Oil prices shot up nearly $11 to a new record Friday after Morgan Stanley predicted prices would hit $150 by the Fourth of July. The unprecedented jump is all but certain to drive gas prices well past the $4 mark in the coming weeks.
Oil's meteoric surge, which pushed prices more than 8 percent higher in a single day, added to a huge increase Thursday to cap oil's biggest two-day gain in the history of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The burst higher -- which also came on rising Middle East tensions -- also raised the prospect of accelerating inflation by adding to already strained transportation costs.
What does this mean for the stock market? For further insights we turn to strategic investor Dennis Gartman. Following is a synopsis of his main points.
What happened on Friday?
The oil trade has come unhinged, Gartman says. I am completely afraid to trade crude oil. I’ve doubled up on my nat gas stocks as a kind of hedge.
What’s gone wrong?
I think the floor itself has become de-populated, Gartman replies. Large traders who in the past might have taken the short side of the trade to create liquidity are simply not there. Everyone has pulled their horns in. There’s an illiquid market and Friday the news out of Israel and Iran as well as the Morgan Stanley $150 estimate created the perfect storm.
Does this increase the chance of government intervention?