Crude Oil and Natural Gas Fundamental Factor

Over the course of the term you will be asked to complete ten assignments that we will call “Fundamental Factors” exercises. These are meant to get you to do some independent research and to think on a regular basis about the various forces that might push crude oil and natural gas prices higher. While there are other energy commodities traded in futures and forward markets, our Fundamental Factors exercises will focus on oil and gas specifically since those are the largest energy commodity markets by far.These instructions are meant to guide you through the process of doing the Fundamental Factors assignments and to give you a sense for how they will be graded.Other than the first two Fundamental Factors assignments (which will have some special introductory instructions) each of the Fundamental Factors activities will have two parts: research and trading.ResearchEach week, starting in the third week of class, you will be asked to perform some independent internet research on the following factors affecting crude oil and natural gas prices:Crude Oil:-Weather-Domestic Economy-Global Economy-Currency Markets-Geo-political Situations-Cross-Commodity Markets-Changes in Inventory and StorageNatural Gas:-Weather-Domestic Economy-Changes in Inventory and Storage-Electricity MarketsEach week you will need to research whether each individual factor might contribute to an increase in crude oil or natural gas prices for that week (a “bullish” outlook); might contribute to a decrease in crude oil or natural gas prices for that week (a “bearish” outlook); or might not affect crude oil or natural gas prices for that week (a “neutral” outlook). For each factor you will need to cite the source(s) you used to do your research and provide a one or two sentence summary of the factor and why you feel it contributes to a bullish/bearish/neutral outlook for crude oil or natural gas prices.TradingPut your (virtual) money where your mouth is! Based on your research and determination that the crude oil and natural gas markets are bullish, bearish or neutral, each week you will be asked to make a decision to buy or sell both crude oil and natural gas futures. If your research is strongly bullish on crude oil, for example, you should buy crude oil. Each week along with your Research report you will be asked to describe the position (buy or sell) that you are taking for both crude oil and natural gas, along with a brief written summary of why you are taking the position.GradingResearch (25 points total):For each factor you will earn:2 points if you provide a brief description of your research; a citation; an outlook; and a brief explanation of how your research influenced your outlook recommendation;1 point if any of the above four items are missing from your response;Trading (5 points total):You will earn 5 points if you demonstrably take a market position based on your research in both crude oil and natural gas and explain the reason for the position that you take. Failure to take a position in either crude oil or natural gas for the week will result in a two-point deduction for each commodity in which you failed to take a position. You will then be asked to submit two screen shots of the price of front-month NYMEX crude oil, and two screen shots of the price of front-month NYMEX natural gas, taken at least two days apart. These two screen shots represent the opening and closing of your position on crude oil and natural gas.Failure to explain the position you are taking for either commodity will result in an additional one point deduction.THE ASSIGNMENT NEEDS TO BE FORMATTED EXACTLY AS THE WORD DOCUMENT UPLOADED AS ADDITIONAL MATERIAL TITLED: FUNDAMENTAL FACTORS EXAMPLE.

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