Monday Morning Meltdown.
Where did all the economic optimism go? Just a week ago we were celebrating the end of the recession and now we look like we are running for cover.Banks have been failing like crazy yet the Colonial Bank failure late Friday afternoon, on top of sinking consumer confidence and retail sales, was a reminder that while the economy is on the mend we still have some significant problems ahead.
Weak demand for oil and ample supply in storage means that oil is less concerned with the three storms that have developed in the Atlantic. With global spare production capacity at the ready and lessons learned from past hurricanes, the market at this point is less concerned about the hurricane threats than it has been in the past. Of course at the same time these storms may not be a threat to oil production anyway. Ana, Bill and Claudette are the names of these storms. Claudette is a tropical storm that has already hit the Florida coast.The National Hurricane Center says that the center of Claudette was 25 miles west of Panama City, Florida, at 10 p.m. Central Daylight Time, the center said. The storm was moving northwest at 12 mph with winds of about 50 mph, the latest advisory said. Claudette has not impacted any oil or gas production in the Gulf.
Ana is a tropical depression whose current track going up the gulf side of the Florida coast whose track theoretically could and may be more of a threat to oil production but that really depends on the strength of the storm which at this time though uncertain seems to be less of a threat. The National Hurricane center says that Ana is moving at an uncertain but fast track. The storm is tightly clustered for the next 36 hours or so and in is expected that Ana will move over Hispaniola. Then the storm's, dynamical guidance will weaken and bring the remnants toward the eastern Gulf of Mexico or Florida.But it is possible that the storm may fizzle out over Hispaniola and not become an issue.
Then there is Hurricane Bill that looks like it will go up the East-Coast and miss the key oil producing Gulf completely. Though the storm could change direction the market seems like it will not become an issue.
So if the storms are not an issue then the economy will be. Stocks are concerned about more bank failures and the fact that Japan's economy grew less than estimated. Stocks in Asia and Europe fell as the US dropped last week. As far as an important indicator of future energy demand, traders may focus on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Empire State Index. Traders are looking for the first expansion in New York manufacturing in a year and if they do not get it, the energy complex may feel the brunt of the disappointment.
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