Friday, May 12, 2017

The Energy And Market Page, T+112 -- May 12, 2017

NDIC Director's Cut scheduled to be released later today.

Why I love to blog: I keep talking about the 530-million bbl US crude oil inventory and the slow drawdown -- the major theme for the energy market this past month. Now we see it again:
From an executive at the world's largest trading house, Vitol, at Reuters:
  • "destocking" for the first half of 2017 has not occurred as expected
  • oil inventories are shifting, with cargoes moving from the Atlantic Basin into Asia, the overall drawdown has not yet materialised
  • "this 550-million-barrel-plus" inventory build of crude oil and products that started in 2014 is still very much there"
  • OPEC is no longer a lone heavyweight
  • "the market is in flux because we've all traditionally said there is this huge price regulator sitting there, that has been OPEC, and I think that model is severely challenged today"
I don't know if things can be said any more clearly than that.

This is what caught my eye:
  • oil inventories are shifting, not declining
  • OPEC's announcements are now less relevant for traders
  • since the trader did not specifically mention it, one must assume that "shifting" oil inventories includes Saudi caught siphoning oil from storage to make up any production cuts
The Market

Another "blah" day for the market. Sell in May and go away, they say.

AAPL, I believe, hit another all-time record today. At midday trading up antoher one percent to about $155.70. A year ago, May, 2016, AAPL shares were selling for $90.

XLNX: let's see if XLNX is riding the coattails of Nividia. Nope, not really.

The Literature Page

Somme: Into The Breach, Hugh Sebag-Montefiore, c. 2016, Harvard University Press and Penguin Books.

About 600 pages with maps, illustrations, index, etc.

There are few subjects that interest me less than WWI but "Somme" is a word or a meme that won't go away. When I saw this among the new books at the local library, I knew I had to read at least some of it.

It begins at 7:19 a.m., July 1, 1916, at Beaumont Hamel. From wiki:
Beaumont-Hamel is a commune in the Somme department in Hauts-de-France in northern France.
During the First World War, Beaumont-Hamel was close to the front line, near many attacks, especially during the Battle of the Somme, one of the largest allied offensives of the war.
By 1918 the village had been almost totally destroyed. The banks of white chalk at Beaumont Hamel led to a sector of British trenches being nicknamed "White City".
To the west of the village was Hawthorn Ridge Redoubt, one of the sites of the mines exploded on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
On 1 July 1916, nearly 700 men of the Newfoundland Regiment (later to become the Royal Newfoundland Regiment) were killed or injured by German fire when they were ordered "over the top" by their officers. Newfoundland commemorates this event as Memorial Day on 1 July each year.
The German front line, to the north and to the south, was bisected by the River Somme.

On July 1, 1916, when the Brits at first thought they had "won" the defining battle later learned that casualties were in excess of 57,000 men (including at least 19,000 men killed) -- in just one day. Early reports were optimistic, that "only" 40,000 men were killed, wounded, or missing. When the truth was known -- casualties in excess of 57,000 men -- this "certainly could not be sustained on a daily basis during what was likely to be a lengthy campaign.

That was the first day; that was the end of Chapter 1, page 7 -- only 500+ pages to go.

How "we" got to July 1, 1916 (chapter 2):
  • it began 6 months earlier
  • British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France and Belgium: 987,000+ men -- 38 infantry and 5 cavalry divisions
  • the BEF held 67 or the 87 miles of trenches that stretched between Boesinghe (near Ypres, Belgium) in the north to Somme (near Curlu, France) in the South
  • the trenches to the south were held by the French; and ran the entire French border to Switzerland
  • the trenches to the north were held by Belgian and French Armies
  • this long line of trenches was the legacy of the German attempt in August, 1914, to invade and take over Belgium and France
  • the BEF, French and Belgian resistance were able to halt the German advance 
  • by July 1, 1916: under British command on the Continent -- in excess of 1,488,000; 58 divisions
  • the commander of each division controlled three brigades, which in turn contained four battalions, battalions being the units of around 700 to 1,000 men who actually did the fighting in the front line
  • these divisions were in turn controlled by the commanders of eighteen corps, and these corps answered to the commanders of four armies, all under the direction of the British General Headquarters (GHQ) commanded by General Sir Douglas Haig
That will be the end of the notes of this book on this blog. 

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