March 13, 2021

There's something weird going on in today's oil rally

[] There's something weird going on in today's oil rally | Fortune© 2020 Fortune Media IP Limited. All Rights Reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our u003ca href="https://fortune.com/terms-of-use/">Terms of Useu003c/a> and u003ca href="https://fortune.com/privacy-policy/">Privacy Policyu003c/a> | u003ca href="/california-privacy-policy/#notice">CA Notice at Collection and Privacy Noticeu003c/a> | u003ca href="https://fortune.com/right-to-opt-out/">Do Not Sell My Personal Informationu003c/a> | u003ca href="http://preferences-mgr.trustarc.com/?pid=fortunemedia01&aid=fortunemedia01_pub&type=fortunemedia">Ad Choices u003c/a>u003cbr />nFORTUNE is a trademark of Fortune Media IP Limited, registered in the U.S. and other countries. FORTUNE may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.u003cbr />nQuotes delayed at least 15 minutes. 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","type":"post"},"children":[{"name":"byline","config":{"link":"https://fortune.com/author/shawn-tully/","name":"Shawn Tully"},"children":[]},{"name":"image","config":{"aspectRatio":0.6666666666666666,"attachmentId":2958290,"alt":"Rising Interest Rates-Graph Concept","caption":"Rising interest rates could be a killer for stocks.","crops":[],"height":1920,"imageSize":"article-sidebar","lazyload":true,"lqipSrc":"https://content.fortune.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Rising-Interest-Rates-Graph-Concept-GettyImages-1303546981.jpg?quality=60&resize=60,40","postId":2958044,"retina":true,"showCaption":false,"sources":[{"default":true,"transforms":{"resize":[130,86]},"descriptor":100}],"sourceTags":[],"src":"https://content.fortune.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Rising-Interest-Rates-Graph-Concept-GettyImages-1303546981.jpg","srcset":"https://content.fortune.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Rising-Interest-Rates-Graph-Concept-GettyImages-1303546981.jpg?resize=260,172 200w,https://content.fortune.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Rising-Interest-Rates-Graph-Concept-GettyImages-1303546981.jpg?resize=130,86 100w","url":"https://content.fortune.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Rising-Interest-Rates-Graph-Concept-GettyImages-1303546981.jpg","useBasicImg":false,"usingDataFallback":false,"width":2880,"fallbackImageUrl":"data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7","picture":false,"sizes":"100px"},"children":[]},{"name":"byline","config":{"link":"https://fortune.com/author/shawn-tully/","name":"Shawn Tully"},"children":[]}]}]},{"name":"advertising-slot","config":{"align":"center","lazyload":true,"useDynamicChannel":false,"placementName":"RightRailFlex_Articles","slotId":"RightRailFlex_Articles1","themeName":"article","targeting":{"placement_name":"RightRailFlex_Articles","index":2}},"children":[]},{"name":"dianomi","config":{"type":"sidebar"},"children":[]},{"name":"advertising-slot","config":{"align":"center","lazyload":true,"useDynamicChannel":false,"placementName":"RightRailFlex_Articles","slotId":"RightRailFlex_Articles2","themeName":"article","targeting":{"placement_name":"RightRailFlex_Articles","index":3}},"children":[]}]},{"name":"article-media","config":{"publishDate":"","type":"video","section":"Newsletters"},"children":[{"name":"brightcove-video","config":{"accountId":"2111767321001","disableAds":false,"disableAutoplay":false,"disableContinuousPlay":false,"disableViewplay":false,"isLeadVideo":false,"loop":false,"playerId":"HDNR3TkSj","stickyPlayerOff":false,"silentlyAutoplay":true,"videoId":"6232428122001","section":"Newsletters"},"children":[]}]},{"name":"article-body","config":{"mediaType":"video","premiumCategory":"P-Newsletter"},"children":[{"name":"gutenberg-content","config":{},"children":[{"name":"html","config":{"content":" u003cp>u003cem>This is the web version of the Bull Sheet, Fortune's no-BS daily newsletter on the markets. u003c/em>u003ca href="http://bullsheet.fortune.com/">u003cem>Sign up to receive it in your inbox hereu003c/em>u003c/a>u003cem>.u003c/em>u003c/p> u003cp>Good morning, and u003cem>Buon Carnevale!u003c/em> to all of you heading out in costume (or mixing things up with a more decorative mask) today. U.S. futures have been climbing all morning, as has Bitcoin and West Texas crude.u003c/p>u003cp>u003c!-- piano selector -->u003c/p>u003cdiv class="paywall"> u003cp>Alas, WTI's gains are not so easy to gauge. Freak cold in Texas has caused rolling blackouts across big swathes of the Southern U.S., and so supply and demand are out of whack at the moment. But there's also a very 2021 wrinkle to the crude rally today. The Reddit brigade isu003ca href="https://themarketear.com/posts/ch-wpk5t57"> pushing WTI call optionsu003c/a>, hoping to do for crude futures what it briefly did for u003ca href="https://fortune.com/company/gamestop/" target="_blank">GameStopu003c/a> shares last month.u003c/p> u003cp>In today's essay, I talk about free money, and what that might mean for the markets. Warning: there are fears of overheating.u003c/p> u003cp>In the meantime, let's see what's moving markets.u003c/p> u003ch2>Markets updateu003c/h2> u003ch4>Asiau003c/h4> u003cul>u003cli>The major u003cstrong>Asia indexesu003c/strong> are mostly higher in afternoon trading, with Japan's u003cstrong>Nikkei u003c/strong>up u003cstrong>1.3%u003c/strong>.u003c/li>u003cli>u003cstrong>Indiau003c/strong>'s u003ca href="https://fortune.com/2021/02/16/india-covid-cases-decline-normal/">success tacklingu003c/a> u003cstrong>COVIDu003c/strong> is puzzling some scientists. Infection and death rates have dropped precipitously, and now government economists are predicting huge growth—u003cstrong>11%u003c/strong>—in the coming year.u003c/li>u003cli>u003cstrong>Ngozi Okonjo-Iwealau003c/strong> of Nigeria takes the helm of the u003cstrong>World Trade Organizationu003c/strong>, the first woman and first African to lead the trade body. u003ca href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-15/wto-formally-appoints-okonjo-iweala-as-its-first-female-leader?cmpid=BBD021521_OAS&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_term=210215&utm_campaign=openasia&sref=WtHiUFSX">Her first priorityu003c/a> will be global u003cstrong>vaccine equityu003c/strong>.u003c/li>u003c/ul> u003ch4>Europeu003c/h4> u003cul>u003cli>The u003cstrong>European boursesu003c/strong> were modestly higher with the u003cstrong>Stoxx Europe 600u003c/strong> up u003cstrong>0.2%u003c/strong> at the open. u003c/li>u003cli>Shares inu003cstrong> u003ca href="https://fortune.com/company/glencore/" target="_blank">Glencoreu003c/a> u003c/strong>were up u003cstrong>3%u003c/strong> mid-morning after the mining giant u003ca href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-16/glencore-s-glasenberg-signs-off-with-dividends-trading-bonanza?sref=WtHiUFSX">reinstated its dividendu003c/a> following a blockbuster report of record trading profits on the back of u003cstrong>crudeu003c/strong> and u003cstrong>copperu003c/strong>.u003c/li>u003cli>u003cstrong>Lufthansau003c/strong> CEO Carsten Spohr u003ca href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-15/lufthansa-in-talks-with-planemakers-on-switching-to-smaller-jets?cmpid=BBD021621_OEU&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_term=210216&utm_campaign=openeurope&sref=WtHiUFSX">believesu003c/a>u003cstrong> business travelu003c/strong> will u003cem>neveru003c/em> return to pre-pandemic levels in Europe and the United States. As such, the airline is seeking smaller, more fuel-efficient jets.u003c/li>u003c/ul> u003ch4>U.S.u003c/h4> u003cul>u003cli>u003cstrong>U.S. futures u003c/strong>point to a positive start to the trading week. That's after all three major exchanges finished higher last week.u003c/li>u003cli>u003cstrong>Blackouts u003c/strong>are spreading across Texas and the Great Plains this morning as u003ca href="https://fortune.com/2021/02/16/texas-power-outage-frozen-wind-turbines/">power plants shut downu003c/a> amid a deep freeze. The disruption has jolted crude prices. u003c/li>u003cli>On the u003cstrong>earnings calendaru003c/strong> this week is u003ca href="https://fortune.com/company/cvs-health/" target="_blank">CVS Healthu003c/a> and u003ca href="https://fortune.com/company/omnicom-group/" target="_blank">Omnicomu003c/a> (today); Shopify (tomorrow), u003ca href="https://fortune.com/company/walmart/" target="_blank">Walmartu003c/a>, Nestlé and u003ca href="https://fortune.com/company/daimler/" target="_blank">Daimleru003c/a> (Thursday) .u003c/li>u003c/ul> u003ch4>Elsewhereu003c/h4> u003cul>u003cli>u003cstrong>Goldu003c/strong> is down, hovering below u003cstrong>$1,820/ounceu003c/strong>. u003c/li>u003cli>The u003cstrong>dollaru003c/strong> is flat. u003c/li>u003cli>u003cstrong>Crudeu003c/strong> has been on a roll. u003cstrong>WTI u003c/strong>is trading around u003cstrong>$60/barrelu003c/strong>.u003c/li>u003cli>At 10 a.m. Rome time, u003cstrong>Bitcoinu003c/strong> was trading above u003cstrong>$49,000u003c/strong> after hitting fresh records overnight. u003c/li>u003c/ul> u003cp class="has-text-align-center">***u003c/p> u003ch2>Helicopter moneyu003c/h2> u003cp>Let's talk free money, the very best kind.u003c/p> u003cp>On Friday afternoon, I got emails from u003ca href="https://fortune.com/company/bank-of-america/" target="_blank">Bank of Americau003c/a> and from u003ca href="https://fortune.com/company/goldman-sachs-group/" target="_blank">Goldman Sachsu003c/a> summarizing the state of the Biden stimulus package negotiations, and what passage would mean for households and for the wider economy. u003c/p> u003cp>I've been following the debate as much as anyone, but the numbers still surprise me. It's not just the stimulus checks, but also the tax break sweeteners (in the form of temporary child tax credits) that make these packages potentially incredibly lucrative. For example, "a family of four making less than $150k a year could qualify for $12,800 in federal income support over the next 15 months," BofA analysts calculate. That family of four is represented by the top orange line in the chart below. Married with one child? Congratulations, you stand to get $8,000. u003c/p> u003cfigure class="wp-block-image size-large is-resized">u003cimg data-src="https://content.fortune.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Screen-Shot-2021-02-16-at-9.45.37-AM.png?w=1024" alt="" class="lazyload wp-image-2953983" width="612" height="303"/>u003c/figure> u003cp>That kind of helicopter money will turbocharge GDP growth over the next two years.u003c/p> u003cp>In fact, Goldman tallies the fiscal support to households coming in at around $2.4 trillion, or 11% of GDP. "Whether households spend a modest or large share of these pent-up savings as the economy fully reopens could be the difference between a healthy recovery and overheating," they write.u003c/p> u003cp>The crux of the debate lies in the question: what will households do with the dough? If recent history is any indicator, we'll save it or pay down debt simply because we're stuck at home and we can't spend like we normally do. Until vaccinations do their job, a huge chunk of consumer spending—remember, that's 70% of GDP—will be on things like streaming services, take-out dinners and comfy slippers. Once it's safe to get on airplanes and go to ball games and movie theaters, consumption will shift, and that will have a multiplier effect on the economy.u003c/p> u003cp>But the question is do we really need this third round of stimulus? The data shows Americans' savings rates are at or near record levels, and that pent-up savings is most likely to go into illiquid assets like real estate and equities (yes, day traders, economists regard stocks as illiquid.) u003c/p> u003cfigure class="wp-block-image size-large">u003cimg data-src="https://content.fortune.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Screen-Shot-2021-02-16-at-10.27.40-AM.png?w=1024" alt="" class="lazyload wp-image-2953989"/>u003c/figure> u003cp>In other words, it's not just the WallStreetBets crowd looking to put their next round of "stimmy" checks into the market. u003c/p> u003cp>If even a portion of this $1.9 trillion stimulus package gets passed, it will no doubt lead to a tsunami of cash pouring into the markets. (More than one reader has pointed out to me that the flush state of the investor is no doubt the rocket fuel behind the recent rally in stocks.) u003c/p> u003cp>Now, to the question: could that overheat the markets? u003c/p> u003cp>Let's answer that with another question—Who could tell?u003c/p> u003cp>***u003c/p> u003ch2>Postscriptu003c/h2> u003cp>If you took a Medieval history course at university, you no doubt recall the 13th and 14th-century rivalry between the u003ca href="https://www.britannica.com/event/Guelf-and-Ghibelline">Guelph and the Ghibellineu003c/a>. The former were loyal to the pope, while the Ghibelline faction supported the Germanic line of Holy Roman emperors.u003c/p> u003cp>In the Marche region of Italy (where I was this weekend), the landscape is defined by this rivalry. You can still tell, if you look close enough, which hilltop-town supported which of the big Gs. As you approach the town, look at the teeth-like crenellations on the castle or on the medieval wall below it. u003c/p> u003cp>Ghibelline supporters designed their crenels with a fishtail-like gap in the stones. A Guelph town played it straight, literally. u003c/p> u003cp>I'm fascinated by the apparent randomness of this rivalry as we drive around the region. As we approach a new town, I can't help but insist on quizzing everyone in the car, "Okay, gang. Is this a Guelph town or Ghibelline town?" On cue, the kids turn up the Spotify, and drown me out.u003c/p> u003cp>Why am I bringing up this ancient feud? u003c/p> u003cp>Because this weekend, up in the mountains of Amandola, we got hit with a blizzard. And there was plenty of the white stuff to build a decent sized snow fort. The girls and their cousin were out all afternoon in the cold assembling blocks of ice and snow and piling them high into a kind of walled fortification. The design was distinctly Guelph-ist, I pointed out, to all manner of eye-rolls. "It's not a fort. It's a house, dad," they corrected me, gesturing to the snowy floor as "the parquet." u003c/p> u003cfigure class="wp-block-image size-large">u003cimg data-src="https://content.fortune.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/snow-fort.jpg?w=810" loading="lazy" alt="" class="lazyload wp-image-2953997"/>u003c/figure> u003cp>Parquet, as you know, came later.u003c/p> u003cp>u003cstrong>Bernhard Warneru003c/strong>u003cbr>u003ca href="https://twitter.com/BernhardWarner">@BernhardWarneru003c/a>u003cbr>u003ca href="mailto:Bernhard.Warner@Fortune.com">Bernhard.Warner@Fortune.comu003c/a>u003c/p> u003cp>u003cem>As always, you can write to u003c/em>u003ca href="mailto:bullsheet@fortune.com">u003cem>bullsheet@fortune.comu003c/em>u003c/a>u003cem> or reply to this email with suggestions and feedback.u003c/em>u003c/p> u003ch3>Today’s readu003c/h3>nu003cp>u003cstrong>u003cspan style="font-size: 1.125rem;letter-spacing: 0.035rem">Priciest apartment on the block.u003c/span>u003c/strong>u003cspan style="font-size: 1.125rem;letter-spacing: 0.035rem"> There’s no crisis in Hong Kong’s upscale property market. Tycoon Victor Li’s asset holding company u003ca href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-16/hong-kong-developer-ck-asset-sells-asia-s-priciest-apartment?srnd=premium-europe&sref=WtHiUFSX">just soldu003c/a> a luxury pad for a record-breaking HK$459 million (u003cstrong>$59 millionu003c/strong>)—that comes down to more than u003cstrong>$17,500u003c/strong> per square foot. What does that come to in Bitcoin per square foot, I wonder?u003c/span>u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cstrong>Rollin’ in my 5.0.u003c/strong> The rally in u003cstrong>auto stocksu003c/strong> will be one of the big stories to watch in 2020. The reason for all the investor enthusiasm comes down to a single word: u003cstrong>electricu003c/strong>. Ford in recent weeks has started selling its Mustang Mach-E, an EV muscle car, if you will. u003cem>Fortuneu003c/em> u003ca href="https://fortune.com/2021/02/13/ford-mustang-mach-e-ev-tesla-electric-vehicles/">took it for a spinu003c/a> to see if the new entry justifies the spike in the share price. It gets high marks.u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cstrong>YOLOs come home to roostu003c/strong>. The u003cem>Wall Street Journalu003c/em> has the story of a 25-year-old security guard who, in the hopes of making a mint on the markets and retiring young, took out a u003cstrong>$20,000 loanu003c/strong> and bet it all on GameStop. He bought into the rally at u003cstrong>$234 a shareu003c/strong>, and, so far, u003ca href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/gamestop-investors-who-bet-bigand-lost-big-11613385002?mod=hp_lead_pos11">has lost a bundleu003c/a>.u003c/p>nu003cp>u003cem>Some of these stories require a subscription to access. There is a discount offer for our loyal readers if you u003ca href="https://fortune.com/subscribe/">use this linku003c/a> to sign up. Thank you for supporting our journalismu003c/em>.u003c/p>nu003ch3>Market candyu003c/h3>nu003cp>u003cstrong>Quote of the dayu003c/strong>u003c/p>nu003cblockquote>nu003cp>Unless a company’s business model is a cryptocurrency hedge fund, it shouldn’t be making speculative bets on Bitcoin.u003c/p>nu003c/blockquote>nu003cp>That’s Alex Pickard, an investment strategist at Research Affiliates and u003cstrong>reformed Bitcoin mineru003c/strong>. Pickard objects (he’s not the only one) to Tesla’s u003cstrong>$1.5 billion betu003c/strong> on Bitcoin, and even points out this speculative bet was indirectly u003ca href="https://fortune.com/2021/02/13/elon-musk-tesla-bitcoin-bet-1-5-billion-alex-pickard/">paid for by you and meu003c/a>, taxpayers.u003c/p>nu003c/div>n"},"children":[]}]}]},{"name":"dianomi","config":{"type":"footer"},"children":[]}]}]}]}},"componentData":{},"error":null,"loading":false,"player":{"currentTime":0,"duration":0,"loading":false,"playing":false,"seek":0,"src":"","visible":false,"volume":0.5},"route":{"status":200,"redirectTo":"","redirectStatus":0,"action":"PUSH","pathname":"/2021/02/16/something-weird-crude-oil-rally-wti-brent/","search":"?","hash":""},"visible":{"search":false,"primaryNav":false,"freestar":false,"adminBar":false},"contactForm":{"submitting":false,"submitted":false,"failed":false,"validation":{},"redirect":""},"user":{"isLoggedIn":false,"accessLevel":null}}; ]]> response.json()) .then(function (data) { signPackage = data; wx.config(data); wx.ready(function () { wx.updateTimelineShareData({ title: title, link: url, imgUrl: img, success: function () {}, cancel: function () {} }); wx.updateAppMessageShareData({ title: title, desc: desc, link: url, imgUrl: img, success: function () {}, cancel: function () {} }); wx.error(function (res) { //location.href = g_url; }); }); }) } }; script.src = "https://res.wx.qq.com/open/js/jweixin-1.6.0.js"; document.head.appendChild(script); } ]]> You need to enable JavaScript to view this site.
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