As of March 7th:
Figure 1: Oil price, monthly average of daily spot, $/bbl (blue), spot close on 3/5 (blue square), and futures price (red +). Source: FRED, Bloomberg, NYMEX via ino.com.
Should we place much faith in futures? Chinn and Coibion evaluate the relative performance of futures, random walk and ARIMA models for several commodities, including petroleum.
Source: Chinn and Coibion (2014).
In sample, oil futures do pretty well on direction-of-change metrics. Out of sample (2003-12), futures do as well as a random walk.