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].
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].
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].
Dividend investing has continued to be a major theme in 2014, as investors look for steady income for their portfolios. Though commodity producers are not always known for their yields, there are several companies that are dishing out juicy dividends, with some yielding more than 20% [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Polar vortexes and heavy snow are two of the most defining characteristics of the 2013-2014 winter season in the U.S. Bitter cold and harsh weather conditions have taken their toll on parts of the economy, especially when it comes to employment figures. However, when it comes to natural gas prices, the cold weather has propelled the fossil fuel higher, as incessant demand has sent NG on a tear to open up the year [for more natural gas news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Last week saw a major breakthrough for the Keystone XL Pipeline, as an analysis determined that the project would not have a significant impact on Canadian oil sands. By virtue, many are taking that statement as indirectly suggesting that the project would not have a major environmental impact as well. The potential environmental backlash has long stood in the way of this project’s completion, as many feel that the State Department has still failed to take into account the potential impact [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
As we enter the latter part of earnings season, investors have already gotten a taste of how the final three months of 2013 fared for the Street. Thus far, it seems that there have been more earnings misses or disappointing guidance given than major wins or rosy outlooks. This week will keep energy firms in the spotlight with a few key European-based firms reporting, as well as one major agribusiness entity [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter]: