Earlier in the year, it seemed like natural gas was the commodity with little to no hope, as the fossil fuel posted some impressive losing streaks. But it seems that crude oil is hellbent on taking NG’s place, as WTI futures have slid for six consecutive days, making it the longest losing streak for this commodity in nearly two years. But crude’s rather volatile behavior in the past six months can be attributed to a number of macroeconomic factors pushing and pulling the asset in either direction [see also 25 Ways To Invest In Crude Oil].
In the wide world of commodities, crude oil is developing an enticing downward trend. With that in mind, this fossil fuel represents a big opportunity in today’s markets, as its price has been tanking as of late. Crude has lost more than 8% of its price in the trailing five days as investors watched the fossil fuel close below $100 for the first time in recent memory. “The Energy Department said last week that U.S. crude inventories have risen to the highest level since 1990. That was followed by the Labor Department on Friday announcing the economy added only 115,000 jobs in April, far fewer than the 165,000 analysts were expecting” writes Pablo Gorondi.
As gasoline prices continue to rise, Americans across the country have been feeling some major pain at the pump, shelling out anywhere from $3.52 to $4.57 per gallon just to fill up their tanks. The recent surge in prices have both foreign and domestic roots: overseas tensions coupled with U.S. fears of a shortage of refining capacity have pushed this essential commodity to painfully high levels [see also 25 Ways To Invest In Natural Gas].
When it comes to commodity investing and trading, contango is a dirty word. Many investors have given contango a bad name (and rightfully so) as it has the ability to destroy value in an underlying position with the blink of an eye. Now that the ETF universe has rapidly expanded and there are a number of complex products offering exposure to the commodity world, contango has become more prevalent than ever. A number of investors have fallen prey to this phenomenon often without realizing what it was and how it impacted their holdings. Contango is simply a part of the commodity world and is not necessarily a bad thing, as it can create opportunities for profit [see also Understanding Contango: Natural Gas Example].
After peaking above $100/barrel last month, crude oil endured a bit of a slide the mid $90s, but its momentum seems to have shifted. After a big day yesterday, February has seen crude futures begin to make their way back up, much to the delight of many investors. For the trailing weeks, the biggest story surrounding crude oil has been the tensions surrounding Iran. The nation, who controls a narrow body of water through which a large proportion of the world’s oil passes, has been threatening to cut off oil to the U.S. as well as other parts of the world. While WTI is the commodity of focus here in the States, brent oil has also been on a tear as of late [see also Crude Oil Guide: Brent Vs. WTI, What’s The Difference?].
Crude oil is arguably the most widely-traded commodity on the market and it is also one of the most significant. Much of the past year saw crude sway violently back in forth much like general equities, but oil prices have recently been enjoying a nice upward momentum that began in early October. With prices now broken through the triple digit barrier once again, investors look to the price drivers for crude to see if the commodity is overvalued or if now may be a good time to buy in. Perhaps the most important factor to consider in trading crude today is the tensions and issues revolving around Iran [see also 12 High-Yielding Commodities For 2012].
It’s no secret that most commodities had a rough 2011; even top performers like gold have not been without their blips. So when it comes time to examine your portfolio for the coming year, choosing the right commodity can be a tall order. First, it is important to note that no matter which asset you choose, it will more than likely be volatile and require active monitoring as well as stop-loss protections. But while these investments may be volatile, their benefits to an overall portfolio have earned them the right to makeup anywhere from 5% to 10% of your holdings. For investors searching for the right move for 2012, we outline three enticing commodity plays to help prepare your portfolio for a clean slate after a tough year [see also 12 High-Yielding Commodities For 2012].
The past few weeks have seen oil enjoy a meteoric rise. The fossil fuel surged from roughly $75/barrel, all the way to $102/barrel in a recent peak. But breaking the triple digit barrier didn’t last long for crude, as global instability and a lack of investor confidence moved in to create pressures for the commodity yet again. The past few trading days have been miserable for oil, as it is now fighting with prices in the low $90s. Given the recent strength exhibited by WTI, the commodity’s low prices now present themselves as an interesting play. By many accounts, crude was undervalued even when it was above $100 and the coming year may send prices even higher, making recent lows an enticing opportunity for oil [see also 12 High-Yielding Commodities For 2012].