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Crude Oil Futures

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Crude Oil Contract Specs:

  • Ticker Symbol: CL
  • Exchange: NYMEX
  • Trading Hours: 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM EST.
  • Contract Size: 1,000 U.S. barrels (42,000 gallons).
  • Contract Months: all months(Jan. - Dec.)
  • Price Quote: price per barrel. Ex $65.50 per barrel
  • Tick Size: $0.01 (1¢) per barrel ($10.00 per contract).
  • Last Trading Day: Third business day prior to the 25th calendar day of the month preceding the delivery month.

    Crude Oil Fundamentals:

    Light Sweet Crude Oil is traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange(NYMEX). "Light Sweet" is the most popular grade of crude oil that is traded. Another grade of oil is Brent Crude, which is primarily traded in London.

    Crude oil is the raw material that is refined to produce gasoline, heating oil, diesel, jet fuel and many other petrochemicals.

    Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United States are the world’s three largest oil producers.

    When crude oil is refined, or processed, it takes about 3 barrels of oil to produce 2 barrels of unleaded gas and 1 barrel of heating oil.

    Crude Oil Reports:

    The main reports for crude oil are the EIA Weekly Energy Stocks report. This report is released every Wednesday around 10:30 PM EST.

    Tips on Trading Crude Oil Futures:

    • The prices of unleaded gas and heating oil can influence the price of crude oil.

    • Demand is generally highest during the summer and winter months. A very hot summer or very active driving season (for summer vacations) can increase the demand for crude oil and cause prices to move higher.

    • An extremely cold winter causes higher demand for heating oil, which is made from crude oil. This usually cause prices to move higher. Watch the weather in the Northeast, since it is the part of the country that predominately uses heating oil.

    • Watch for oil production cuts or increases from OPEC.

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