Investors buy or sell stocks everyday based on anticipated earnings. Pure and simple.
The current price of a stock is based on what investors believe the earnings will be in six to nine months. That is how it works. Therefore, it is correct to assume that investors are speculating on anticipated earnings.
So, we can easily deduct that every time a stock is purchased, on every market in the world, that the investor is a speculator.
The true value of a company isn't its book value but it is what investors are willing to pay . The price always reflects the future anticipated value.
The free market allows for this. I have yet to hear one person suggest that stocks are being manipulated by speculators. However, if you are going to suggest that the multi-trillion-dollar energy market is being manipulated -- it isn't -- than someone needs to launch an investigation into the entire stock market.
I don't hear people complaining about speculators destroying the free market and manipulating Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock. Or IBM (NYSE:IBM). However, they are trading far higher than their book value.
The alarmists need to stop with the unsubstantiated claims that the oil market is being manipulated -- it simply can't be done to the level that can impact the price of oil.
If you are going to suggest that prices on commodities are being driven up -- and down -- by speculators, than you are correct. It is called investing -- it is the same thing most people around the world do everyday in stock markets around the world. But stop the rhetoric suggesting that there is some nefarious scheme that is driving up energy prices around the globe. It is supply and demand, and anticipated values.
It is just business as usual.