22 Apr 2020

Dodging Commodities

One of the best decisions that our Investment Committee made was back in 2008 when we decided not to add commodities to the portfolio. It’s hard to believe now, but there was a lot of pressure back then to add it because stocks were down and commodities were doing well. If you look at the 12-month period ending on June 30, 2008 just before the worst part of the storm,… Read More

21 Apr 2020

Oil Gets Weird

When US Treasury bills first traded with negative yields in 2008, I took a screen shot, printed it and put it in a folder of interesting stuff that I look back at every few years.  I never dreamed that interest rates would be negative all the way out to 10-years in Europe. Well, it turns out that it’s not just interest rates that can trade completely upside down – yesterday… Read More

24 Feb 2016

An Unusual Energy IPO

I’ll bet that when you think of IPOs, or initial public offerings, you think of hot tech stocks like Facebook, Tesla or GoPro (granted, some of these stocks are a little less hot these days). I do too, so I was a little surprised to read in the Wall Street Journal that the biggest IPO this year is essentially a blank check for what is known as a Special Purpose… Read More

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5 Jan 2016

Oil Prices Drop on Middle East Tension?

One of the puzzling aspects of yesterday’s trading was that oil prices fell. When I read about the malaise between Saudi Arabia and Iran over the weekend, I assumed that oil prices would gap higher yesterday morning. Violence in the Middle East has always meant threats to output, which meant potentially lower supply or other disruptions that resulted in higher prices. In this case, though, the geopolitical tension between these… Read More

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23 Dec 2015

Oil and Energy Stocks

One of my favorite long-timer readers asked me today to follow up on the chart from yesterday to include the performance of energy stocks (click here to see yesterday’s chart). The best quality sector data from S&P only dates back to 1989, so this data set isn’t quite as long as what I showed yesterday, but the story is basically the same and I have to admit that I was surprised… Read More

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22 Dec 2015

Treasury Bills Beat Oil 30 Years On

Although oil ultimately finished higher yesterday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude touched on a 2004 low during the day.  I know I am repeating myself, but I continue to be surprised by how far oil has dropped in the last 18 months. As you know, I think a chart is worth 1,000 words, so I’ve plotted the spot price for WTI as far back as my Bloomberg data would take… Read More

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