• Futures Higher Ahead of Fed; Housing Helps Tuesday, 16 Mar 2010 | 8:41 AM ET

    Stock index futures remained true to recent form before the bell Tuesday, little changed compared with fair value ahead of the Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates later in the day.

  • The bulls ran out of the gate with gusto but stumbled by the end of the week despite bullish macro-economic news and a weak dollar. We may have seen a peak in net length according to the latest CFTC report. This week we will look for colder weather forecasts to lead a possible rebound in the natural gas market, writes Stephen Schork.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Bullish Economy Doesn't Help Energy Thursday, 11 Mar 2010 | 3:54 PM ET

    Bullishness for the rest of the economy does not translate to bullishness for the energy industry. Yesterday (Wednesday), the United States Census Bureau released its latest monthly wholesale trade report which covered inventories and sales for January. Analysts were expecting a 0.2% increase in inventories so the -0.2% decline was considered bullish — companies cannot keep up with demand...

  • Saudi Aramco CEO Predicts Less Volatility in Oil Prices Wednesday, 10 Mar 2010 | 2:43 PM ET
    Oil Barrels

    The CEO of the world's largest oil company says crude prices will remain steady and will not change dramatically in the months to come.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Gambling on WTI Horserace Wednesday, 10 Mar 2010 | 1:36 PM ET

    Yesterday (Tuesday), the DOE released its latest Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO) to mixed reactions. Prices rose in the hour after the release but the recovery did not have any legs and the markets stagnated to close. Understandably, this month’s STEO has few surprises.

  • The volatility of natural gas prices has dropped precipitously. This is in line with prices decoupling from the rest of the energy complex. As such, chatter regarding the ability of gas to replace aging, less efficient coal-fired power generation is picking up.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Recovery in Unlikely Places? Monday, 8 Mar 2010 | 1:20 PM ET

    Last Monday, Larry Summers, chair of the National Economic Council and quasi-architect of Pres. Obama’s recovery plan, told CNBC that that past snowstorms had “distorted [payroll numbers] by 100,000 to 200,000 jobs” and that it would be “very important to look past whatever [Friday’s] figures are to gauge the underlying trends.” A scary statement by implication, and analysts braced for the worst.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: What a Difference a Month Makes! Friday, 5 Mar 2010 | 11:24 AM ET

    Recently released monthly figures from the EIA (914-Survey last Friday and Tuesday’s NGM) underscore how fast the landscape in the natural gas market can change.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Balance Theory & Commodities Wednesday, 3 Mar 2010 | 4:45 PM ET

    Balance theory is (at its simplest) the concept that the relationship between two entities is either positive or negative and a combination of these relationships can be either balanced or unbalanced. Hamza Khan, quantitative analyst at The Schork Report, explains the significance of the balance theory to the commodity complex.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: How Long Can Bearish Action Hold? Friday, 26 Feb 2010 | 10:13 AM ET

    Yesterday the EIA reported that working natural gas in underground storage in the U.S. fell by 172 Bcf or 8½% to 1.85 Tcf for the week ended February 19th. It was yet another large delivery from a seasonal perspective, but we are certainly used to that by now. The typical delivery is 100 ±13 Bcf. Last week’s triple-digit pull was the smallest of the last three reports, but it is definitely not going to be the last.

  • Yesterday (Wednesday), Uncle Sam reported its fourth consecutive +2MMbbl build in crude oil stocks, with a seasonal 3.0 MMbbl increase bringing total inventories to 337.53 MMbbls. Unlike the previous report’s build, which came almost exclusively from the Gulf Coast (PADD III), this week saw PADD III’s 2.17 MMbbl build matched by a 2.16 MMbbl build on the West Coast (PADD V), while the East Coast and other districts saw <1MMbbl draws...

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Consumer Confidence? Not So Confident Wednesday, 24 Feb 2010 | 1:04 PM ET

    Energy prices were weak yesterday (Tuesday). Nymex Henry Hub gas futures tanked despite a paralyzing weather forecast. Meanwhile, weak U.S. consumer confidence numbers and a significantly stronger dollar ignited a selloff in the liquids. Last night, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a big draw in crude oil, a smaller net build between gasoline and distillate stocks.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: China Is NOT the Answer Tuesday, 23 Feb 2010 | 2:35 PM ET

    The forward curve for coal prices has seen a significant shortening in the last few weeks. Is proposed infrastructure spending — at home and abroad — beginning to cause supply concerns?

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Is Inverse Correlation Broken? Monday, 22 Feb 2010 | 11:07 AM ET

    Energy prices were mixed last week. The liquids were strong due to outages at the UK’s largest oil field and a strike in France spreading to six refineries. Interestingly, the dollar rose on Friday but this did nothing to temper the bulls, writes Stephen Schork.

  • Industrial Demand for natgas is worse than December. When yesterday’s (Wednesday's) Industrial Production (IP) numbers were released by the Fed, we were underwhelmed, and it seems the market was equally nonplussed: Prices were unchanged 15 minutes after the release and just 7 cents higher an hour later. Normally, the IP numbers are strong indicators and push the market in either direction, so what gives?

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Don’t Bet on Asia Boosting Prices Wednesday, 17 Feb 2010 | 2:04 PM ET

    Last Wednesday, some brave soul at the EIA fought through Washington’s snowstorm to release February’s Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO). The EIA’s analysis is a valuable blend of hard data and fundamental analysis, with the only significant downside being its less than frequent release schedule...

  • On Friday Uncle Sam reported a second consecutive +2 MMbbl build in crude oil stocks, with a 2.4 MMbbl increase bringing total commercial crude inventories to 331.4 MMbbls, writes Stephen Schork.

  • Schork Oil Outlook: Why Crude Is Yawning Tuesday, 9 Feb 2010 | 12:27 PM ET

    We place our “bias” as neutral because the recovery has not been derailed and people did find jobs, but several key figures are deceiving. The talking heads were celebrating a recovery in manufacturing jobs, which rose for the first time since January 2007. But manufacturing jobs have very little correlation with the rest of the economy...

  • Apropos the current strength in the market, the common refrain amongst traders and analysts goes something like this: I don’t believe in this market’s strength, but I want to participate while it lasts. Got that? Traders are so desperate that they are now buying, not on fundamentals, but rather on fear of missing out before this market heads back into the toilet.

  • Each year, "The Schork Report" analyzes the price inflation of Super Bowl tickets in relation to the price of gasoline. The price of admission to the first Super Bowl following the 1966 season “cost” 31 gallons of gasoline. Today, one Super Bowl ticket (face value) is the equivalent price of nearly 400 gallons!