What Record High Oil Prices Mean for You

Oil prices keep breaking record highs. What does it mean for the economy--and investors? Here's what some of the experts are saying on CNBC.

Oil and Equities

John Kilduff, energy analyst at MF Global, says oil prices aren't done climbing. He points to "terrific supply threats" and predicts "near double-digit energy demand growth" in China.

Kilduff says another key factor driving oil prices is "all the investment money coming into the market, pumping things up."

He believes portfolio managers are hedging for geopolitical events that can cause oil to spike -- "and, potentially, cause equity markets to fall."

Exxon Disappoints

Exxon Mobil's third-quarter profit missed expectations.

Terri Campbell, managing director at Eastern Investment Advisors, conceded Exxon's "ugly" third-quarter refining margins, as oil price gains far outpaced gasoline. Then there's the impact of the company's massive capital and exploration expenses.

But Campbell says such hurdles are merely "temporary" for the world's No. 1 oil company.

Ethanol Dangers

Rising oil prices have driven calls for more production of alternative fuels, especially ethanol.

But Marlo Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Dennis Avery, director at the Center for Global Food Issues and a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, say the current plans for corn-based ethanol can damage the free market -- and endanger global populations.

War Games

May 2009: Instability in a key oil-producing region threatens America's security and economy. What will be the outcome?

The Energy Leadership Counsel -- whose members include former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Lieut. General John Abizaid (ret.) -- is holding computerized war games to help predict and prepare for any future problems. Their conclusions will be released late Thursday.