So in general, energy is one of the parts of the market that we're interested in. We think energy stocks are cheap. The other obvious catalyst is that there's been this fantastic revolution in technology in the United States, fracking and horizontal drilling, that's allowed us to access gas and oil that were previously inaccessible. And as a result, in 2012, U.S. oil production increased by 1 million barrels per day. It was the largest single increase in one year, going back to the 19th century. So great story. Not only good for the energy industry. Also good for manufacturing, for segments of the manufacturing sector like plastics and chemicals that are very dependent upon energy prices.
Now, one caveat. The caveat is that while we're seeing a surge in U.S. oil production, oil is still a global market. And to the extent that production has fallen in many parts of North Africa, of the Middle East — this is one reason why oil prices have not dropped as much as some people expect. And the cautionary note that I would put out to everybody is that while we're very bullish on U.S. energy production, it doesn't mean that what happens in the rest of the world doesn't matter. So we still need to pay attention to the Middle East, because this will ultimately still have an impact on global oil prices.
Related by Topic: Economic Outlook
Last week, stocks fell on geopolitical concerns and rising interest rates. But BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses one part of the world that presents an opportunity: Japan.
After months of relatively calm markets, volatility has returned amid rising geopolitical tensions. Russ Koesterich and his Investment Strategy Group explain what this means for investors as well as why they’ve downgraded eurozone equities.