Iraq Problems, Gas Headaches?

By ABC News

Jun 13, 2014 9:23am

Morning Money Memo …

ABC News’ John Kapetaneas reports:

Will the crisis in Iraq spark a crisis at the pump?

As ISIS militants topple city after city in northern Iraq, global oil markets are responding with increased volatility. Crude oil prices have risen 4 percent in the last week, and some analysts expect gas prices to go up $.05 to $.10 in the next few days.

But the developments may not be as immediate of a concern as the short-term market behavior indicates.

“There is no immediate, tangible impact on supply,” Antoine Halff, head oil industry and markets editor at the International Energy Agency in Paris told ABC News. “But it raises many questions for the future.”

In recent months, the majority of Iraq’s oil production has come from its southern region as tensions and attacks have largely quelled production in the north. Although the north has contributed, it had only been responsible for a small portion of total oil exports.

The net effect on international oil markets has been largely a price response spurred on by a nervous marketplace, and not so directly tied to the loss of oil production by the occupied region. So while the situation may be of concern to oil industry experts, the effect on Americans may not be quite so dramatic.

“You’re not going to have lines at the U.S. gas stations,” Halff said. “That’s not happening.”

Rough Week for 2 Wall Street Darlings

Yoga-apparel maker Lululemon saw its shares drop nearly 16 percent Thursday after the company cut its full-year earnings forecast, and announced that its CFO would be stepping down at year’s end. Lulu’s stock was down 37 percent year-to-date, as the boutique clothing line faces increased competition from big box clothing brands.

Meanwhile, mobile sweetheart Twitter said goodbye to one of its executives, as COO Ali Rowghani announced he was stepping down. Twitter has struggled to appease investor expectations in 2014. The company’s stock has dropped 51 percent since its December IPO.

Michael Jordan, Billionaire

Michael Jordan reportedly has become pro basketball’s first billionaire.

According to Forbes Magazine, “His Airness” has officially crossed the coveted $1 billion barrier by increasing his ownership stake in the Charlotte Hornets (formerly Bobcats) basketball franchise, going from 80 percent to 89.5 percent majority ownership of the team.

ABC News reached out the Hornets, which confirmed that Jordan did increase his ownership of the team to said level back in January 2013. With the Hornets valued at roughly $600 million, in addition to his current holdings and sponsorships Jordan can add another quite considerable feather to his already illustrious cap.

Michael Jordan’s business manager declined to comment on the report.

Silk Road Closed?

Have we seen the last of Silk Road? The U.S. Marshals Service announced that it would auction off roughly $18 million in bitcoin seized from the now defunct online exchange.

Often called the “EBay” of the online drug, sex and weapons trade, Silk Road reportedly generated nearly $1 billion in illegal business in it’s less-than-3-years of operations.

The seized bitcoin will be up for grabs to the highest bidder beginning on June 27.

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