NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I was talking to Stephanie Link today about oil and the disconnects that have emerged in the last several weeks.
The first important one has been the continued melt-down of domestic oil prices, down more than 9% from the highs of the summer, accompanied by a consistent melt-up of stocks.
This hasn't happened for as consistent a period of time for more than five years -- and it is a fascinating turnaround that helps both consumers and industrial interests here at home.
Much of the downdraft in U.S. crude prices has been attributable to the decline of geopolitical pressures in Syria and Iran, and the increasing supply of crude coming from the shale plays of the Bakken, Eagle Ford and Permian basin.
But another disconnect that is striking is with the crude benchmarks in Europe and globally, still well above $100 a barrel and staying strong. That's because of increasingly good news from Europe and the emerging markets in Asia, which have been registering better-than-expected growth numbers in manufacturing growth.
Will U.S. crude supply continue to bring global prices down, or will the recovering markets globally continue to push crude higher and trump the increases in production?
One industry that's likely to benefit, no matter which happens are the refiners, which can clear better margins for making gasoline and diesel fuel, even if the prices for gasoline and diesel are decreasing.
That makes refinery stocks my top pick for the fourth quarter of 2013.
I talk more about the crude disconnects with Stephanie in the video above.
At the time of publication the author had a position in TSO.
This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.