The Commodities Channel

Investing In EV Carmakers and Supply Chains? Utility Work Ahead

Future growth projections for electric vehicles vary dramatically, but all reflect real opportunities for fundamentals-focused investors surveying the links in supply and production chains.

Are Diversifying Assets Up Next in the Return-Seeking Cycle?

After a sustained period of return leadership by U.S. stocks, a number of diversifying assets now appear poised for outperformance.

North Korea: An Update

North Korea has become increasingly belligerent, launching ballistic missiles, testing a hydrogen device and claiming to have miniaturized a warhead; if true, this means it is a nuclear power. Although Trump says “all options are on the table,” a full-scale war would be catastrophic and may be impossible to contain.

Random Gleanings at 38,000 Feet

Reflecting on the months of travel as we wing our way back to Tampa at 38,000 feet, one of the more interesting encounters in those travels was spending time with Steve Forbes (Forbes Magazine). Although Steve is a staunch Republican, he suggested that Republicans worship at the altar of the CBO (Congressional Budget Office). 

Weighing the Week Ahead: Will a More Aggressive Fed Spark the Long-Awaited Correction?

We have a light calendar for economic data. The week’s focus will be the FOMC policy announcement on Wednesday. Given the resilience of the market rally in the face of various natural and human threats, the punditry will turn to a favored topic. Expect people to be asking: Will the Fed be the catalyst for a market correction?

The “Big Lie” Of Market Indexes

The “Big Lie” is that you can “beat an index” over an extended period of time. You can’t, ever. Let me explain.

Weekly Gasoline Price Update: WTIC Up 4.7%

It's time again for our weekly gasoline update based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The price of Regular and Premium were down a nickel each from last week. According to GasBuddy.com, California has the highest average price for Regular at $3.15 and San Francisco, CA is the most expensive city, averaging $3.28. Oklahoma has the cheapest at $2.13. The WTIC end of day spot price closed at 50.35, a 4.7% increase from this time last week.

Transitory

In her post-FOMC press conference, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is expected to provide a concise evaluation of the current economic situation. That includes a discussion about the recent trend in low inflation and the economic impact of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. She is not expected to signal what the Fed will do with short-term interest rates in the months ahead.

Random Walk Part 1 – A Random Walk down a Dead-end Street

This is the first of a four-part empirical research study into the fallacy of the “random walk” view on investment reward and risk.

On My Radar – Forward We Go

Last week, investors were lamenting the lack of inflation. This week, they’re fixated on its rise. On Thursday, data showed consumer prices climbed 0.4% in August from a month earlier and 1.9% from a year earlier, a sign that inflation is once again on the upswing after months of soft readings.

Are Cryptocurrencies the Best Investment Opportunity of the Next Decade?

This is part one of a comprehensive primer on cryptocurrencies and blockchains.

The Blockchain Could Potentially Be as Disruptive as Amazon Was in the 1990s

With its ability to validate all transactions in an immutable electronic ledger, the blockchain has the potential to be as disruptive as Amazon was in the late 1990s. When the company went public in 1997, there were serious doubts whether people would willingly give up their credit card information just to buy a book. Since then, Amazon stock is up 8,000 percent, and founder Jeff Bezos briefly overtook Bill Gates in July to become the world’s wealthiest person.

S&P 500 Snapshot: At 2500, All-Time High to End Week

The S&P opened Friday near its Thursday close and began to climb around 2pm. The index closed the day over 2500, another all-time high and a 0.18% gain from Thursday. The index is up 11.68% YTD.

The Big Four Economic Indicators: August Real Retail Sales

Note: With today's release of August's Retail Sales and yesterday's release of August Consumer Price Index, we've updated this commentary to include the latest Real Retail Sales. Month-over-month nominal sales in August fell by 0.2% (0.21% to two decimals). Real Retail Sales, calculated with the seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index, decreased by 0.6 (0.61% to two decimals). The chart gives us a close look at the monthly data points in this series since the end of the last recession in mid-2009. The linear regression helps us identify variance from the trend.

The Big Four Economic Indicators: Industrial Production Down 0.9% in August

Today's report on Industrial Production for August shows a 0.9% decrease month-over-month, which was below the Investing.com consensus of 0.1%. Industrial Production peaked in November 2014, only one point higher than its pre-recession peak in November 2007. The year-over-year change is 1.54 percent, down from last month's YoY increase.