Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Oh, It's Good to Be a Refiner (VLO; TSO; MPC; WNR; DK; ALJ; CVI)

Although I listed the big independent Gulf refiners first it is the mid-continent refiners that are performing best.
Western got an upgrade from Goldman last week and another mention this morning.
Here's the big picture, from Bespoke Investment Group:

Crude Oil vs Gasoline Spread
One of the most often asked questions regarding the recent declines in the price of oil is why isn't the price at the pump falling too.  As shown in the chart below, the price of WTI crude oil has dropped nearly 8% year to date after being up more than 30% earlier this year.  RBOB Gasoline, however, was up by similar amounts earlier this year, and it is still up 14% YTD.  So what gives?

If you are hoping for a drop in the price of gasoline comparable in size to the drop in the price of WTI crude oil, you may be waiting awhile....MORE