Biggest Move in Crude Oil

Not much action today in the stock markets on this Friday before a 3-day Memorial Day holiday weekend.  The action was really in the oil markets, the bond markets and the foreign exchange markets. The biggest move happening in crude oil.  Crude was down just over $3/barrel today; one of the biggest declines I’ve seen in some time.  We’re back down to $67.50. Earlier in the week, we almost hit $73/barrel for crude, and here we are now at $67.50 – a pretty big drop today. We were down yesterday, also.

Speculation in the Market

The rumors today were that Russia and Saudi Arabia may be upping their production and it was that news that sent the market falling. But remember, markets don’t move in a straight line.  You get a lot of speculators who get into the market and generally they’re not there for the long run; they’re there to catch a trend, and they’re there to ride it as long as they can.  They tend to put stop orders in beneath the market.  In the case of oil, if you’re long, you’ll have a sell stop and many of those stops likely got triggered today.

Technical Noise

You probably had some people trying to minimize their exposure.  Either they limited their loss to the extent that they got in recently and they got stopped out with a loss or maybe they’ve been long for a while and they’ve been moving their stops higher to protect their profits and now they got stopped out of the trade.  But I think this is more technical noise.  I don’t think this uptrend in the price of oil has changed based on this pullback from $73 now to $67.50.  Maybe we’ve got a little more downside, but if you look at the chart, you can barely see the decline.  The more recent uptrend that goes back to July – you look at this uptrend and it is holding perfectly.  We’re not even down to the line yet.  We still have a little bit to fall before we hit that line.