for the best ways to play the newly abundant natural resource market [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].