The Situation Room: Business As Usual in the 2019 White House

The Situation Room: Business As Usual in the 2019 White House

by | published January 21st, 2019

Good morning everyone, and welcome to this week’s Situation Room briefing.

The White House has been pounding the airwaves with rhetoric lately, from the government shutdown to Iranian sanctions to geopolitical dealings. It’s a good thing I get paid to keep track of all this, otherwise I might lose my mind.

Anyway, the geopolitical playing field has been as busy as ever, especially within the oil realm. Before we get to the first two of the four situations I’m watching this week, I want to remind you that the markets are closed today for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Now, let’s get started.

1. More Interesting Politics from the White House

Despite rhetoric from the White House on not extending exemptions for designated importing countries from Iranian sanctions when the current exemptions expire at the beginning of May, Indian, Russian, and Asian sources are telling me privately that they do not believe full sanctions will be introduced.

The question now becomes, is this another example of policy change or merely politics as usual in Washington?


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2. The Situation with Oil Prices

Next, I’ll be looking into why the next round of oil shorts may not be as successful in driving prices down as the last.

More analysts are moving toward the estimates I made at the beginning of this month: $70-$72 for WTI; $82 for Brent by mid-year.

Regardless, those numbers are certainly much better than the ones we’ve been seeing in the oil charts over the last few months.

The Profit Opportunities When the Markets Move

As oil prices begin to struggle upward once again, we might expect to see a similar – if not identical – trend in natural gas.

Historically, these two price charts sometimes rise and fall in tandem, and as oil moves up and down, so too does natural gas.

However, these days, we’ve been seeing something different.

When oil prices plummeted during the last three months of 2018, the price of natural gas skyrocketed.

Of course, there are many factors involved in determining how the charts will perform, not the least of which are geopolitical in nature. But now that the storm is calming, the two charts are matching up once again.

Meaning that natural gas is continuing to move upward in tandem with oil.

And in the coming deep freeze we’re about to experience, that isn’t terribly surprising.

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