The Department of Energy just released the weekly inventory data in crude and oil products, and the headline figures are huge on the surface. We have been watching the Oil Services HOLDRs (NYSE: OIH), the United States Oil (NYSE: USO) ETF and the iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Total Return Index ETN (NYSE: OIL) react to this news. There was a huge draw-down in crude oil, yet there was an increase in gasoline. Perhaps the aberration is due to inventory juggling for the Labor Day weekend.
Crude oil inventories fell by a whopping 5.9 million barrels to 337.48 million barrels. Dow Jones had estimates at -1.6 million barrels, and we had been told to expect a draw of -2 million barrels by traders.
The surprising gain was in gasoline inventories, meaning perhaps not as much driving took place. Gasoline inventories rose by 2.06 million barrels to 207.15 million barrels. Dow Jones had estimates of -1.3 million barrels, but we were told to also look for as much as -2 million from traders.
Distillates rose by 1.99 million barrels to 165.55 million barrels. Dow Jones had those figures at close to +600,000 barrels. Refinery capacity stayed strong as 87.2%, and we were looking for 86% or a tad higher.
WTI NYMEX Crude at 11:07 AM EST is up $0.69 at $72.00 currently. The Oil Services HOLDRs (NYSE: OIH) are up 1.3% at $110.40, the United States Oil (NYSE: USO) ETF is up 0.85% at $37.26 and the iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Total Return Index ETN (NYSE: OIL) is up 1% at $24.57.
JON C. OGG
SEPTEMBER 10, 2009