For the third year in a row, the summer driving season kicked off with national gasoline prices at $3.67 per gallon, according to data from the U.S. Department of Energy. Prices at the pump are below the $3.80 – $4.00 danger zone where they contributed to economic soft spots in 2011 and 2012. But they may head higher with crude oil prices rising over $104 last week — well above the levels seen around Memorial Day weekend during the past couple of years. While the conflict in Ukraine may be fueling some of the price gain, this is nothing new — a year ago the world was focused on the conflict in Egypt, and in 2011, the civil war in Libya was the source of geopolitical risk to oil prices. So why — if the United States is producing more oil and consuming less than it was a decade ago — is the price of oil going up, and what does it mean for investors?
Click here to read the full commentary from LPL Financial Chief Market Strategist, Jeffrey Kleintop.