As we enter the final stretch of earnings season, investors are beginning to make up their minds on where they think the economy is headed. We have seen a number of big wins as well as some big losses with a fair amount of companies warning of a subdued Q4 reflecting the impact of the U.S. government shutdown. Below, we outline some of the biggest commodity earnings set for this week [for more commodity 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].
It’s been an interesting time for investors in the natural gas space. As hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have become the extraction method of choice for E&P firms, production of the fuel has skyrocketed and led to a surplus of supply and high storage inventories. The huge surpluses have combined with slack demand for the fuel, causing prices to crater. At one point they were below $2 per MMBtu [for more oil news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
For investors in the natural gas sector it certainly has been a tug of war the last few years. Prices for the fuel surged from a low of $1.96 per million Btus in early 2002 to a peak of $15.78 back in 2005 as the U.S. was predicted to be in short supply of the fuel. Since that time, advances in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) as well as horizontal drilling have helped unlock a virtual ocean of the natural gas within U.S. borders. That abundance has completely changed the supply landscape and has resulted in massive inventories of the fuel [for more natural gas news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
According to the CIA World Fact Book, the United States operates the largest single-country economy in the world. Its gross domestic product for 2011 was estimated at $15.3 trillion, trailing the European Union, which is comprised of 27 different countries, by only $360 billion. China remains in third place, as the developing economy continues to see rapid growth in recent years due to its build out of industrial capacity and its growing class of individual consumers. Growth in the U.S., however, remains subdued below 2%. The global economic slowdown has certainly hampered the nation”s growth, but there still remains a few economic bright spots, namely the advancement of domestic energy production [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Prior to this week, crude oil had been on a tear, as it had steadily been gaining ground for quite some time. Between May and September the fossil fuel jumped up roughly 22%, as it had just gotten over a crushing blow that began in the beginning of 2012. But just as it looked like crude was making its way towards triple-digit figures, it got stopped in its tracks, as this commodity began tumbling this week. In just three days, this asset fell more than 7%, leaving many investors scratching their heads trying to figure out how it racked up such losses [for more crude oil news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].