FactorShares, an ETF provider that was recently acquired by GenCap Ventures, has debuted the first ever ETF to focus on diamonds and gemstones. The PureFunds ISE Diamond/Gemstone ETF (GEMS) invests in a handful of firms that produce and sell diamonds/gemstones, making this fund one of a kind. The GEMS fund has been in the works for some time now, as several issuers were jockeying to release the first Diamond fund, but FactorShares beat everyone to the punch [for more diamond news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
In the current economic climate investors have sought any and all potential investment opportunities to see attractive yields and returns. One such asset class includes Master Limited Partnerships, otherwise known as MLPs, which have been provided attractive dividend yields throughout the years [for more MLP news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
The Mexican juggernaut Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) has discovered a major oil field that could yield an impressive amount of the fossil fuel. The company is already the fourth-largest producer of oil in the world, and will now look to further its position. As it stands, the well site is estimated to contain 500 million barrels with another 500 million expected to lie in the surrounding area. The site, now named Navegante 1, is an extremely significant find, especially compared to the overall output of Mexico [for more crude oil news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Considering this year’s rather volatile performance, one thing can be agreed upon by almost all investors – commodity investing is essentially a crap shoot. This year’s unprecedented summer drought and escalated geopolitical tensions in the Middle East have wreaked havoc on commodity markets, leaving some lucky investors with profitable returns and others with steep losses. Overall, however, commodities have been experiencing a steady uptrend for quite some time, as global demand has continuously inched higher despite the recent economic slowdown. In a recent statement, global head of commodities research at Citigroup Edward Morse warned that the “commodity super-cycle” is over and that “no longer will a pure long-only strategy bring the returns expected in 2002 to 2008, nor will conditions approximating those of the last decade return anytime soon” [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
The winter months typically see demand kick up for natural gas, which is often reflected in the higher prices. But last year’s unseasonably warm winter put downward pressure on NG and its related investments alike. In fact, the United States suffered the warmest 12-month span in its history (as far back as records have been kept) between 2011 and 2012, making it very difficult for this commodity to get going. Unfortunately, the first part of the coming winter does not look to be shaping up much better [for more natural gas news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Optimism on Wall Street appears to be slowly fading away as major equity indexes haven’t been able to keep up with last week’s bullish momentum. Since the broad-based rally last Friday, price action has been lackluster on the equity front as resurfacing “fiscal cliff” woes have once again opened up the doors for profit-taking. Economic data releases remain mixed, with October durable goods orders data coming in flat while consumer confidence is showing signs of minimal improvement. Amid the looming uncertainties, precious metals have offered little to no refuge, prompting savvy traders to look to other corners of the commodity market for opportunities [for more economic news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Agriculture is perhaps the most practical commodity sector, as many of its products enjoy inelastic demand around the world. As such, this segment has always been given a fair amount of investing attention. Because there are so many different futures in the ag world, ETFs have become one of the most effective and popular ways to play this broad commodity sector. After enduring one of the worst droughts in U.S. history, agriculture ETFs are taking another hit as they have been trending downward since September [for more agriculture news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].