Don’t count Ken Fisher among those who think oil’s big decline portends economic doom.
“Crude’s decline is simple,” Fisher writes in a column for Interactive Investor. “Supply grew faster than demand. Benign! Boring! Oil markets could signal economic disaster only if they knew something stocksmarkets didn’t. Impossible! Information moves too freely and fast. Stocks discount the mid-term future. Commodities never have. It is impossible to think stockmarkets don’t already fully reflect current oil prices always. Who doesn’t know about them? No one.”
Fisher says the market is way ahead of those who fear oil-driven stock market declines. “Those warning oil’s volatility is contagious miss this: Stocks already discounted oil’s swings!” he says. “Energy stocks got hammered! Cheap crude chops oil producers’ revenues. They’ve lagged for years – markets started pricing rising oil supply eons ago. Broader stockmarkets rightly yawned. They know cheap oil just creates winners and losers. Energy firms lose. Consumer discretionary firms win since folks have more disposable cash. Manufacturers get a lift from low energy costs. All priced in. Don’t overthink it.”