The ongoing drama in the financial markets related to the price of oil got even more slippery this past Sunday.

Crude prices had rebounded recently in part because a group of the world's largest oil producers had been discussing a potential "freeze" in oil production. It was expected that those discussions would lead to a formal agreement to be announced after the group met in Doha on April 17th, but the representatives closed proceedings in the capital of Qatar without said agreement.

While worldwide oil production has been declining in conjunction with lower oil prices, it was believed that a formal agreement to "cap" production would possibly set a floor in the price.

Obviously, few (if anyone) can predict accurately where oil prices are headed, but it does seem likely that without the deal, oil prices could me more volatile in the near and mid-term.

OPEC has a regularly scheduled meeting on the calendar for June, and you can bet the various participants will once again posture using quotes and announcements in the days and weeks leading up to it.

Investors and traders will want to closely watch crude oil inventory numbers in upcoming weeks. If supplies continue to build (as opposed to being drawn down), crude prices may weaken. If global oil production decreases such that inventories get drawn down in a meaningful way, oil prices may stabilize over time even without a deal like the one proposed in Doha. Simply put, the supply/demand gap in crude oil needs to shrink for current prices to be sustained (or improved upon).

Liquid products that you can use to trade crude oil include /CL, USO, and oil stocks like XOM and CVX.  

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Sage Anderson has an extensive background trading equity derivatives and managing volatility-based portfolios. He has traded hundreds of thousands of contracts across the spectrum of industries in the single-stock universe.