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].
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].
Backwardation is the process by which futures contracts decrease in price as they move further out in maturity. This can often be due to the expectation of future prices or trends in a certain hard asset, but it can also occur from supply boosts, among other things. Though it is not a phenomenon that should worry investors, keeping an eye on the futures curve can help you make more informed investment decisions [for more commodity 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]:
In recent years, investors have witnessed the U.S. become a dominant force in the crude oil space, thanks in part to a development in technologies like fracking as well as more pipelines distributing the energy resource around the nation. Outside of the country, however, oil giants have struggled to match the U.S.’s fast growth, forcing these companies to new oil “frontiers” [for more energy news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].