As CNBC's personal finance correspondent and senior commodities correspondent, Sharon Epperson reports on personal finance for the network and also covers the global energy, metals and commodities markets from the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In addition to reporting for CNBC and CNBC.com, Epperson is a regular contributor on NBC's "Today" and Today.com and appears frequently on NBC Nightly News, MSNBC and NBC affiliates nationwide. She also frequently reports for Public Television's "Nightly Business Report," which is now produced by CNBC.
Her book, The Big Payoff: 8 Steps Couples Can Take to Make the Most of Their Money—and Live Richly Ever After, was a finalist for the Books for a Better Life Awards, honoring works that have "changed the lives of millions." She also was a contributing writer for The Experts' Guide to Doing Things Faster.
Epperson's personal finance expertise has been featured in numerous publications, including USA Weekend, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Self, Essence, Ebony and Time, where she had covered business, culture, social issues and health as a correspondent prior to joining CNBC.
She is committed to improving financial literacy, particularly in underserved communities. She has been invited to the White House to speak about financial literacy and to moderate a public meeting of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability at the U.S. Treasury Department. She also speaks frequently at conferences and events for local and national organizations, colleges and universities about many facets of personal finance.
Epperson is the winner of the Alliance for Women in Media's 2014 Gracie Award for Outstanding Online Host for her "Financial Advisor Playbook" video series on CNBC.com. She has received the Vanguard Award for her distinguished career in business and personal finance reporting from the National Urban League Guild, and the All-Star Award from the Association of Women in Communications. She also has won awards from the New York Festivals, the New York Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists.
An adjunct professor at Columbia University's School of International Public Affairs for more than a decade, Epperson enjoys teaching the importance of budgeting and building long-term savings as part of her course on professional development for graduate students interested in media careers.
Epperson received her bachelor's in sociology and government from Harvard University, and a master's of international affairs degree from Columbia University. A Pittsburgh native, Epperson lives with her husband and two children in Westchester County, N.Y.
With the national average for retail gasoline at $2.86 a gallon, down $1.25 from the all-time high and just 4 cents higher than where it was a year ago, it's a pretty good bet that gas prices will likely be below where they were a year ago by the weekend. That hasn't happened in 14 months!
Merrill Lynch sector strategist Brian Belski's comments may have overshadowed Bernanke's testimony in some traders' minds. In a research note this morning, he called for a possible end to the commodities cycle (stocks, not futures) after such a strong first half of the year.
Exxon Mobil, British Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell and Total are reportedly near a deal with the Iraqi Oil Ministry that will grant the oil giants "no-bid" contracts for access to the country’s oil fields. This will mark the first time these firms have had commercial access to Iraq since the U.S. invasion in 2003.
Even if Congress agrees to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling (a long-shot, for sure), getting that oil into the market will take years. Addison Armstrong, Tradition Energy's director of energy research, estimates it will take 10 years -- at a minimum -- to get 1 million barrels/day of oil moving from fields in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
MF Global energy analyst Ed Meir says today's action may confirm whether yesterday was really the intraday reversal that will take prices lower from here. We're expecting more volatility today with the expiration of July crude options.
All day we've been talking about the dollar as the key driver in the direction of oil prices today. As the greenback rebounded against the euro and oil fell over $4 at the lows of the session. But in the last hour and a half of trading, with the dollar still higher, oil erased most of its losses and looks poised to settle basically unchanged.
Sure, some analysts are skeptical about the relationship between oil and the dollar. The conventional wisdom, though, is that the weaker dollar has encouraged investors to buy dollar-denominated commodities to hedge inflation and has contributed in some part to rising oil prices.