Futures For You by Carley Gardner
A “CRUDE” LOOK BACK (PART 2)
In honor of the 30th anniversary of Stocks & Commodities, we are reviewing the evolution of crude oil futures throughout the previous three decades. Last issue, we discussed price changes and historical seasonal patterns; this time, we will focus on order entry logistics, new technology, and most important, what we know about these topics to improve your odds of successful speculation.
In the early 1980s, screen trading seemed to be more of a pipe dream than a reality. Futures and options orders were executed via a system known as open outcry, or arbitrage (“arb”) trading, which is a system of hand signals used to communicate buy and sell orders from trading pits. Simply, open outcry trading is organized chaos. From the outside, it looks like a group of intoxicated fans at a rock concert, but a closer look reveals that the yelling and hand waving is an efficient means of price discovery.