By Olaf Storbeck
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
The hedge fund industry is on track to finish out the year both with record assets and a huge chunk of fund closures. Of the 240 funds launched in the third quarter 200 were liquidated, according to data from Hedge Fund Research. Year-to-date through September's end, there were 814 launches and 661 liquidations, HFR data showed.
The rout in oil will have wider reaching consequences yet.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ decision not to cut production amid slowing demand coupled with large increases in U.S. oil output has skimmed some $40 off a barrel of oil inside of five months.
Don't expect the selling in the energy sector to end anytime soon. With tax loss selling dominating the rest of the month, the energy stocks, which have been the worst performer this year in the Standard & Poor's 500, are slated to perhaps lose even more ground. That's particularly true as the price of oil continues to decline. (We are right now eagerly awaiting the moment when the Russian rouble crosses the price of oil, an occurrence that would've seemed unfathomable even just two months ago.)
The next few weeks will bring a few analyst meetings out of some of the bigger industrial companies, including Dover Corp. The company is expected to hold a confab Monday to discuss where things stand this year, particularly as it has a 36 percent exposure to the energy industry through businesses that produce equipment for the gas and oil extraction industries - pumps and other such equipment.
There's a real question right now about whether the sharp decline in oil prices will continue to have a 'rising tide' effect on the rest of the economy, thanks to the help it gives to consumer spending, or whether that marginal benefit is offset by a drop in oil production and mining jobs.
The shale oil boom in the U.S. may top media headlines over the holiday shopping blitz this day after Thanksgiving in the U.S.