One of the biggest names in aluminum production and exploration, Pittsburgh based Alcoa (AA) is one of the best known firms in the commodity world. The company operates in over thirty countries and is only rivaled in size by international firms Rio Tinto (RIO) and Rusal. Falling prey to a struggling industrial sector, Alcoa and many other mining corporations have been feeling the pressure since the recession began in late 2008. With their first quarter earnings report coming up on Monday, all eyes will be fixated on the materials giant [for more metals news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
With the Dow hitting all-time highs again, it’s worth looking back at the Dow Jones in 2007 and examining what has changed. In the intervening time, it has been a wild ride for commodities. Commodity prices soared in 2008 and 2009 as China rapidly industrialized, with oil moving from about $50 per barrel to over $145 per barrel and copper jumping from about $2.70 per pound to over $4.20 per pound [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Russia may be the ninth largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product, but its abundance of natural resources in the Ural Mountains, Siberia and the Russian Far East makes it much more important in the world of commodities. The emerging market has long been known for its vast production of some of the most vital commodities in the world. Below, we dissect Russia’s commodity industry to give investors an in-depth look at this BRIC nation [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Due to better governance practices and a commodity boom, Brazil’s economy has enjoyed incredible growth over the past 20 years. Brazil is now the largest economy in Latin America and the sixth or seventh largest economy depending upon the metric used. On the other hand, while Brazil’s GDP per capita has improved, it still ranks at a relatively low 64th in the world – meaning that it is a large economy, but not an especially wealthy one yet (at least not uniformly so). While Brazil has made a concerted effort to build up its manufacturing sector (and reduce the risk of being trapped as a commodity-driven economy), minerals, energy and agriculture are still very significant to the Brazilian economy, as well as the larger global economy [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
As 2012 draws to an end, investors are taking time to reflect on some of the best and worst performing commodities of the year. Though the year’s headlines have been dominated by energy and precious metals, there are a number of assets that have flown relatively under the radar. Industrial metals are among the most practical commodities on the market given their wide use in our everyday lives, but they rarely receive attention over something like gold or oil. Below, we outline the performances of some of the biggest industrial metals for 2012 [for more industrial metal news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
The introduction of commodity ETFs brought trading to a whole new level, as your average retail investor now has the opportunity to trade something like natural gas futures through a single ticker. As the years have gone on, a number of these products have grown to be some of the most widely-used financial instruments for their respective commodity. One advantage to ETFs, however, is that liquidity is not hindered by average volume due the the creation process. Instead, there will just be some funds that are more liquid and tradable than others [for more commodity ETF news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Its official, earnings season has begun and Alcoa (AA) has kicked things off with their report after the bell yesterday. AA was able to top estimates by showing a net loss of $143 million. “Excluding legal and environmental remediation costs, it had per- share profit of 3 cents” writes Sonja Elmquist of Bloomberg. Analysts had been expecting the company to break even or to show EPS of 0.01 depending on which sources you conglomerate [for more aluminum news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
After gathering more than $1 trillion in total assets under management, ETFs have cemented their place in the financial world. Among the universe of nearly 1,500 products, commodity funds have garnered a lot of attention, as these products have democratized an asset class that was once difficult to reach by retail investors. Now, there are a number of exchange-traded options to help you gain exposure to your favorite hard assets, all at a low cost.
Alcoa Inc is one of the biggest names in the commodity world as it is the world’s third largest producer of aluminum. The company has also gained a fair amount of attention being that it is often synonymous with the start of earnings season. Each quarter Alcoa is one of the first major companies to report their earnings, and today marks the results from Q3 2012 [for more aluminum news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Marc Faber, who shares the moniker “Dr. Doom” with Nouriel Roubini, has made a name for himself not only from his intelligence, but also from his outspoken and often controversial views. Faber has recently predicted a 100% chance of a U.S. economic recession and says that he is simply waiting for things to fail. To put things lightly, he is something of a bear, as he often points out the faults of the economy or singles out failing sectors. It seems as though he has done it again, but this time with industrial commodities, namely industrial metals [for more industrial metals news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].