August opened up with a bang to say the least, as today went down as one of the most peculiar trading days in recent memory. It was one of a just of a handful of times that the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened up over 1% only to give up those gains and fall down to -1% within the next hour. After a tumultuous day, the index finished just about flat, leaving traders frustrated as they were taken for quite the ride on a day when most expected stocks to rally. These rally hopes came after the Obama Administration announced their most recent debt deal to Congress with the possibility of the measure being voted on as early as tonight. While some are still pledging to not let the proposed legislation through, they may be forced to swallow their pride in an effort to keep our economy afloat.
The commodity world saw an equally tumultuous day as crude oil opened up nearly 2%, only to finish the day down half a percent. Likewise, gold fluctuated back and forth while finishing down around $12 per ounce. Almost all major commodity indexes saw a down day, with the UBS Bloomberg CMCI Index dipping 5.6 points and the S&P GSCI Index retreating over 7 points in the session. Despite weakness in major indexes, today still saw a fair amount of futures finish up, leaving investors with plenty to talk about. Below, we outline two of the most notable commodity performances on the day:
One of the biggest commodity winners today came from corn, which shot up based on rough weather in the US. More hot and dry weather has blanketed the corn belt in the Midwest, as little rain and warm nights give no rest for battered crops. While forecasts call for the latter half of the week to be more mild, the damage has already been done for the most part. With a fair amount of crops destroyed or not up to quality, the supply chain for corn has hit a snag in the world’s largest producer, the US. The lack of supply has driven up prices on the day, as corn finished up 2.5% [see also Ultimate Guide To Corn Investing].
While today saw many futures fare the volatility quite well, others were not so lucky. Copper was among the hardest hit commodities on the day as the industrial metal took a dive on a dismal manufacturing report. Both China and the U.S. reported weak manufacturing data, which put a beating on copper as it is one of the most popular industrial metals. Many analysts also point to the weak manufacturing data as the culprit for major losses on a day where the announcement of a possible debt deal should have given equities some optimism. Along with these reports, the dollar saw a decent day, which effectively put pressure on every commodity, adding insult to injury in copper’s case. Monday’s trading session saw copper dip 1.6% [see also Ultimate Guide To Copper Investing].
Disclosure: Charts courtesy of Barchart. No positions at time of writing.