And it is three strikes, you're out! at the old ball game. Well it took one, then two strikes and an overly aggressive floor trade to hit the stop on the RBOB. With all the talk of strikes you might think this was baseball season as opposed to the day after the Super Bowl.
Oil and product prices seem to be breathing a sigh of relief as a US strike is averted at least for now. Yet in London a refinery strike is going on. Dow Jones reports that, Contract workers at ConocoPhillips 221,000-barrel-a-day Humber refinery in northern England resumed a strike Monday in protest at the use of foreign labor at a nearby plant, the company said Monday. Around 400 maintenance contractors are still not reporting to work after they walked off site last week in support of contractors at Total SA's (TOT) nearby Lindsey Oil Refinery, a ConocoPhillips spokeswoman told Dow Jones Newswires.
Yet our markets had a greater focus on the US labor issue. Maybe with the US refinery strike being averted the market can go back to focusing on the economy. Well maybe on second thought, focusing on the strike might be better. On Friday oil products soared again as fears that a strike would tighten supplies of gasoline and heating oil drove the products. The United Steelworkers and the refineries agreed to extend talks which means workers will be showing up for work. Lynn Baker, a spokesperson for the Union, said that there are still issues that need to be worked out and notice of a strike could be given at any time if that progress stalls.
And a strike would be a big deal. Bloomberg news says that the negotiations cover workers at 86 plants representing about 64 percent of U.S. refining capacity, including operations owned by Exxon Mobil Corp., Valero Energy Corp., BP Plc and Chevron Corp. as well as Shell. Gasoline futures prices soared almost 10 percent last week on concern over a walkout. Newswires said that the nation's biggest refiner, Valero Energy Corp and BP said it would shut down some facilities if workers walk out. Shell Oil and Exxon said its refineries would use non-union or replacement workers.
Yet a settlement may drive oil and products lower after the dismal GDP and the lack of confidence in the stimulus talk coming out of Washington. With a stronger dollar and an averted strike, oil is going to have a hard time. Day-traders, call for updates and call for option plays to hedge your position. Also call for diversification plays against you stock position. 440 still a key support for oil!
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We're short March crude from apprx 4354 on what is now a quadruple rollover! Stop 5350!
Sell March heating oil at 15100 - stop 15600.
Stopped on short March RBOB from apprx 12450 at apprx 12900. Ouch! Call me for another strategy as opposed to using the publicly posted stops.
Sell March RBOB at 12900 - stop 13300.
Sell March natural gas at 500 - stop 520.