But it just isn't the Keystone shutdown that is driving the price of WTI. Traders are worried about Venezuela. For newbies: US refiners are optimized for heavy oil. They were counting on the Keystone XL to have been completed years ago guaranteeing an uninterrupted source of heavy oil from the Canadian oil sands.
Tonight, futures show WTI approaching $59. If the increase in WTI is due to the Keystone shutdown, oil companies may have been very, very clever/smart/prescient. If that's all it is, the rise in WTI will be short-term, and operators will pocket the difference in hedges/collars. They should get the Keystone up and running fairly soon, I would suspect, and if they do, WTI should trend back down. [I may have spoken too fast; there are now reports that South Dakota regulators are not happy with three Keystone spills in/near their state in less than 10 years, and re-opening the Keystone even after repaired could be problematic/delayed.]
On another note, this is an incredible story. Sometimes, one important data point is lost in all the verbiage; this is true in this Fortune story:
U.S. shoppers had splurged more than $1.52 billion online by Thanksgiving evening, and more bargain hunters turned up at stores this year after two weak holiday seasons as retailers opened their doors early on the eve of Black Friday.A lot of words, but this is simply incredible: Thursday shopping surged almost 20% year-over-year by 5:00 p.m. ET Thursday. And stores are open to midnight in many cases. [A lot of folks apparently did not stay home to watch the NFL kneelers.]
At the start of the holiday season consumer spending rose 16.8 percent year-over-year until 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, according to Adobe Analytics, which tracked 80 percent of online transactions at the top 100 U.S. retailers.
Surging online sales and a shift away from store shopping have thinned the crowds typically seen at stores on Thanksgiving evening and the day after, Black Friday, for the past two years. But a strong labor market, rising home prices and stock markets at record highs have improved shopper appetite this year.
What Great Depression Are They Talking About
The Los Angeles times has a story about the "record" number of homeless being served Thanksgiving meals this year. From the story:
Berkovich said the group has been serving nearly 1 million meals a year each year since 2013.
“We haven't seen numbers like this since the Great Depression,” she said.I must have missed the recent California Great Depression.
Putting These Things Into Perspective