Just when you thought it was safe to start the car again, gasoline prices are once again heading higher. The average price of gasoline in the United States is around $3.31 a gallon. Obviously, states such as California, Hawaii, New York, and Connecticut are higher due to taxes and environmental regulations. Either way, cheap gasoline at the pump seems to be over for now.
Higher gasoline prices act as a direct tax on the U.S. consumer. Light sweet crude, which is the type of oil that we use in the United States is now trading back over $101.00 a barrel. The winter season in the United States has been exceptionally cold this winter. Cold weather and higher gasoline prices are a one-two punch to the U.S. consumer. After all, it is the U.S. consumer that accounts for 70.0 percent of the GDP (gross domestic product) in the United States. While the U.S. consumer has been resilient for the most part higher energy prices are certainly going to take its toll on their spending habits.
Traders and investors that want to track the price of gasoline should follow the U.S. Gasoline Fund (NYSEARCA:UGA). Recently, the UGA has surged higher by $4.00 since February 3rd, 2014. Today, the UGA is trading around $59.70 a share. There should be near term daily chart resistance around the $61.40 area, so further upside cannot be ruled out. Some other energy ETF's that traders and investors may want to follow include United States Oil Fund (NYSEARCA:USO), United States Natural Gas (NYSEARCA:UNG), and the iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil TR Index ETN (NYSEARCA:OIL).