Even though the U.S. Attorney General has already begun an inter-agency investigation into the manipulation of oil prices, three senators have asked the Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission and Consumerist pal, to investigate possible price fixing by this country’s oil refiners.
Looks like the death of Osama Bin Laden this Sunday took some “fear factor” out of markets, which greeted the news favorably. Pressure at the pump could be relieved a bit with oil falling 0.7% to $113.23. Gains were seen across several markets, with the Dow Jones up .5%, the S&P up 5 points and the Nasdaq moving forward 7 points. However the surge could evaporate easily, even by end of day, as the euphoria wears off. And if Bin Laden’s death leads to retaliatory attacks, you can be sure those gains will be erased, and then some.
Someone at the Attorney General’s office must have finally looked at how high gasoline prices are right now and thought, “Maybe there’s something more than meets the eye here,” because President Obama announced earlier today that the AG is gathering his forces to see what, if any, behind-the-scenes shenanigans are going on to keep prices so high.
Things that are headed up these days: unemployment, foreclosures, adorable Pixar characters whose houses are attached to helium ballons, Daisuke Matsuzaka’s ERA and, argh, gas prices. A Russian energy group is predicting oil, which is currently just over $70 a barrel, will eventually pierce the stratosphere at $250, meaning it’ll pretty much be Mad Max time for everyone.
A Consumer Reports study finds that 79% of consumers surveyed say they plan on buying a car with better fuel economy. [Consumer Reports]