Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Night Futures

by Bill McBride on 7/19/2015 09:11:00 PM

First, a reminder of what Professor Tim Duy wrote earlier this year:

I tend agree that the net impact [from the decline in oil prices] will be positive, but note that the negative impacts will be fairly concentrated and easy for the media to sensationalize, while the positive impacts will be fairly dispersed. We all know what is going to happen to rig counts, high-yield energy debt, and the economies of North Dakota and at least parts of Texas. "Kablooey," I think, is the technical term. Easy media fodder. Much more difficult to see the positive impact spread across the real incomes of millions of households, with particularly solid gains at the lower ends of the income distribution. This will be most likely revealed in the aggregate data and be much less newsworthy.
emphasis added
I added to Duy's observation by noting that the negative impacts would happen quicker than the positive impacts, but lower oil prices would still be an overall positive for 2015.

Now from Justin Lahart at the WSJ: Cheap Oil Should Fuel Economy at Last
It looks like better days [in oil producing states] are in the offing. Federal Reserve data released last week showed that the sharp downdraft in drilling activity eased in June. And after falling by more half in the first six months of the year, Baker Hughes ’s weekly count of U.S. oil rigs has just leveled out.

Layoff announcements in the energy sector have also fallen back lately. And Goldman’s Mr. Pandl calculates that, adjusting for seasonal swings, initial claims for unemployment insurance in the five states above have also cooled off.

So at the least, the drag from oil on the economy should diminish in the months ahead, putting U.S. growth on a better footing in the second half of the year. What’s more, consumers may start spending more of the money they have been saving at the pump.
Weekend:
Schedule for Week of July 19, 2015

From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures: currently S&P futures are flat and DOW futures are up slightly (fair value).

Oil prices were down over the last week with WTI futures at $50.78 per barrel and Brent at $56.99 per barrel.  A year ago, WTI was at $103, and Brent was at $106 - so prices are down about 50% year-over-year.

Here is a graph from Gasbuddy.com for nationwide gasoline prices. Nationally prices are at $2.76 per gallon (down about $0.82 per gallon from a year ago).