Re: Alternatives Anyone? Actually, "speculators" are those folks that run your retirement funds and such, also. If those that buy into the futures markets, sense a downturn in the USA economy, they will assume that the downturn will mean lower consumption of oil. That will mean that crude oil has less value to them. Therefore the price will drop. I believe you are seeing that these futures traders are not confident in the USA economy. A lame duck president doesn't have that much influence, but we can't discount the effect of an expansion in domestic drilling on the futures market. It has to add in there somewhere.