Energy Prices

Stock Market Futures Edge Higher on Surprising Europe News

stock market futures

Good morning! Stock market futures for Friday, Feb. 13, forecasted a 34-point increase from yesterday's close. The Dow Jones gained more than 110 points Thursday on strong earnings reports, good economic data, and renewed hopes for a deal between the EU and Greece.

Friday has already brought surprising news that the German economy expanded by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. The number shattered consensus expectations of a 0.3% increase, and helped restore some hope of the economic bloc's largest economy and the broader euro zone.

Here's what else you should know about the stock market today - including your "Money Morning Tip of the Day" - to make it a profitable Friday...

How Scottish Independence Will Affect Energy Prices

energy prices

On Thursday, there will be a vote in Scotland to decide whether it will separate from the rest of the U.K., and the latest polls are too close to call.

For the government, Scottish independence would be a direct rejection of Prime Minister David Cameron.

But there are also numerous implications for energy prices if the vote succeeds…

Natural Gas Prices Will Head Higher on These Critical Factors

natural gas prices

Natural gas prices, like any commodity, are affected by supply and demand - but weather plays a main role in this energy's cost.

In order to forecast where natural gas prices will be trading in coming months, it's important to look at what's expected for this winter and how much temperatures will differ from region to region.

Here's what we know about how weather will move natural gas prices into 2015...

Where Crude Oil Prices Are Headed Next

crude oil prices

To hear some analysts tell it, geopolitics and the weather are exogenous events when it comes to energy prices. That is, somehow crude oil prices would operate "rationally" if it weren't for either of them.

That type of thinking is costly. When investors disregard the weather, the geopolitical, or both, they lose money.

So as we begin the fourth quarter, I’m going to handicap where oil prices are headed next…

The Wild Card in the Ongoing Global Energy Crisis

The conflict in Iraq is escalating beyond all hope of control - and it's impacting a huge number of investments worldwide. So we reached out to Dr. Kent Moors, one of very few people who've advised both the Kurdish regional and Iraqi federal governments.

What he told us was incredible, bringing crystal clarity to what had been an extremely murky picture.

More importantly, Kent's showed us a way forward through the supply crisis, and, as we'll see shortly, a way to profit from it.

Here's Kent...

Russia: The Greatest Threat to the Energy Markets

There's an old saying, "The more things change, the more they stay the same."
And modern Russia a perfect example of this saying. And this move to the past autocratic methods is creating a very unstable future for the energy markets.
Dr. Moors explains the warning signs in Moscow that are making energy traders start to worry.
To find out what's happening and what it means to you, read on...

Energy Investors Will Love These New MLPs

The "midstream" segment in oil and gas markets is undergoing some very interesting changes these days. It is diversifying in an exciting way for income investors.

MLP "clones" are starting to emerge, controlling more expanded activities and new product-specific focuses that never existed before.

That means brand-new investing opportunities for you.

Here's what's so interesting about this new development...

Why I Cancelled Everything in Germany and Took the Next Flight to Dubai

Something big unfolded on my trip to Frankfurt last week.
It began with meetings in Germany over natural gas prices. They morphed into a discussion on how government subsidies affect energy prices. Our conversation turned to a recent IMF report that criticized taxes on energy - specifically pre-tax concessions - those provided by governments to producers in oil exporting countries.
That led four of us to drop everything in Germany and fly to Dubai, so we could hash out the matter firsthand with some of the folks responsible for those tax benefits.
What we learned there could change everything in the global energy markets and have huge consequences for energy investors around the world.
Remember, you heard it here first

Investing in Clean Energy Stocks Just Got More Risky

Despite its promising future, clean energy stocks have proved to be an investing minefield.

Even China-based clean energy stocks are no longer a safe haven. Yesterday (Monday) Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE ADR: STP) defaulted on its debt.

Heavy losses caused by plummeting prices for solar panels - which fell 73% from 2010 to 2012 - left Suntech unable to make the payment on a $541 million bond that was due Friday.

The news caused Suntech stock, already down 80% over the past year, to slip another 10%.

While numerous U.S. renewable energy companies have faltered, most notably the 2011 bankruptcy of solar panel maker Solyndra, Suntech is the first Chinese clean energy company that could go under.

What's new is a reluctance on the part of the Chinese government to keep pouring subsidies into money-losing companies.

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