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Commodities (57)

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Graphene: The Game-Changing Material of the Future

Technology is only as good as the materials it is made from.

Much of the modern information era would not be possible without silicon and Moore’s Law, and electric cars would be much less viable without recent advances in the material science behind lithium-ion batteries.

That’s why graphene, a two-dimensional supermaterial made from carbon, is so exciting. It’s harder than diamonds, 300x stronger than steel, flexible, transparent, and a better conductor than copper (by about 1,000x).

If it lives up to its potential, graphene could revolutionize everything from computers to energy storage.

Graphene: Is It the Next Wonder Material?

The following infographic comes to us from 911Metallurgist, and it breaks down the incredible properties and potential applications of…

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Crude oil has a tendency to bottom in mid-February and then rally through July with the bulk of the seasonal move ending in late April or early May. It is that early February low that can give traders an edge by buying ahead of a seasonally strong period. Going long crude oil’s July contract on or about February 14 and holding for approximately 60 days has been a profitable trade 27 times in 33 years, including the last three years straight, for an 81.8% win ratio with a cumulative profit of $108,660 (based upon trading a single crude oil futures contract excluding commissions and taxes).

Crude oil’s seasonal tendency to move higher in this time period is partly due to continuing demand for heating oil and diesel fuel in the northern states and partly due to the shutdown of refinery operations in order to switch production facilities from producing heating oil to reformulated unleaded gasoline in anticipation of heavy demand for…

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Bonds Haven't Even Begun To Price In Trumpflation

Since the election the financial markets have been trying to price in “Trumpflation.” This is the idea that the combination of infrastructure spending, tax cuts, rising deficits, immigration curbs and protectionist policies could reverse the disinflationary trends we have witnessed over the past few decades and more dramatically since the financial crisis. The selloff in the bond market amid surging interest rates might be the single most important piece of evidence in this regard.

Over the summer I noted we were likely witnessing the final blow-off stage of the bond bull market (see this and this). Since then the long bond has fallen nearly 15% leading many pundits to conclude it has already begun pricing in…

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Energy Of The Future. Demand By 2050

When it comes to energy, there is one matter everyone agrees on. For the near future, at least, the world will need more of it—and how it is produced and used will be a critical factor in the future of the global economy, geopolitics, and the environment. With that in mind, McKinsey took a hard look at the data, modeling energy demand from the bottom up, by country, sector, and fuel mix, with an analysis of current conditions, historical data, and country-level assessments. On this basis, McKinsey’s Global Energy Insights team has put together a description of the global energy landscape to 2050.

It is important to remember that this is a business-as-usual scenario. That is, it does not anticipate big…

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Admin

The Market Deteriorates Further. 'Bout Time

The stock market continues to weaken, as evidenced by these ETF charts.    If you zero in on a sector you wish to short, I would bear in mind that ETFs are comprised of market leaders.  I would look for names "outside" of the ETF components; consider them leaders and you want the weaklings to short.

The reasons for weakness are numerous. 

Consider the election weight (a Trump win would weigh on equities but Clinton weighs on pharma pricing).  Then there are flat-to-dropping sales.  Of course the USD movement (up will weigh on commodities and large caps with overseas exposure).  Then there's those who feel we are already at or above maximum value and they're not buying here.  They're hedged, short some and long financials ahead of the Fed rate hike.  Then there's that Fed hike itself.  High dividend is flushing down the toilet (SDY) in September.  Overseas weakness with…

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Admin

Seven Ways To Trade The Brexit Vote

Next week will be a historical one for both the United Kingdom and the global economy. On June 23rd the British people will decide whether to leave or stay in the European Union. Polls have been mixed over the last couple months, but the latest out show momentum for leaving, which is scaring the markets.

Loss of British sovereignty is the fundamental reason for leaving the EU, as many supporters want to take back control of U.K. borders in order to curb immigration. Those that wish to stay in the EU say there are severe short-term economic consequences that would make trade difficult and slow the economy. Even President Obama recently said that if there is a Brexit, the U.K. would go to the “back of the queue” in American trade deals.

While debate and speculation is running rampant, markets are watching the British Pound closely. Last week U.S. indices tracked and moved with the Pound tick for tick, showing that traders are very concerned about the upcoming…

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We’ll start with the obvious: the number one export for many countries here is crude oil or related petroleum products. Middle Eastern countries made up a significant portion of global oil export revenues during 2015 with shipments valued at $325 billion or 41.3% of global crude oil exports.

Saudi Arabia, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iran, and Oman were all among the top 15 exporters of crude oil in 2015. Russia and Kazakhstan, countries on the Central Asian part of the map, were also members of that same group.

Regimes in the region found that there were many other corollary benefits from this economic might. Unrest could be stifled by rising wealth, and these countries would also have more influence than they otherwise would in global affairs. Saudi Arabia is a good example in both cases, though a…

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Admin

Chart Palooza

I'm continually saving charts and data points which I find interesting but generally don't post enough to share the data.  That being said, I thought "wth" and decided to share some of my most recent.  Perhaps you can find a few of interest or maybe you can translate one into a trade.  It certainly can't hurt.  Your comments would be of interest and will be answered.  Happy trading.

Online shoppers by income group.  It certainly seems Amazon benefits by middle income buyers.  Possibly they just don't have the 'time' to shop in a store, working 60+ hours a week and balancing soccer games, football, cheerleading practice, dinner, laundry, etc.

Jet[dot]com is now selling some items at a loss to gain marketshare from Amazon…

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Admin

Why Commodities Are Back To The 1990s

The chart above is the Bloomberg Commodity Index. It consists of baskets of common commodities, including energy, metals, foodstuffs, softs and precious metals.

After a fairly flat period in the 1990s, the index leapt upward beginning in the early 2000s. The context explains the jump: High inflation, weak dollar and low interest rates. From 2001 to 2007, the dollar lost 41 percent of its value, and all commodities priced in dollars skyrocketed. At the same time, China began a huge expansion of its infrastructure, transportation, housing and manufacturing sectors. The BCOM index moved from around 90 to almost 240.

You know the rest of the story: Inflation is nowhere to be found, and the Federal Open Market Committee is concerned about deflation. The…

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Admin

If the oil futures market is correct, Saudi Arabia will start running into trouble within two years. It will be in existential crisis by the end of the decade.

The contract price of US crude oil for delivery in December 2020 is currently $62.05, implying a drastic change in the economic landscape for the Middle East and the petro-rentier states.

The Saudis took a huge gamble last November when they stopped supporting prices and opted instead to flood the market and drive out rivals, boosting their own output to 10.6m barrels a day (b/d) into the teeth of the downturn.

Bank of America says OPEC is now "effectively dissolved". The cartel might as well shut down its offices in Vienna…

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Admin

Gold Shrugs Off 'Armageddon'

This was the week Greece inched closest to chaos, as a bank holiday and a technical default caused markets around the world to erupt in turmoil. They recovered somewhat Tuesday, and futures looked stronger Wednesday morning, but on Monday, the NASDAQ Composite Index lost 2.4 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 2.09 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.95 percent. Volatility exploded, as the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index surged 35 percent, its biggest increase in two years, to 18.85. …

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Admin

Received this SoberLook email from member Ryan and had to chuckle.  Did oil bulls (who are always drooling at the mouth) truly feel OPEC would cut production at some point to satisfy their desire for higher pricing?  Come on.  How much can the U.S.consumer handle with new jobs created at the low end of the scale?  What would happen with $5 gas gasoline?  Carpools would become all the rage here in my locale. At a time when the U.S. consumer needs money to spend, the impact of higher oil would be the last thing we need.

With low oil, the weak will fail and M&A will continue in the crowded space.  Let new technology force cost savings (as we're seeing it every where else) and bring O&G production up to 21st century standards.  I've…

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Admin

Crude Oils Overhead Resistance

Had to share this monthly chart of crude oil because I am one that has viewed it bearishly since it broke it's 200 month sma; prior support during the financial crisis. (click chart to enlarge)

Blame it on fracking.  Blame it on OPEC.  Blame it in fuel efficient cars.  Blame it on whatever you wish but just because it was bullish for years, does not mean it will always be the same.

Natural gas has been embraced by the U.S. and continues to grow.  Coal is all but dead; being dropped by one country after the next.  There obviously is no U.S. oil shortage (thank you Bakkens) and our dependency on overseas oil becomes…

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Admin

Gold Losing Its Luster

I'm back from Illinois after "life intervened" and I rushed out the door and gold has done exactly what I felt it would do.  In this previous post I felt that the 100 week SMA would pose a resistance and if you think about it, it makes complete sense.

  • From a season standpoint, gold doesn't have much demand until last Summer when Indian festival and wedding season kicks in followed by jewelry gift giving as the Winter holidays approach.  (see seasonal chart)
  • Inflation is very low = no need to hedge with gold
  • The stock market is challenging new highs.  When equities are doing…

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Admin

No Crude Oil Recovery In 2015

While guests on CNBS CNBC and Bloomberg are busy encouraging you to buy oil names which are down over 50%, I wouldn't expect to reap any big rewards any time soon.  In fact I believe there will be much more pain ahead, depending on the strength of the company you chose.  Iran sanctions may be giving it a boost near term but once they're lifted (or eased) their production is expected to double which is once again, bearish for this oversupplied market

While everyone is in agreement that crude oil is in a bear market, quite often one strategy is to buy the laggard and anticipate it to outperform the following year.  The trouble with crude oil however, are the…

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Admin

Russian Stocks - Blood In The Streets

Russia's central bank raised interest rates last Friday from 9.5% to 10.5% in an effort to support the falling currency and battle inflation.  When that did nothing, they shocked markets by raising it again overnight from 10.5% to a whopping 17% in what some are calling an emergency move.  This was their sixth interest rate hike this year to support the…

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Admin

According to Ashraf Laidi:  The following sobering analysis on the S&P500 reinforces our expectations that recent record highs in US equity indices will not be revisited before at least six weeks.

A decline of at least 10% is expected to follow.

-        Last week’s 3.6% decline in the S&P500 single-handedly erased all of the prior seven weeks’ consecutive gains.

The last time the S&P500 erased at least three weeks’ of consecutive gains was the week after the October 2007…

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Admin

Will Oil's Fall Damage The Rally?

I have to throw a flag in from the sidelines calling foul on the learned men on CNBCs Fast Money table Friday (video below) as traders remain bullish on the big screen.  In fact, they do not believe crude's fall will impact our rally.  Really?  Josh Brown stated there was no correlation b/w the price of oil and the S&P500 and did their level best to downplay the selling in crude oil.  Alright, overlay a comparison chart (left) and you won't see black gold having an enormous impact on the market with a few exceptions BUT, the energy complex represents an average of 6.9% of U.S. GDP. 

If it's a bear market, this changes the…

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