Even a supply surplus and falling demand are no match for oil’s momentum. As crude sets a new record close, commodity veteran Addison Armstrong gives his short and long-term views.
Tuesday’s record high was sort of a perfect storm of geopolitical jitters. Beyond OPEC’s possible product cuts and a supply glut, the situations in Nigeria and Venezuela aren’t offering comfort to the world markets. The Nigerian situation – with rumors that an opposition leader became the flash point that sent oil on its way to $100 – is getting worse, according to Armstrong. The African nation exports 500,000 barrels of light sweet crude (the kind that’s easily refined into gasoline) every day and any political instability there spells volatility for oil.
Venezeluan leader Hugo Chavez’s incessant saber-rattling and threats of cutting off his oil supply to the U.S. are probably not going to amount to anything, Armstrong said, because Chavez badly needs the U.S. as a buyer, but it still spells unrest for the market.
As the summer driving season gets closer every day, Armstrong said the momentum and geopolitical fears could continue and send oil as high as $110 – his short-term price target. But he believes it will retreat back to $75 based on economic weakness in the U.S.
The trade is clear, as far as Tim Seymour is concerned: just take a look at the offshore drillers. Transocean – one of the more successful drillers –is rapidly increasing its production in the Gulf of Mexico. With this geopolitical unrest likely to stir and especially with driving season around the corner, RIG looks good to Tim.
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Trader disclosure: On Feb.19, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (YHOO), (INTC); Finerman Owns (GS); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (CROX), (KALU); Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT), (TSO), (VLO), (WMT), (YHOO), (AAPL); Finerman's Firm Is Short (IYR), (IJR), (MDY), (SPY), (IWM),(COF); Finerman's Firm Is Short (LEH) And Owns (LEH) Puts; Seymour Owns (INTC), (MER),(MSFT), (BLK), (GOOG), (AAPL); Seygem Asset Management Owns (CCJ), (TIE), (TSO), (EEM), (GFI) (HMY), (FMX), (FMCN); Seygem Assset Management Owns Shares Of Uranium One