The big news this morning…oil prices have surpassed $100.00 U.S. per barrel and gas prices in the U.S. continue their rise above $3.00 a gallon.
Traders were blaming an explosion at a Texas oil refinery, possible OPEC oil production cuts, a weak U.S. dollar and rising U.S./Venezuela tensions for the highest trading close ever in crude. (Crude oil for delivery in March settled yesterday at $100.01 per barrel.)
I guess the rise in oil prices is important to the economy, but is that really the big news for investors? Sure, higher gas prices will cost consumers more. And higher gas prices for companies dependent on transportation will mean higher costs and lower profits. But isn’t the economy already slowing down anyway?
Isn’t the average consumer already making fewer trips to the shopping mall than last year or the year before? Didn’t the U.S. Federal Reserve already reduce interest rates drastically in January to help companies with the slower economy and higher oil prices?
For me, the rally in oil prices is old news.
Everywhere you look this morning, from the Internet news sites to the major daily newspapers, the story of crude hitting over $100.00 a barrel is headline news. A front-page headline I read today in a major newspaper, “$100 oil adds fuel to fears on economy,” is, frankly, old news.
The real financial news for investors from yesterday’s trading — and something I couldn’t find in a single news story in the major papers this morning — was this:
Gold bullion prices rallied yesterday $24.00 to $929.80 an ounce. Yes, up $24.00 in a single day…quietly, almost unnoticed by investment reporters and the media.
The Dow Jones U.S Gold Mining Index rallied 5.67% Tuesday, taking all kinds of gold stocks up with it. (My favorite gold stocks were up a minimum five percent each yesterday.) To me, the big news yesterday was the $24.00 jump in gold prices, not oil closing over $100.00 U.S. per barrel.
But everywhere you look, the news is oil and not gold. And that means most investors (I would say at least 90%) are still missing the big opportunity that gold is presenting. The march to $1,000 an ounce for gold is well underway. And when it happens, you can bet it will be all over the news — and that’s when quality gold mining and producing stocks will really shine.