There is an in depth story on the sector in the WSJ today as well.
- Commodities fell to nearly two-year lows last week, measured by a widely used benchmark, prompting investors to ponder whether the massive rally that began in 1999 may be faltering.
- China is cooling down at the same time the U.S. is struggling to heat up, clouding the outlook for the world's two biggest consumers. And producers of some raw materials have ramped up supplies enough to create at least temporary gluts, particularly if appetites falter.
- For more than a decade, investing in commodities was practically a sure thing. Prices rose in nine of the 12 years starting in 1999. Even down years had explanations, such as the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 and the global financial crisis in 2008.
- On Friday, the Dow Jones–UBS Commodity Index, which tracks futures contracts for 20 basic goods, fell 1% to the lowest level since September 2010. U.S. crude oil, gold and cotton—all components of the index—helped lead the way down, as each hit fresh lows for 2012. The index is down 4% this year after a 13% drop last year, putting it on track for the first consecutive declines since 1997 and 1998.