Is 3.80 The Scariest Number For The Bulls?

Tyler Durden's picture

'Nothing can stop us now' appears to be the message we are being fed as Bullard et al. confirm we should rest assured that the Fed will pump as long as there's a sun in the sky. However, there is a little fly in that ointment that just keeps on popping up. As Barclays' Barry Knapp notes, gas prices have risen high enough to hurt stocks if history is any guide. Gas prices, which have risen every day since January 17th are pressuring the critical $3.80 level that has capped valuations for the equity market in the last three years. The last times gas prices have risen this high, consumer spending growth has stalled and just as we have noted previously, it appears the only thing that can tame the enthusiasm of a liquidity-addicted equity market is a cash-strapped consumer pulling back. The double-edged sword is simple, Knapp notes: any slowing of economic growth that stems from higher gas prices may prevent companies from meeting earnings projections; whereas sustained expansion would increase the risk of inflation and put pressure on the Fed to scale back its QE4EVA. Rock meet hard place.


Chart: Barclays and Bloomberg

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Motorhead's picture

Gasoline chart, bitchez!  (Or, triple top, bitchez!)

The They's picture

My scariest number is $26

UnpatrioticHoarder's picture

The chart is Peak Oil's bumpy plateau in graphical form - proof of the impossibility of sustainable economic growth

Stock Tips Investment's picture

Energy investments in America are very large. The effects of this boom on our economy will be very positive in the following years. Do not fall into pessimism and leave aside the negative ideas. America is much bigger than their problems.

Spastica Rex's picture

Americans are much, MUCH bigger. Thank McDonald's for that. But can the harvest of human body fat really keep up with the global decline of existing oil wells? Only the future will tell.

akak's picture

US 'american' blobbing-up.

It's the mattering thing.

Make me laugh.

francis_sawyer's picture

The 'BLOB UP' Soap Company... Has a nice ring to it... I LIKE it!...

akak's picture

99.44% Pure Citizenism.

So pure, it floats.

Blobbing-up dirt since 4 July, 1776.

(And on Easter Island, for several centuries before that date, due to the magical time-traveling flying rickshaw of Benjamin Franklin inventionism of fabled US 'american' citizenism past.)

hangemhigh's picture

@Spastica             3270669

Eagle Cap dude...... i like it..............we can render all of those honey boo boo 300 pound lunkers into whale oil and call it 'Oilent Green'

_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

Do I smell a hype? Those never end well.

UnpatrioticHoarder's picture

The chart is Peak Oil's bumpy plateau in graphical form - proof of the impossibility of sustainable economic growth

tenpanhandle's picture

seems the stockmarkets real scary number is plain and simple dow 14K and S&P P/E at 14

Lore's picture

Tilt your head slightly, and you can see a hockey stick for Unnatural Global Warming.

Gazooks's picture

inverted cow teat formation

Atomizer's picture

Do you want to know funny? I can remember this petrodollar PONZI SCAM FROM 2008. Back then, I drove a V-12 BMW 750 [until she accidentally crashed it]. Under premium gas filling. It would total a 30 gallon tank at $70- $80 dollars.


Fast forward to 2013. My 2.5 liter peasant mobile costs me $54 dollars @ 12 gallons of premium fuel. No inflation exists in the US. We are on a soft landing to disengage with QE3/ MBS bullshit. I still own my two Lincoln gas hog vehicles, just wanted to put things into prospective.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Just filled up tonight: $75.00, probably the most it has ever cost me.  $4.69 / gal (premium).  When it is over $70 just to fill my tank, a little bit of the Bearing dies inside...

akak's picture

Try $128.00 for my last fill-up.

Now that's pain!

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

YOW!  I'm dyin'!  Oh, make it stop!


On the other hand (and depending on WHERE up there you live), maybe you don't have to drive as much...

orangedrinkandchips's picture

shit fire. 


I would love to get a truck, a used beat up that runs well but never at these prices.


fuck that. 


I cant imagine a bull run like I hear everywhere with gas prices this high.

Food prices for the wholesale is outrageous....all due to oil



Taint Boil's picture



Hey, just for the record unless your car is specifically designed for high octane gas (premium) there is NO benefit. 


Premium Gas = Male Enhancement Drugs 

Complete bullshit for 98% of cars on the road. If you’re driving one of the 2% ….  Well you would already know this.

akak's picture


Hey, just for the record unless your car is specifically designed for high octane gas (premium) there is NO benefit.

That is only half true.

While that fact does generally apply to all new vehicles, it is not necessarily the case for older, less efficient engines.  My mileage is increased by almost 20% by using premium over regular in my 15 year-old pickup, as I have proven to myself many times.

ekm's picture

Premium has no ethanol, hence valves work much betters.

smart girl's picture

Keep to the same gas, otherwise adjust spark plugs for new octane.

Taint Boil's picture



You know, I must have been wrong, so ignore what I said and continue to fill up.

Silver Garbage Man's picture

I have most of my life savings in silver......I'll bet gas gets cheaper priced in silver as we move forward, while it continues to rise in dollars. It's easy to see this coming if you are smart enough to know you don't know it all.

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

I'll bet there's gonna be a war; therefore, i'll take the other side of your bet.

de3de8's picture

Boy can I relate! 3/4 ton p/u given to son to drive to school only a few miles away providing safe transport while fuel cost not that big a part of equation. Meanwhile I drive my tomato can at 42 mpg to survive. Yeah baby a rising standard of living! More stealth stimulus where they welcome higher fuel costs forcing the Sheeple into gas sippers extending the bailed out auto cos unsustainable business model just a little while longer.

duo's picture

When I bought my VW turbodiesel in November, diesel was $3.99.  Tuesday, when I filled it again, diesel was still $3.99, and 13 gallons still got me 450+ miles of city driving.

Buck Johnson's picture

I know, fuel prices is about to hit 4 dollars a barrel in the midwest and we aren't even in spring yet let alone summer.  We are going to have a market crash this March if not April.

Seize Mars's picture

Carl Jung called events which occur with high correlation (but no causation) "synchronicity."

In this case I think both variables (gas prices and equity prices) are both "caused by" inflation. So they are both "from" the same source. imo.

Oh, and "Bitchez, bitchez."

PUD's picture

God forbid "con"sumers stop "con"suming mountains of useless landfill on credit. OMFG!!!

francis_sawyer's picture

2013 = 2007... February 27th will be the 'Arnold Rothstein' signal that the fix is on...


Sincerely Yours,

Titanic Thompson

Charles Nelson Reilly's picture

Think I saw The Ben Bernank pull out of Fed headquarters on Friday in one of these

I knew it was him because it had vanity Virginia tags that said "MONEYMKR"

mind_imminst's picture

The FED cannot stop QE. If history is any guide, the FED will keep printing and destroying the wealth of the middle and lower classes. The government will be cajoled into price controls, punishing evil "speculators", and outlawing competing currencies. We all know the script.

eclectic syncretist's picture

What are you going to do now Bernanke, you stupid motherfucker??!!!  Print a shitload more debt IOUs FRNs out your bankster drilled ass?  Don't you know that's what created this mess in the first place?

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

@ mind_

Yes, the time to start getting prepared for Hard Times was yesterday.

balolalo's picture

This sure looks like the good ole peak-oil bumpy plateau.   

I wonder how long fracking can keep this game going?  

drill baby drill 

jballz's picture

I would like to know when the domestic oil boom is going to get us back to a nickel a gallon.

Can we stop selling the excess to the chinks already? We gave them the blueprints for th bicycle, that seemed to work fine for a long time. Then we gave them ijobs and now they want our fucking gas.

No more exporting distillates until we are under a dollar.

Get on your bikes and ride, bitchez.

jballz's picture


That's racist!

You should be ashamed of yourself.

Besides, it's the Jews fault, not the chinks. Haven't you been reading ZH comments long enough to have figured that out?

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Of course it's the juice fault.

El Crusty's picture

 not saying that i agree with his choice of words but you should be ashamed of yourself for jumping on the P.C. bandwagon.  sugar-coating the truth is never a good idea.

Gamma735's picture

While the Fed prints money oil behaves more like a currency instead of a commidity.

Things that go bump's picture

The oil that comes out of our ground isn't our oil, any more than the oil in Kuwait is the Kuwaitis. It is sold on the open market and hell take the hindmost.

Dr. Engali's picture

The domestic "oil boom" will die if oil goes under $80 per barrel for an extended period of time. It's not cost effective to take it out of the ground for any price below that. So kiss $ 1.00 gas goodbye... it's gone forever.

Gamma735's picture

Tyler, can you chart Gas Prices, S&P500 and the different QEs?

ekm's picture

That's the only thing that matters, absolutely the only thing that halts QEs: CRUDE OIL PRICE


I've read a long time ago an article about how macro guys at big, like big hedge funds do their calculations. It seems that there are only a handful MACRO managers at hedge funds, since only few people can handle the duty.


Calculations were based on Brent Crude at $80 as the threshhold of pain for the world economy. Any dollar above brent $80 for longer than 6 months, the economy would literally stall. However at brent $90 and above for longer then 6 months, the western economy and the world one would simply start contracting.

Brent has been at $110 for as far as I can't remember at this point. The way I see it, the western and the world economy has contracted by 3-5% during the last 18 - 24 months, only due to crude oil price.


That's why I say, all the oil in tankers will be unloaded very, very soon. WTI will go as low as $15 temporarily this year, my prediction.

Non Passaran's picture

Sure, and paper gold will drop to $300...

El Crusty's picture

you are correct except for the bit about WTI going to $15.  when a large portion of a consumer based economy is driven by people making less than 30k a year, the cost of gas going above $3 a gallon at the pump puts a huge strain on most of those household budgets. if you go fromm spending $40-$50 a week to $90-$100 a week in gas just to get back and forth to work when you take home around $300 a week in pay thats like recieving an almost 20% paycut. and you have to get to work so the money comes from other areas, aka consuming.

the fact that walmart has had the worst febuary sales in 7+ years confirms this.

on a side note- the local Aldis parking lot is almost always full. buisness there picked up so much that they built a new larger store 3 years ago and have been bustling ever since.

debtor of last resort's picture

Well, small Japanese 0,8 liter, 3 cylinder cars coming your way Americano's.

What about the Toyota Fuku Greenglow Special Abenomics Edition? Full options including a 'Fuck you Bernanke' holograph bumpersticker.