The bears arrived on Wall Street with little warning and dragged the S&P 500 Index down almost 8% in just one month after the benchmark peaked on September 19th before finding a bottom in mid-October. Since 10/15, major equity indexes have rebounded sharply, with the S&P 500 gaining over 3% in just one week, perhaps signaling that the recent round of profit taking might be over as we head into the final stretch of 2014 [for more commodity futures news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Crude oil prices enjoyed a strong first half of 2014, as energy had placed itself among the better performing sectors for the year. But the fossil fuel’s bullish run came to a head in June when a number of factors combined to sink its price. Along with barrel prices dipping, major energy companies are taking a hit and even Wall Street as a whole has begun to feel the pinch of the energy sector [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
The oil and gas industry has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, thanks in part to new technologies such as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Big Oil companies have benefited significantly from fracking, though there are several smaller players in the industry that have also profited. Companies that produce fracking sand, a key component in the hydraulic fracturing process, have become more popular with investors in recent years [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Mining stocks have received a lot of attention over recent years, as more and more investors have been turning to this sector in search of attractive returns. But as witnessed last year, mining companies in particular can quickly make a turn for the worse, with rising operational costs and falling commodity prices making big impacts on bottom line returns [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
The bulls have returned to the driver’s seat at home as evidenced by the S&P 500′s steep rebound following the short-lived pullback that was sparked on the last trading day of July. Easing tensions between Russia and Ukraine and a (temporary) ceasefire in Gaza welcomed back buyers on Wall Street after the S&P 500 managed to sink about 4% in just two weeks [for more commodity futures news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
The last few months have primarily focused on the tensions between Russia and Ukraine, and the violent conflict has escalated in recent weeks. Now, the U.S. and European Union are imposing various sanctions on Russia in an effort to get President Vladimir Putin to play ball. These actions have yet to affect the European nation. Instead, Putin has retaliated with sanctions of his own, creating something of a legislative battle, potentially creating major headwinds for certain commodities [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
The bears have finally arrived on Wall Street. Much to the bulls’ frustration, selling pressures have managed to return with full force amid all-time highs for major equity indexes. Growing fears of an earlier-than-expected rate hike on the home front has prompted a market-wide sell off that doesn’t appear to be over just quite yet [for more commodity futures news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
U.S. hurricane season kicked off over the weekend, as the time period between June 1st and November 30th of each year brings special attention to these storms. Aside from the devastation they can bring to the areas they hit, these storms can also have a big impact on the commodity world (albeit short-term). Few commodities feel the brunt of the blow more than fossil fuels [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Major equity indexes climbed higher last week week and kicked this week off on strong footing thanks to upbeat new home sales data and a lack of “bad surprises” from the latest FOMC minutes release. Overseas, tensions between Ukraine and Russia are heating up again following presidential elections as well as a firefight over Donetsk airport [for more commodity futures news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].