Oil-What a Difference A Month Can Make

by John Whitefoot - Date: 2007-01-17 - Word Count: 626 Share This!

Just one month ago President Bush marked Labor Day by promising to keep U.S. workers competitive in global markets and to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil. "Dependence on foreign oil jeopardized our capacity to grow," he noted.

Encouraging words yes, but hardly new. President Richard M. Nixon promised in 1971 to make the United States self-sufficient in energy by 1980. President Jimmy Carter promised in 1979 that the nation would "never again use more foreign oil than we did in 1977."

When times are tough, we look for alternatives. When times are rosy, we stick our head back into the oil sands.

Wall Street advanced Wednesday taking the Dow Jones industrial further into record high territory, as oil prices fell for a third straight day. The government surprised penny stock investors by reporting a rise in crude oil inventories.

Saudi Arabia also said the country wanted to keep oil prices low. "It looks like the petroleum data shows that there is more than enough oil to go around," mused one research analyst.

Oil prices settled at a seven-month low below $59 a barrel this week as rising global supplies, slack demand, and a mild Atlantic hurricane season forced geopolitical worries to the back burner.

"For the next three months, there is nothing in the fundamentals that is likely to support higher prices except an OPEC production cutback," predicted one energy analyst. Not surprisingly, OPEC's president said Thursday that the group is considering an emergency meeting to discuss the possibility of cutting output.

But fear not, Michael Lynch, President of Strategic Energy & Economic Research predicts that oil will fall to $45 per barrel by mid-2007 and could dip briefly into the $20s in 2008. Sometime next year, he expects we are going to see $1.95 price at the pumps.

While the idea of cheap oil is a godsend for most Americans, it does absolutely nothing to decrease our dependency on foreign oil. And by foreign oil, I'm referring to politically unstable areas such as the Middle East and Venezuela. For arguments sake, let's not refer to Canada's ubiquitous oil sands as "foreign".

Still, cheap oil puts the idea of alternative energy sources on the backburner...and out of the limelight for most investors. But insightful penny stock investors could see the lack of media interest on alternative energy sources as a chance to invest in companies whose day in the sun...could be just around the corner.

While I love to listen to energy savvy prognosticators, if there's one thing we can accurately predict, it's that things rarely go as smoothly as we like. Especially when we are not in the driver's seat.

We can't rely on geopolitical tensions and a decrease in demand to stay with us indefinitely. Should simmering tensions overseas suddenly boil over, you can expect energy prices to follow suit.

Sure they'll retrace at some point, but with penny stocks and the stock market in general, prices can rise and fall quite drastically in a very short period of time.

Remember, the stock market is all about marketing; penny stocks rise and fall on press releases, speeches, bad weather reports and the 6 o'clock news.

So, when is the best time to take advantage of some penny stocks? When they're being overlooked. One month ago, we were discussing alternative energy sources. No-one seems to be now.

Oil has its substitutes: biofuels, solar power, electrical automobiles, and renewable-source electricity generation. Other untested technologies also exist and are waiting to be developed further. But they cannot compete with oil as long as it's cheap.

Which is good news for astute penny stock investors looking to capitalize on a hot sector that is, right now, lukewarm.

Alternative energy sources may not be the talk of Wall Street right now, but it only takes one news story for that murmuring to get a lot louder.

Related Tags: investing, stock market, oil, dow, investors, penny stocks, penny stock, dow jones, wall street, saudi arabia

A seasoned investor with a keen interest in international business and current affairs, John Whitefoot has been working alongside Peter Leeds for the last several years. With over ten years experience in the investing community, Whitefoot is devoted to uncovering the news, trends and ideas that shape penny stocks on a daily basis.

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