Wednesday, July 18, 2018

EIA's Weekly Petroleum Report -- July 18, 2018

Link here.
  • US crude oil inventories: increased by 5.8 million bbls -- wow!
  • US crude oil inventories now sit at 411.1 million bbls but the EIA blow it off -- saying that it's still 2% below the five year average -- the five year average includes the two years in which Saudi Arabia flooded the market with oil and the Permian was hitting its stride
  • but look at this: after operating at nearly 98% capacity, refineries are now down to just 94.3% capacity; most likely due to fact that winter/summer transition and height of driving season are in our rear-view mirrors
  • gasoline production decreased last week but still above my "threshold": 10.3 million bbls/day produced (my threshold: 10 million bbls)
  • same with distillate fuel: decreased to 5.2 million bbls (my threshold is 5 million bbls
  • imports increased by a staggering 1.6 million bbls (my threshold: less than a million bbls)
  • over the past four weeks, crude oil imports averaged about 8.5 million bbls per day, 8.1% more than the same four-week period last year -- so we are importing more (but also exporting more -- now exporting 3 million bbls/day)
  • gasoline imports: 657,000 bbl/day
  • distillate fuel imports: 140,000 bbl/day
  • WTI drops another 29 cents to trade at $66.89 after this report was released
Comments: for oil bulls, short term, this is a scary, scary report. But worse, for the US economy, it is very, very bearish. We will see if that's confirmed with gasoline demand data to be released later, graphically. I'm obviously missing something, though: the US markets are minimally negative to flat, suggesting investors are not linking bearishness that I see with bullishness that the Fed sees.  

Gasoline demand the numbers are out, but the graph has not been updated. When the graph comes out, it will show that the "demand for gasoline" reported today is slightly -- very slightly -- below that reported for same period last year (one may not see separation on the graph.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment, financial, job, travel, or relationship decisions based on what you read here or think you may have read here.

Market: in a slightly negative to flat market, stock picking seems more important than ever. Let's look at some bellwether stocks and I use the term bellwether tongue-in-cheek -- I wanted to see if I still knew how to spell bellwether -- the bell that rings whether or not the weather changes (wether, by the way for those who have forgotten, is a castrated ram, and yes, that's the etymology of "bellwether":
  • AAPL: at $190, down $1.19
  • BRK: wow - wow - wow -- at $198, up $7.89 (up over 4%) -- what's not to like?
  • UNP: nice -- at $140.93, up $2.67 (up almost 2%)
  • SRE: at $114, down $1.24 -- almost exactly what I suggested a few weeks ago; purely serendipity;
  • S: at $5.58, down a penny
  • NOG: at $3.26, well off it's high for the past 52 weeks, but up 2 cents
Okay, that's enough. But that's pretty amazing for a company like Berkshire to move that much in one day. Berkshire investors have to be relieved that Warren et al didn't announce a special dividend -- all those taxes to pay -- if one wants cash from Berkshire, sell a few shares and pay the "cheaper" capital gains tax.

Let's see. There was something else I was going to say, but I forget. Maybe some music will help.

Fishing Junks at Sunset, Jean Michel Jarre

Notes To The Granddaughters

Hard to believe The Concerts in China, Jean Michel Jarre, were released in 1981. I think I first recall listening to them back in 1987 or thereabouts. I was commanding an air transportable hospital -- we were training in England at the time. To my everlasting disappointment, I never put in place some great communication ideas I had at the time. Those ideas came to fruition some two decades later but we had the technology in 1987. I completely missed the opportunity. And I know the reason. The lesson learned. A lesson I can pass on to the granddaughters.

The Book Page

I continue to "work" the "one consequential book per week" rule. I just returned last week's book, Our Man In Havana, Graham Greene, to the library and am now reading The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family, Mary S. Lovell, c. 2001.

If there is something akin to a "chick flick" among written biographies, this book would fit the bill.

I've suggested to our oldest granddaughter who wants to read Little Women (she is currently reading Franz Kafka) that The Peabody Sisters and The Mitford Sisters might be similarly interesting.

At 529 pages, I will have to be disciplined to complete the Mitford Sisters in one week.

I always thought "Clementine" was an American name (she'll be comin' around the mountain). But lo and behold (and I knew this, but had forgotten): Clementine Ogilvy Spencer-Churchill, Baroness Spencer-Churchill, GBE (nee Hozier) was the wife of Winston Churchill and a life peer in her own right.

David Mitford -- the father of the "Mitford sisters" -- was the second son born to Lady Clementine Ogilvy and her husband Bertie Mitford. His aunt, Lady Clementine's sister, Lady Blanche, married Henry Hozier and was mother to another Clementine -- are you following this? -- the Clementine who married Winston Churchill. So, David would have been a first cousin (?) of Clementine Churchill, and the Mitford girls would have been nieces (?).

This was the same Winston Churchill who was voted out of office in a landslide upset in 1946 after "winning" the war and saving Britain from the Nazis. And the Brits are upset that the current US president actually sat in Winston's chair. Seventy-two years ago the Brits hated Winston Churchill enough to vote him out of office. Short memories.

On another note, first printings of many of Winston Churchill's book and original paintings by Churchill can be seen in a special, permanent exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art.

I wonder if Winston called his wife by her full name? Perhaps when he was really angry at her for something.

Touch To Remember, Jean Michel Jarre

The Amazon Page

Amazon is simply incredible. I love targeted ads.

Amazon just sent me a long list of kitchen gadgets -- all 50% to 60% off -- and that's not a "come-on." When one goes to any one of these items, the full price is listed at $11.99 or thereabouts and with the "code" the price is 50 to 60 percent less.

Shipping is free.

And, then on top of that one can use "prime points" that have accumulated from previous purchases (of which I have many). But then, incredibly, points on points. Because I have "Prime," Amazon will ship my purchase to arrive in two days. But if I agree to take "regular shipping" - add a few days -- I get another $5.00 credit. So, with a couple of clicks, I order something I actually need -- through a targeted ad -- and get it absolutely free (yes, I know the annual Prime fee is now $120) and get another $5.00 credit. For something I'm getting free with no shipping and handling costs. Yes, I will be charged an inconsequential sales tax.

I assume Jeff Bezos is making me feel so good that when he raises the annual Prime fee another $20, I will gladly pay. Sort of like the proverbial frog sitting in warm water that is gradually heating up.

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