I feel like it is often said here and at times overdone, but while every day is a bit different there are certain tasks that happen every week or month. I'm going to split the below into three different types of days to compare.
Day 1: Weekly and Monthly Updates
Monday is generally the day of the week in which I get most of my once a week tasks accomplished.
Wake up, walk the dog while listening to a podcast, get ready for the day, pack my breakfast, and make coffee.
6:30 AM - 7:30 AM
After arriving to work and getting my breakfast out I fire up my computer and load everything to get the week started. On a trading desk this process takes a few minutes as I load multiple instances of excel, email, Bloomberg, ICE chat, and PDFs to read from over the weekend.
From here I begin to update the first set of sheets. In oil markets, it is important to follow refinery turnarounds, or TARs, especially during the maintenance seasons of the fall and spring in the US. Each week when the EIA numbers come out one of the headline numbers is for crude runs, inputs into a refinery, and these numbers are dependent on refinery TARs. For each sheet to not become too large each unit of a refinery, crude unit, hydrocracker, etc. are updated one at a time. After updating all the TARs, I will look at any w/w changes.
Next, I update several margins and prices files that we use daily and feed into other fundamental data sheets.
7:30 AM - 8:00 AM
Walk to Starbucks, chat with one of my friends on the desk, catch up on the weekend.
8:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Update historical and forward margins and look at the changes w/w for different grades and regions across the US. The US is split into five sections, called PADDs, and different regions use different crude slates, which can include crudes that range from light to heavy and sour to sweet. These differences in types of crude impact the cost as well as type of refinery that can run the crude.
Oil markets are traded with spreads to incentive storing your oil or moving your oil to a more profitable location (in oil markets intermarket spreads are called arbs, with the most well known the WTI - Brent arb, the most traded crude contracts). I update an arb sheet that looks at historical and forward estimate price differences between different locations as well as the freight cost between those locations to determine if any of the arbs are "open." If an arb is open, the economics make sense to move the crude. Then, an owner of a VLCC (very large crude carrier of crude) cargo can elect to move the oil to the more profitable location.
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Shoot the shit with the desk. Talk about what new movies are out, what went on that weekend, new talent on CNBC, make me a market on "fill in the blank," any other tangents we get into.
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Grab lunch, vent about anything that happened thus far that day.
11:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Once a month the EIA releases monthly data and we must update our sheets to incorporate this data. The EIA releases weekly data, but then there is a 2-month lag and a revised version of the data for the month. We look at any differences between the weekly data and monthly data such as production, demand, crude runs, imports, exports, etc.
2:00 - 5:30 PM
The days begins to wrap up and traders mark their books, PnL is run, trades are reconciled, and the trading day ends. Now is usually a good time to get some reading done which can consist of research from the banks, opinions from other funds, daily news from BBG/Reuters, updates from OPEC/EIA/IEA, several vendors we receive commentary from, and emails sent around the desk.
5:30 PM - Bedtime
Head home, take the dog out, hit the gym, dinner with the fiance, catch up on some reading/TV.
Day 2 - EIA Weekly Data Release and Forecasting
For brevity, I won't repeat similarities from the above day.
7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
Roundtable chat about the markets, what's driving the macro picture, positioning, any data releases that week, any market events, news updates, market updates, etc.
8:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Look at the internal oil supply and demand balances. We break down data between monthly and weekly data as well as across products and regions. So broadly there are global crude, global gasoline, global distillate, European crude, Asian crude, etc. Analyze the past several weeks, y/y changes, trends or shifts over the last 5 years. Compare our balances to outside numbers.
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Update weekly numbers and look at our forecast vs. the realized numbers. What are the most important factors that week, what is the market focusing on, how are the next weeks/months shaping up.
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Talk with the research team and traders to discuss the merits of any large changes to the market and balances.
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Conduct any interesting analysis I'm considering at the time, answer emails, chat with traders about longer term project they want to consider.
Day 3 - Abnormal Market Events
On days such as Brexit, election night, OPEC announcements, etc. it is vital to be watching headlines and prices throughout the day to try to determine the actual news, changes to market dynamics, price and movements.
Feel free to ask any follow-up questions.