Crude oil prices
WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil (IEZ) (XES) (BNO) futures contracts for May delivery rose 0.24% and settled at $51.15 per barrel on April 5, 2017. The S&P 500 (SPY) (SPX-INDEX) fell 0.3% on April 5, 2017. Crude oil and natural gas are major parts of the energy sector. The energy sector contributed to ~6.6% of the S&P 500 as of March 31, 2017. US crude oil prices are at a one-month high. The rise in US refinery demand for the third straight week supported oil prices.
However, crude oil (USO) (UCO) (XLE) prices pared gains on April 5, 2017, due to record US crude oil inventories and a rise in US crude oil production. These factors could pressure crude oil prices.
Cushing crude oil inventories hit record
Cushing crude oil inventories rose by 1.4 MMbbls (million barrels) to 69.1 MMbbls from March 24–31, 2017—the highest level ever. Record Cushing crude oil inventories could also pressure oil prices. So, the recovery in crude oil prices could be short-lived. Follow the series to learn more.
Crude oil volatility index
The Crude Oil Volatility Index fell 0.9% to 27.7 on April 5, 2017. It hit 24.7 on March 1, 2017—the lowest level since October 2014. Moves in crude oil prices can impact oil and gas producers’ earnings like Hess (HES), Sanchez Energy (SN), Denbury Resources (DNR), and Noble Energy (NBL).
In this series
In this series, we’ll look at US crude oil production, refinery demand, imports, and inventories. We’ll also look at gasoline and distillate inventories.
We’ll start by looking at US crude oil prices in early morning trade on April 6, 2017.