Wheels Come Off Energy Bus

The wheels came off the energy bus to end October trading with a heavy wave of selling pushing most of the complex to new lows for the month despite another rally in stocks. The weak finish left behind a bearish outside-down reversal bar on the monthly charts, which suggests more selling may be coming soon, and offered little hope to those waiting for the buyers to step in.

The timing of the sell-off was a bit curious as the liquidation really didn’t get going until the last hour of trading, suggesting it wasn’t a DOE-Inventory-inspired move. Given the move just moments before trading halted for the month, it seems this latest move may be the latest sign that the big funds that contributed heavily to the rally in oil prices over the past 18 months may have decided to take their ball to a different game.

Bearish Notes from the DOE report: US Oil stocks continue to build, and US Oil production made it back to its record high of 11.2 million barrels/day last week, after a 2 week drop owing to precautionary evacuations of oil rigs ahead of Hurricane Michael.

Bullish Notes: Total US petroleum demand held above the 5-year range for this time of year for a 2nd consecutive week, helping refined product inventories to draw down again. While several industry veterans continue to suggest that the DOE’s demand estimates are inflated by export calculations, the fact that demand seems to be holding up in the face of brutal October weather across much of the country is encouraging as we approach the winter doldrums.


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