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‘Canaries In Coal Mines’: Copper and Iron Ore Markets Breaking Down

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 12th, 2014 10:23 AM |

Having focused meaningful attention on developments in China in recent commentaries, I am compelled to draw even further focus to the ‘canaries in the coal mines,’ that is, the copper and iron ore markets.

Let’s navigate eastward once again as the FT writes,

Copper continued to take a pummelling, with Shanghai traded futures in the metal falling by their daily limit on Wednesday morning.

That came after a frenzied day of trading on Tuesday, when copper prices sank below $6,500 a tonne to a near four-year low as concerns mounted over the fragility of the Chinese market. (more…)

Manipulating Electricity: When Will Madness End?

Posted by Larry Doyle on July 22nd, 2013 7:25 AM |

Do readers recall how the morally depraved crowd at Enron manipulated the electricity markets so aggressively in California in 2000 as to force the state to implement rolling blackouts?

I am assuming there are some in our audience who not only remember the rolling blackouts, but actually lived through them.

Market manipulation of a basic good or service is a destructive force like none other. Many in America and around the world will dismiss the manipulation that goes on in a structured products market, such as mortgage-backed securities or auction-rate securities. They will similarly dismiss the clandestine dealings within the credit derivatives space or the arcane world of high-frequency trading.  (more…)

May 15, 2010: Market Week in Review

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 15th, 2010 6:12 AM |

The European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (and the Fed, as well, although they don’t want to truly highlight it) provide $960 billion in backstops for the Euro-zone and what happens? The Euro ends the week lower by 3%!! Ladies and gentlemen, that is nothing more than a major “F&%@ Y#& on behalf of global investors to the aforementioned central banks and government entities.

Think there is tension in Euroland, and specifically between France and Germany? As The UK-based Telegraph reports, President Nicolas Sarkozy ‘Threatened to Pull France Out of Euro’:

President Nicolas Sarkozy slammed his fist on the table and threatened to pull France out of the euro at a meeting of European leaders deciding Greece’s aid package last Friday, according to Spain’s El Pais newspaper.

The last time there was this kind of tension between these countries, guess who was coming ashore at Normandy? (more…)

March 2010 Market Review

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 31st, 2010 6:03 PM |

The 1st quarter 2010 returns are now in the books.

The Euro continued to lag given problems in the Euro-zone. That development supported our greenback:

The commodities index has given ground, but in the midst of that oil and copper have outperformed:

Although the equity markets started the year off on a rough note, the returns for the last two months have been impressive, albeit on generally light volume:

Bonds gave ground but remain within the trading range we have experienced all year:

LD

March 6, 2010: Economic/Market Week in Review

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 6th, 2010 6:08 AM |

Markets continued to rebound this week. Why? Dramatic improvements in Greece? No. Solid economic news here at home? I don’t think so. A slew of positive earnings reports? Hardly. What are we to make of it?

Welcome to our Sense on Cents Week in Review where I provide a streamlined recap of the major economic data and news, along with month-to-date market returns.

ECONOMIC DATA
Recovery? I would not classify the data this week as defining a recovery. I will be gracious and define the data as mildly negative. Don’t take my word for it, let’s review the data together and you tell me what you see and what I may be missing. Let’s dive right in. Unless a hard number is indicated, the data represents the percentage change for the prior month along with the consensus expectation for the current month and then the actual change for the current month. (more…)

February 13, 2010: Market Week in Review

Posted by Larry Doyle on February 13th, 2010 8:12 AM |

Markets remain volatile and skittish. Why? Our global economy along with our domestic economy remain under the pressure of massive debts and deficits across the sovereign, corporate, and consumer spectrum.

Global governments can not prop economies and markets forever, try as they might. Can 2010 successfully transition from these total government supported and propped markets to a hoped for return to private enterprise with private capital? This week brought us more ups and downs in the markets as the economy overall searches for its footing. We remain a long way from being out of the woods. Pack lightly and lets navigate.

Welcome to our Sense on Cents Week in Review where I provide a streamlined recap of the major economic news and month-to-date market returns.   (more…)

Quiet Market? Think Again . . . Copper is Melting Down!!

Posted by Larry Doyle on February 3rd, 2010 3:16 PM |

Just a quiet Wednesday in the markets?

Let’s see . . . major equity averages are flat to down .5% on the day, bonds have backed up 5 basis points but remain within the range, the dollar is doing a little better but not making a major move. Might be a good day to catch the early train home because nothing is going on? Not so fast . . . let’s look a little deeper because I think there is a major move afoot in a certain market segment. What would that be? (more…)

January 2010 Market Review

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 30th, 2010 10:49 AM |

As January goes, so goes the year.

Does this adage hold water? The market direction for the year is correlated approximately 70% of the time with January’s move. I certainly would not make investment decisions based purely upon that rule of thumb. The rule did not hold in 2009 as major equity averages were down 8% last January. That said, 2009 was anything but a normal year given the massive economic and market supports implemented by Uncle Sam.

What rule of thumb would I recommend? Read and review Sense on Cents regularly to most effectively navigate the economic landscape. On that note, let’s review the market moves for January. The figures provided are month end statistics for the respective markets, then month-to-date and year-to-date returns. (more…)

News and Midday Market Moves, Copper Selling Off Hard

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 27th, 2010 12:25 PM |

Many eyes are focused on the grilling of Treasury Secretary Geithner on the Hill.  Have we learned anything new? Not really. Geithner is maintaining that he and others within the New York Fed and the Federal Reserve operated within the best interests of the American taxpayer because they were working to save the system. Numerous Congressmen are drilling Geithner on his actions to pay creditors 100 cents on the dollar.

Having watched this debate this morning, in my opinion we will not receive any real clarity or clear cut winners. I do find it laughable that Geithner asserts that the Treasury has promoted unprecedented levels of transparency under his leadership. Neil Barofsky, head of SIGTARP, and Elizabeth Warren, the TARP watchdog, have highlighted the extensive lack of transparency by Treasury under Geithner. (more…)

Think China, Think Commodities, Think U.S.

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 26th, 2010 12:11 PM |

China led the overall market higher in 2009. With China now restricting credit, will it lead to a global selloff in 2010? How do we monitor this situation and most effectively navigate the economic landscape? We can keep a close eye on the Chinese stock indexes, but I think we are better served monitoring the commodities markets. Given that China is still in the very early stages of an industrial revolution, the demand for commodities within the People’s Republic of China is extraordinary.

Trading commodities is a very challenging game. From oil to grains to precious metals, the fundamentals and technicals are impacted by an array of factors. How does one forecast weather patterns three months out and the impact they will have on prices? Trading commodities is certainly not easy  – and definitely not recommended as a hobby.

If China is curtailing lending (and it is), then I believe the market segment which will be most immediately impacted is the commodities space. While our equity markets are marking time today, how are commodities doing?

Let’s look at the DJ-UBS Commodity Index. We see that the index is not only down 1% on the day, but down 8% from the 52 week high achieved on January 6, 2010.

When I think China, I think commodities . . . and then I think our markets will fall in line accordingly.

LD






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