There is something very interesting developing in the oil markets right now. It's not front page news yet, but it is something that you'll want to keep an eye on – especially if you want to make money with oil stocks. It revolves around what's called "the spread." In this case it's the difference in [...] but you need to make your move before everyone else realizes what's happening...
Best Investments in Energy: It's a Race for Profits in the Utica Shale
Find out how you can invest in this hot spot where energy industry honchos are investing billions of dollars.
Prolific U.S. shale regions have delivered some of the best investments in energy over the past few years - and now there's another state set to join the Frackers' Club.
Ohio finds itself sitting atop the deep Utica Shale formation, a source of unconventionally derived oil and natural gas.
In fact, roughly the entire eastern half of the state lies on top of the formation. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), that portion holds most of the Utica Shale's oil resources.
The natural gas assessment units - land where the USGS believes there to be energy resources - run farther to the north, south, and east of Ohio, going down into West Virginia and Kentucky, across into Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York and up across the Canadian border into Ontario and Quebec - much of the immense, ancient Appalachian Basin.
There's Only One Thing About Syria That Matters to Americans
Let's talk about Syria and how what's happening there is affecting the markets.
I see oil rising to two-year highs. I see gold rising to three-month highs. Let's see, what else is being affected? Oh, that would be nothing.
And today we find out that, with a touch of some levers somewhere, U.S. GDP growth wasn't really 1.7% in the second quarter, it was really 2.5%.
Let's talk about the GDP growth revision and how that's affecting the markets.
I see oil coming off its Syria-inspired spike and gold giving up some recent gains. Let's see, what else is being affected? Oh, that would be nothing. Well, maybe bonds just a bit.
What's Behind July's 9% Rise in Crude Oil Prices
U.S. crude oil prices finished the month of July on a very positive note. Front-month futures ended July at just above $105 a barrel.
That put those futures up about 9% for July, the largest one-month gain for crude oil in 11 months.
Another Shoe Has Dropped… and It's a Big One
I wasn't more than 30 minutes outside of D.C. the other night before my cell phone started ringing.
The calls involved breaking new developments overseas that promise to have a big impact on the global energy markets. They concerned a major global energy situation that is likely to create a domino effect that will have consequences for U.S. domestic policy.
The Next Best Investments in Oil Come From This Texas Sweet Spot
As I wrote up this analysis of the best investments in oil, a familiar saying came to mind: "Everything old is new again."
A truer statement could not be said about the Permian Basin, which is a geological formation roughly 300 miles long and 250 miles across that stretches across west Texas and eastern New Mexico.
How to Hedge Oil Prices in Volatile Markets
Welcome to the new pricing environment.
We're already started to see kneejerk reactions to short-term indicators last Friday.
A better than expected jobs report sent crude oil prices higher immediately. The figure was encouraging but not a barnburner. Of course, some massive upward revisions for the previous two months hardly hurt either.
Some of this is the result of investors still gun shy after a massive recession. Now we have certainly had a very nice bull market run and the prospects of another meltdown any time soon are negligible.
Nonetheless, the new drivers of oil prices provide little chance for real dynamics to work themselves out. This is all about reaction. Picture it as the newest investor version of smoke and mirrors.
Today's prospects are very good for the oil sector. Natural gas has pulled back from some heavy gains. Major losses earlier this week were erased on Friday. There is a range forming, and it is likely to remain absent any unexpected developments (largely geopolitical at this point).
Demand will increase as we move into the summer; global levels will rise quicker than domestic in the U.S. or Western Europe. That will provide some upward pressure on oil prices.
Remember as well that, while certain region such as the U.S. have a new largess in unconventional (tight or shale) oil, the full volume of that new production will be more expensive to bring on line. That means the additional extraction will not decrease the overall price.
However, the real question is how to make money if trading is in a narrow range for the near term.
You need to develop a new hedging strategy. Here's how...
Frack or Fail: Is It Time For California's Liberals to Go?
Editor's Note: California is in a LOT of trouble financially. Cities are going under and the state can't balance its budget. It also has almost half a trillion in state pensions to fund and revenue is drying up.
But there is one way out: Tap the largest oil and gas play in the Lower 48.
The question is whether this left-leaning state crowded with special interests like the Sierra Club will actually let oil services companies begin to start fracking on state land.
In our inaugural Money Morning Fight Club brawl, Frank Marchant and Garrett Baldwin square off on this contentious issue. The best part is we are asking you to turn in your scorecard and pick the winner at the end.
So let's get ready to rumble...
Buy, Sell or Hold: Strong Oil Prices Make Apache Corp. a Good Bet
In fact, since April 2011 Apache shares are down by 44%. Compared to its peers, that makes Apache what's known as a "laggard."
But there is more here than meets the eye, since it is very hard to find anything to nit-pick when it comes to their financials.
Fundamentally speaking, the company seems on solid ground, which is why I'm willing to buy Apache shares.
In fact, even after an $18 billion flurry of acquisitions over the last couple of years, Apache's balance sheet still remains strong while adding new layers of growth potential.
And as one of the world's largest independent energy companies, Apache continues to report healthy cash flows, strong profit margins, and has a forecasted sales growth of 8.1% for 2013.
So why haven't investors been willing to buy, even when the company appears to be doing all the right things?
The answer is two-fold: Oil prices and the skittish political situation hovering over their oil rigs in Egypt.
Australia Shale Oil Discovery Continues the Country's "Lucky" Streak
Investors are well aware of the shale oil revolution in the United States. But the "revolution" does not end here; it is spreading globally to countries as diverse as China and Poland.
There is one country in particular though that may experience circumstances similar to the United States, if not greater.
I'm talking about Australia, which has often been called "The Lucky Country." That description was first penned in 1964 by Donald Horne and he actually meant it negatively at the time.
But in recent decades, the term has been given a positive spin thanks to Australia's abundance of natural resources and its geographical location near the world's biggest consumer of commodities - China.
And Australia may have struck luck again thanks to the recent announcement of a massive shale oil discovery.