We know the outlook for energy demand is dire. U.S. consumer confidence is at a record low, home values are shrinking, and the retail outlook here in the U.S. and Britain is extremely gloomy. That's a large part of the reason for today's oil price slide — down more than 8 percent to close below $42.
Not to mention the fact that Valero CEO Bill Kleese has painted such a bleak picture, that he even foresees the nation's top refiner having to shut some refineries if they're not used adequately and can't be sold. With refiners' run rates drastically down, U.S. crude supplies continue to increase — more dark clouds hanging over the energy complex.
But now, traders will have more time to parse out U.S. oil supply information as the leading trade group for the petroleum industry moves to release its weekly report on oil inventories on Tuesday afternoons, instead of at the same time as the government on Wednesday morning.