A Flash In The Pan

Oil rallies for a day, and stocks tag along for the ride.

Traders played the OPEC still matters game Wednesday when news of an OPEC agreement to limit production caused oil to rally $2 and stocks tagged along for the ride.

But there is no follow through today.

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The OPEC agreement wasn’;t anything other than to have an agreement. The organization agreed to a framework for production caps, but a formal adoption would have to come from the official OPEC meeting in November.

Even if there is an agreement, it would have little meaning. OPEC ceased to be a true, price-controlling cartel more than five years ago. Less than two years ago even key OPEC officials admitted the group could no longer dictate the direction of oil prices.

OPEC agreements and disagreements are now merely excuses for traders to make a quick buck on knee-jerk reactions to headlines.

Dwight Johnston is the chief economist of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues and president of Dwight Johnston Economics. He is the author of a popular commentary site and is a frequent speaker at credit union board planning sessions and industry conferences.

September 29, 2016

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