Saudi remarks torpedo tepid oil rally on Wall Street

A west Texas oil pumpjack at sunset. (Via Wikipedia)
A west Texas oil pumpjack at sunset. (Via Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON, December 3, 2014 – Just when investors in major oil stocks thought it was safe to come out of their bunkers, the Saudis casually fragged them again just after lunch, EST. Our best buddies in the Middle East just sort of, kind of dropped a hint they could live with $60 bbl. crude oil prices.

That was enough to stem Wednesday morning’s modest follow-on to yesterday’s recovering oil prices. West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the U.S. benchmark, is up barely thirty cents as we write this around 2:30 p.m., having rolled off a modestly higher opening price that had major oil stocks rallying strongly. Oils are still up, but weakening as the afternoon wears on.

So goes the opening round of 2014’s alleged Santa Claus Rally. Generally, these affairs, which happen more often than not, usually stumble out the gate before picking up steam as the holidays approach. So the market’s current reverse oil shock wobbling likely won’t persist much longer if 2014 holds to the usual program. But the action is still decidedly wimpy and doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence, particularly as Washington continues to fumble everything it touches.

Fumbling seems to be a specialty of the increasingly lame lame-duck administration of Barack Obama, which demonstrates every intention of persisting in its prime Alinskyite aim of blaming every ill that’s happened since the dawn of time on Republicans, never worrying about the consequences of his nearsighted strategy nor anything else for that matter.

With oil zig-zagging, the Islamofascists out of control over at least a quarter of the globe, and with U.S. business, tax, and government policies washing around in a lame-duck Congress frustrated by its lack of progress in negotiations with the White House, the country is not currently in the best of hands. And perhaps markets are sensing this as well

In any event, in the midst of all this uncertainty, we’re going to cut things off right here, utterly unable to establish a clear trend, making this no time for major new commitments to stocks.

However, coming up fairly soon, we will offer some “year-end bounce-back” stock suggestions in an upcoming column, hoping to offer some quick-profit opportunities on stocks getting unfairly beat up this month for tax-loss purposes. We’ll explain the strategy to newcomers as well. So stay tuned.

Meanwhile, we all have other things to do with what’s left of the day, so have a good afternoon and we’ll be back tomorrow.

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Terry Ponick
Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17
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