SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Crude futures ended lower on Thursday after fresh signs of a slowdown in the United States and as stocks fell, while natural-gas futures soared 6.5%, their biggest one-day rise since December. Natural-gas prices bucked the trend thanks to a government inventories report that showed an increase in stockpiles, but one on the lower end of expectations. Crude for August delivery lost 42 cents, or 0.6%, to $76.62 a barrel. But the star of the day was natural gas, with the August contract rallying 6.5%, adding 28 cents to $4.59 per million British thermal units. Oil posted steeper declines after the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said manufacturing in the Philadelphia region grew at a slower pace in July. The Philly Fed index fell to 5.1 in July from 8.1 in June. Economists had expected an increase of 10. That turned the tide for markets. Until then, most asset classes had seesawed between gains or losses or had posted small losses, with traders viewing Thursday's barrage of macroeconomic reports as painting a mixed view of the U.S. economy. "The markets definitely zeroed in the most bearish items," said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch & Associates in Galena, Ill. "It doesn't take much." Oil has been trending lower for the best part of two months. In recent action, it has been stuck between $70 and $80 a barrel, a range likely to remain in place for the remainder of the summer, Ritterbusch said.
NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Crude oil futures edged lower Friday, as buyers remained scarce following a slew of data indicating a slowing of economic growth earlier in the week. Light, sweet crude for August delivery traded 48 cents, or 0.6%, lower at $76.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange traded 56 cents, or 0.7%, lower at $75.53 a barrel. On Thursday, reports showed U.S. industrial production and New York-area manufacturing expanding at an anemic pace, while China's second-quarter gross domestic product increased at a slower rate from a year earlier than in the first quarter. While both economies are still expanding, the data did little to counter the prevailing feeling in the market that the two biggest oil consuming nations are more likely to meet--or fall short--of growth expectations. Earlier in the year, oil prices reached as high as $87.15 a barrel when it appeared that major economies were emerging from last year's downturn faster than anticipated. "The choice of the oil market soundtrack has clearly become a bit extreme, clinging on to the events of the past, and haunted by the mere notion of slowdown," wrote analysts with Barclays Capital. In the last 10 days, a mix of positive and negative indicators have caused oil prices to test the high and low ends of the $70 to $80 a barrel trading range that has constrained prices for much of 2010. But after two volatile weeks, futures have gravitated toward the center of the range after testing both extremes. "A difficult trading environment lies ahead, one in which prices may well show little change from current levels at the end of the summer," wrote Jim Ritterbusch, president of the trading advisory firm Ritterbusch and Associates, in a note to clients. Equities represent the best hope for oil prices to break out of the range one way or the other, Ritterbusch wrote. Investors are raising and lowering their exposure to riskier assets, including stocks and commodities, depending on trends in the global economy. However, equities trading has focused on corporate earnings this week, and U.S. stock futures are expected to open lower after Citigroup and Bank of America reported lower-than-expected revenue. The weak U.S. economy is also weighing on the dollar, making oil cheaper to buy using other currencies. The euro was recently at $1.2991, just below a two-month high hit earlier Friday. Front-month August reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, recently traded 1.31 cents, or 0.6%, lower at $2.0476 a gallon. August heating oil traded 0.78 cent, or 0.4%, lower at $2.0105 a gallon.
Lack of consumer confidence contributes to a fall in oil prices
Xinhua 7/17/10 (“Crude prices fall on weak U.S. consumer confidence”, http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/business/2010-07/17/c_13401584.htm)
NEW YORK, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Crude traded lower on Friday as weaker U.S. consumer confidence dragged down the equity markets. The University of Michigan and Reuters said in a twice-monthly survey that the index of consumer sentiment compiled from the survey fell to 66.5 in early July from 76. Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America worried investors by reporting declines in trading revenue. Bank of America, the nation 's largest lender by assets, disappointed investors with its lackluster performance across nearly all business lines. Light, sweet crude for August delivery was down 61 cents to 76. 01 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude fell 16 cents to 75.37 dollars a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
No Warming – generic
The Global Warming phenomenon is dead
Mead 10 – the Henry A. Kissinger senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations and one of the country's leading students of American foreign policy (Walter Russel Mead: “The Death of Global Warming” at: http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2010/02/01/the-death-of-global-warming/ RC)
The global warming movement as we have known it is dead. Its health had been in steady decline during the last year as the once robust hopes for a strong and legally binding treaty to be agreed upon at the Copenhagen Summit faded away. By the time that summit opened, campaigners were reduced to hoping for a ‘politically binding’ agreement to be agreed that would set the stage for the rapid adoption of the legally binding treaty. After the failure of the summit to agree to even that much, the movement went into a rapid decline. The movement diedfrom two causes: bad science and bad politics. After years in which global warming activists had lectured everyone about the overwhelming nature of the scientific evidence, it turned out that the most prestigious agencies in the global warming movement were breaking laws, hiding data, and making inflated, bogus claims resting on, in some cases, no scientific basis at all. This latest story in the London Times is yet another shocker; the IPCC’s claims that the rainforests were going to disappear as a result of global warming are as bogus and fraudulent as its claims that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035. It seems as if a scare story could grab a headline, the IPCC simply didn’t care about whether it was reality-based.With this in mind, ‘climategate’ — the scandal over hacked emails by prominent climate scientists — looks sinister rather than just unsavory. The British government has concluded that University of East Anglia, home of the research institute that provides the global warming with much of its key data, had violated Britain’s Freedom of Information Act when scientists refused to hand over data so that critics could check their calculations and methods. Breaking the law to hide key pieces of data isn’t just ‘science as usual,’ as the global warming movement’s embattled defenders gamely tried to argue. A cover-up like that suggests that you indeed have something to conceal. The urge to make the data better than it was didn’t just come out of nowhere. The global warmists were trapped into the necessity of hyping the threat by their realization that the actual evidence they had — which, let me emphasize, all hype aside, is serious, troubling and establishes in my mind the need for intensive additional research and investigation, as well as some prudential steps that would reduce CO2 emissions by enhancing fuel use efficiency and promoting alternative energy sources — was not sufficient to get the world’s governments to do what they thought needed to be done. Hyping the threat increasingly doesn’t look like an accident: it looks like it was a conscious political strategy. Now it has failed. Not everything that has come out of the IPCC and the East Anglia Climate Unit is false, but enough of their product is sufficiently tainted that these institutions can best serve the cause of fighting climate change by stepping out of the picture. New leadership might help, but everything these two agencies have done will now have to be re-checked by independent and objective sources. The global warming campaigners got into this mess because they had a deeply flawed political strategy. They were never able to develop a pragmatic approach that could reach its goals in the context of the existing international system. The global warming movement proposed a complex set of international agreements involving vast transfers of funds, intrusive regulations in national economies, and substantial changes to the domestic political economies of most countries on the planet. As it happened, the movement never got to the first step — it never got the world’s countries to agree to the necessary set of treaties, transfers and policies that would constitute, at least on paper, a program for achieving its key goals.