Oil prices–when they’re up, they’re up, and when they’re down, they’re down, and when they’re only halfway up, they’re neither up nor down.
There are people betting prices will go one way or the other. I’d rather bet that I’ll use less by investing in energy-efficiency.
And even as the U.S. considers limits on speculation (today’s NY Times), I think we can count on oil prices jumping around–and moving up–in the long term. The long term drivers in increased demand in China and India and decreasing supply remain in place. And short term problems caused by hurricanes, wars, and other unpredictable events will continue to impact prices. One certainty is that prices will be uncertain.