October 10, 2017, 3:00 pm EST
Crude oil was the biggest mover of the day across global markets, up almost 3%, and back above the $50 level.
Though oil has been stuck, oscillating around this $50 mark for some time, we’ve talked about the prospects for much higher oil prices. So, when?
Remember, back in May I spoke with one of the best research-driven commodities funds on the planet, led by the star commodities investor Leigh Goehring and his long-time research head Adam Rozencwajg. They do some of the most thorough supply/demand work on oil and broader commodities.
Earlier this year, they were pounding the table on the fundamental case for $100 oil again. Since then, as oil prices haven’t complied. With that, we’ve seen Andy Hall’s departure from the market, of one of the biggest oil bulls, and one of the best and most successful tactical traders of oil in the world.
Meanwhile, the fundamentals have continued to build in favor of much
higher oil prices. We’ve seen supply drawdown for the better part of the past seven months – to the tune of more than $60 million barrels of oil taken out of the market.
I checked back in with Goehring and Rozencwajg and they are now more bullish than before. They say demand is raging, supply is faltering, and the world has overestimated what the shale industry is capable of producing – and the market is leaning, heavily, the wrong way (i.e. “maximum bearishness”). They think we’ve now hit the tipping point for prices – where we will see the price of oil accelerate.
They’re calling for $75-$110 oil by early next year, based on their historical analysis of price and inventory levels.
We’ll talk more about their work on the oil market in the coming days, and their very interesting work on the broader commodities markets – both of which support the themes we’ve been discussing in recent months.
August 15, 2016, 4:00pm EST
Following a quiet week on the news and economic data front, this week will have plenty of events and catalysts for markets, as we sit at record highs in U.S. stocks.
We talked last week about the sharp bounce back in oil. That bounce continues today (+2.5%), and is being driven by comments from Saudi Arabia that an oil production freeze may finally come to put a floor under oil.
Why does it matter? OPEC, led by its biggest oil producer, Saudi Arabia, has rigged oil prices for the better part of two years in an attempt to ward off new shale industry competition. That brought the U.S. energy industry to its knees earlier this year, before central banks stepped in with “stimulus” measures that happened to bottom out oil and double the price in just weeks. Still, low prices are finally reaching the breaking point for all oil producers (including the Saudis and fellow OPEC countries).
So higher oil (above $40) takes shock risk off of the table for global markets. As such, global stocks continue to climb. It started in China this morning, with a 3% plus rise (as we said in early July, It May Be Time To Buy Chinese Stocks).
Among the events this week, the biggest investors in the world are filing required quarterly public portfolio disclosures with the SEC (13F filings). This is where we get a glimpse into their portfolios.
Of course, it’s a widely covered event these days by the media. And there’s interesting information to be gleaned. But of 400 or so top funds/investors, only 20-30 have the combination of size/influence and hold a concentrated portfolio of high conviction investments to make the prospect of following their lead, productive. Most of the lot allocate across so many stocks their portfolio performance mirrors the broader indices.
Of this small group of investors, what’s most valuable are the timely public disclosures (13D filings) they make when they’ve taken a controlling interest in a company with the intent to create change — their conviction level, and their clear and articulated game plan for unlocking value.
With filings continuing throughout the day today, we’ll talk more this week about the value of following the lead of some of the best investors in the world.
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Oil has surged to open the week. If you’ve been reading our daily pieces over the past few weeks, you’ll know how important oil is for global markets at this stage. With that, strong oil today has translated into higher stocks, higher broad commodities, a slight bump higher in interest rates and better investor sentiment in general.
It was just fourteen days ago that Chesapeake Energy, one of the largest producers of oil and natural gas was rumored to be choosing the path of bankruptcy. That rumor was immediately denied by the company. And soon thereafter, the reality set in for markets that a scenario like that would conjure up post-Lehman like outcomes. Oil has since put in a bottom and bounced more than 25%. Chesapeake has now bounced 46% from the lows just the last six trading days.
It’s at extremes in markets where the biggest and best investors have historically made their money – running into risk, when everyone else is running away.
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With that, today we want to take a look at a few stocks with the biggest upside, and an important “risk buffer” in what is a high risk sector at the moment (energy). This risk buffer? Each stock has the presence of a big-time billionaire investor.
Self-made billionaire energy trader Boone Pickens has said he expects oil to return to $70 this year. On his $70 prediction, he’s also said that if he misses it will be because oil is “over $70, not under $70.” If Pickens is right about oil prices, each of these stocks below have huge upside:
1) Oasis Petroleum (OAS) – Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson owns nearly 4% of this stock. The activist hedge fund SPO Advisory owns 14% and has been buying the stock on almost every dip. When oil was last $70, OAS was trading $25 or 500% higher than current levels.
2) Chesapeake Energy (CHK) – Billionaire investor Carl Icahn owns 11% of CHK and recently added to his position around $13. The last time oil was $70, Chesapeake was $25. That would be more than a 1000% return from its price today.
3) EXCO Resources (XCO) – Billionaire investors Wilbur Ross and Howard Marks own more than 30% of this energy stock. The last time oil was $70, EXCO was $3.30. That would be almost a 330% return from its price today.
4) Consol Energy (CNX) – Billionaire David Einhorn owns 12.9% of this stock. When oil was last $70, Consol traded for $40 or almost 500% higher than current levels.
5) Williams Companies (WMB) – Carl Icahn Protégé, Keith Meister of the activist hedge fund Corvex Management, owns $1.1 billion worth of WMB. The last time oil was $70, WMB traded for $50 – more than 300% higher than its current levels.
As we’ve said, persistently cheap oil (at these prices) has become the new “too big to fail” — it’s a systemic risk. It’s hard to imagine central banks will sit back and watch an OPEC-rigged price war put the global economy back into an ugly downward spiral. And time is the worst enemy to those vulnerable first dominoes (the energy industry and weak oil producing countries).
The best investors like to go where the biggest risks are — that’s where the biggest returns can follow. And they’ve been getting aggressive in energy and commodities.
Without question, energy stocks have been beaten up and left for dead. If indeed Chesapeake is a leading indicator that it’s all backing away from the edge, there will be big money to be made in these stocks.
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