April WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil (XLE) (XOP) (PXI) futures contracts fell 1.4% and settled at $47.72 per barrel on March 14, 2017. The US stock market (SPY) (SPX-INDEX) also fell 0.3% on March 14, 2017. Oil and gas are major parts of the energy sector. The energy sector contributed to ~6.5% of the S&P 500 as of March 10, 2017.
US crude oil prices fell ~10% in the last five sessions due to the following factors:
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Crude oil (XES) (IEZ) (USO) prices hit a 20-month high on February 23, 2014, due to major producers’ production cut deal. However, prices are 14% below their peak. They’re also below their 20-day, 50-day, 100-day, and 200-day moving averages. To learn more, read Crude Oil Prices Fell below the 200-Day Moving Average.
However, US crude oil prices rose in post-settlement trade on March 14, 2017, due to the API’s (American Petroleum Institute) bullish crude oil inventory report.
The rollercoaster ride in crude oil prices impacts oil and gas exploration and production companies’ earnings such as Noble Energy (NBL), Chevron (CVX), QEP Resources (QEP), and Synergy Resources (SYRG).
The EIA will release its weekly crude oil inventory report on March 15, 2017, at 10:30 AM EST. We’ll look at the API’s estimates for US crude oil and gasoline inventories in Part 3 and Part 4 of this series.
In this series, we’ll discuss the US dollar and gasoline demand. We’ll also discuss Saudi Arabia’s crude oil production and how it impacts oil prices. Let’s start with US crude oil prices in early morning trade on March 15, 2017.