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The rich vocabulary of the oil market includes such terms as contango, backwardation and the crack spread. These expressions, at first glance, would seem to be more suited to describing competitive techniques on "Dancing with the Stars," but the first two are shorthand descriptors of the futures markets curve structure. The crack spread is the profit margin refiners make on cracking crude oil into its component parts of such things as gasoline and diesel fuel.
Recently, a new term has been added to the lexicon and it translates into bad news for longer-term oil market bulls.