Once again, Ed complains about the connection between the stock market and gas prices

Sunday, February 24, 2013:  6:30PM:  Wholesale prices rose 6 cents on Friday, while retail prices (in Standale) fell by a dime.  I calculate a price to retailers of $3.77 right now, and since that is a typical price in the area, we need to go on price hike alert.  New price coming in the next day or two:  $3.95-$3.99.

Now, people have been asking me why gas has gone from nearly $3 at the beginning of the year to almost $4, and it is still February.  I think the answer is the same one we’ve been talking about for years:  the stock market has shot higher in 2013, and when that happens, gas prices follow.  Why?  Because commodities like oil, gold, etc. have been “securitized” in the past decade, making it easier for speculators to buy and sell them through ETFs with symbols such as GLD (gold) and UGA (gasoline).  This leads to demand for these commodities that are not because people want to use these things, but because they basically want to hoard them with the expectation to sell at a later date at a higher price.  Congress does not appear interested in fixing these markets, so if you worry about gas prices, then keep an eye on the Dow. –Ed Aboufadel

Updated: February 24, 2013 — 6:37 pm


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  1. Not to be extra cynical… (Ok, screw that, I am…) having leveled off to We’re under a winter storm watch in the region tonite. being at a near uniform 3.68 in much of the Flint area, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that 3.99 spike is coming no later than 3pm today. Next level off/low point I’m going to guess is 3.75 in early March. Just sayin’.

  2. Jackaroo

    GasBuddy is reporting Greedway is going to $3.99 in Grand Rapids.
    Time to get to Costco!!!

  3. It seems like gas pricing is whatever they use as the benchmark to make it higher. It used to be on WTI Crude, then Brent, now the stock market. Who knows what it will be next month or next year? It would be nice to see some regulations put in place in speculators, but like Ed said, no one is even listening. I’m smelling $3.99 in east central Indiana in the next 24-48 hours.

  4. Whenever Trilby Lundberg (sp?) rolls out her survey (especially if it’s mentioned on the morning news), better fill up on the way into work, especially if your area is below the national average, as that’s almost a license for the prices to “magically adjust” to the national average! I give Exhibit “A”:

    6:00am–National Average: $3.89, Toledo, OH Average: $3.67.

    12:00pm–GasBuddy Spike Alert hits my Inbox two hours too late! On ToledoGasPrices.com, whaddaya know, $3.89 is the new baseline in the Glass City! (And I didn’t fill up this morning! There might be a couple stragglers on my way home who HAVEN’T started their gouging, if I’m lucky; it does occasionally happen on “spike day.”)

    Prosecution rests!

  5. Starting to see 3.99 in Kalamazoo area now..

  6. $3.899 Ohio-wide. Lucky us…

  7. Down in Texas and prices have risen here too. San Antonio TV news story spoke with a local oil company who used the “switching to spring blend” excuse for the rise. What a crock. I agree with you: the Dow issue is the answer. How did we Americans let that happen?

  8. Gassed up 7am in Flint 3.66 3pm, rolling spike hit most of the the county 3.99 a few stragglers where were 3.79 this morning, are sticking to their prices because they’re indies who arent part of the speedway/marathon/admiral network. Most -if not all- will have adjusted upward by tomorrow am. Since the standard michigan spike is unfailingly between 31-35 cents, it makes sense the 3.79ers are just adjusting up to take advantage of what the majority are getting. Every time I see one who defies the trend and keeps their price, the lines are ling, business, brisk…. and according to clerks at some stations, their milk, pop & tobacco type business explodes from the bargain seekers, pretty much covering & even exceeding anything they’re not raking by not spiking with the herd. But I cant act surprised living in a city where water costs have gone up 100% in less than a year. The man in the street is screwed til a serious resolution is put in place by our supposed ‘representatives’

  9. “How did we Americans let that happen?”

    WE didn’t. I blame the CFMA of 2000.

  10. I’m not sure where I first read this, and if it was here, sorry for re-posting it, but it is a great read. The next thing that will fall into this is natural gas…


  11. Someone mentioned water prices going up by 100%. Have any of you actually wondered why? This is slowly happening nationwide and is all apart of the clean water act of 1972. It’s because of a mistake written into the clean water act concerning Inflow and Infiltration into the sanitary sewer system. Too make a long story short, the rule is insanely expensive to comply to and has no appreciable positive impact on the environment. That explains why nothing was being done to inforce it, till the last few years. In 2005 the US EPA proposed amending The Clean Water Act of 1972, to allow for Blending and Bypass (the result of I&I), the tree huggers flipped out! No one was going to touch the Holy Grail of environmentalism, flaw or no flaw. So now it’s being implemented from town to town as their permits to run their sanitary sewer sytsems need renewed. In the smal town I live in (population 20,000) the cost is in the neighborhood of $40 million. in a city the size of Cleveland, it will be in the billions of dollars, Nationwide the cost will be in the Trillions. The funny part is, it’s for nothing, it doesn’t improve the quality of our water at all. No politician has the stones to challenge this because they’ll be attacked by tree huggers for wanting “Babies to Drink Poisoned Water”. So, just pull out your wallets and throw $100 bills down the toilet, it accomplishes the same thing.

  12. Interesting spike it was. Gas went up 20 cents to 3.89, then immediately dropped to 3.79, then dropped again to 3.75, then fell a penny more to 3.74. All this in an 18 hour span! Too bad all spike days cant be like this!

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