Friday, August 16, 2013

5 Silver ETFs Surging on Commodity Strength: SIL, SLVP, GDX, SILJ, AGQ, USLV, SLW

Thanks to a recent bout of commodity strength, mining stocks have been surging higher lately. Most investors have been focused in on gold mining securities though, as these have taken the lion’s share of interest as of late.

This is for good reason too, as gold mining ETFs like (GDX - ETF report) have seen double digit percentage increases over the past week, while others, like the junior gold miners ETF (GDXJ), have surged by over 20% in the past week alone. Given these kinds of moves, it is easy to see why investors have been so focused on the now-surging space in recent trading.

However, another corner of the precious metal world has also done quite well lately, silver. The white metal has seen incredibly firm trading too over the past few sessions, and it has actually outperformed gold in many respects.

This is especially true in the silver mining space as these often trade as a leveraged play on the underlying metal, and with silver being more volatile than gold, they can truly take off in bull runs. Below, we briefly highlight five of the top performing silver ETFs over the past week, any of which could be interesting short-term selections, should the surge in silver prices continue: (more)

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Cresud: Rare value in farmland

Cresud SA (CRESY), Argentina's largest farmland owner, owning more than 2.4 million acres, is a rare value.

Sixty-six percent of those acres are in Argentina; the rest are scattered through Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. In addition, it has extensive commercial property holdings Buenos Aires.

Cresud is an exceptional value thanks to its depressed share price. For this, we can thank Argentina's dysfunctional government, led by President Christina Kirchner, who has overseen capital controls, foreign-owned asset seizures and trade restrictions.

Investors, not surprisingly, are leery about investing in such a hostile political climate. But where other investors see fear, I see opportunity. I believe Ms. Kirchner has handed investors a gift.  (more)
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Why is Corn Ignoring Bullish News?

Despite the seemingly supportive USDA report this week, corn prices have so far not reacted in much of a bullish manner.  In fact, today's settlement price for Dec-13 corn is within $.02 of the closing price the day before the USDA report on Monday Aug. 12th.  Before I lay out reasons for the markets muted response, let's first quickly summarize the latest USDA update.  US corn production was lowered 187 million bushels to 13.763 billion, roughly 215 million bushels below expectations.  Partially offsetting the lower production was a 75 million bu. cut in demand.  This left US corn ending stocks for the 2013/14 marketing year at 1.837 billion bu., which was 135 million bu. below expectations. In recent years, USDA data that was this far off from expectations often led to violent price movements.
Corn Futures - Weekly Continuation 

So why are prices so far not showing much reaction?  First of all, let's examine production.  Although the latest USDA estimate was below expectations, it is still a record crop.  In fact, it is just over 650 mil. bu. larger than the record crop in 2009. Next, let's take a look at US ending stocks.  While below expectations, they are still up just over 1.10 billion bu. from last year and are the highest in eight years.  Finally, let's factor in global supplies.  World endings stocks for the 2013/14 marketing year are forecast to swell to 150 million metric tons, up 27 mmt. from last year and the highest level in 13 years.  With this report out of the way and now fully digested by the market, we must address the following two questions.  Will this year's crop ultimately be bigger or smaller than the latest USDA estimate? What can we expect in terms of price movement heading into this year's harvest? (more)
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US homebuilder confidence nears 8-year high

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders is at its highest level in nearly eight years, fueled by optimism that demand for new homes will drive sales growth into next year.

The brighter sales outlook is the latest sign pointing to a sustained pickup in construction in coming months and comes as applications for permits to build single-family houses are at a five-year high.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Thursday jumped to 59 this month from 56 in July. It was the fourth consecutive monthly gain.  (more)

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International Investors Dump $40.8 Billion in Treasuries, the Most Ever

by Mike Larson, Money and Markets:
Did you hear the news out of the Treasury Department this morning? It was an absolute disaster for the bond market — and for good reason:
Foreign holders dumped a whopping $40.8 billion in long-term Treasuries, the biggest exodus from bonds in the history of the U.S.
Worse, June was actually the third month of mass dumping in the past four, for a total of $79 billion. China, the biggest holder of our bonds, unloaded $21.5 billion, while Japan, the second-largest holder, dumped $20.3 billion.
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Cheniere Energy (NYSEMKT: LNG) is the Must-Own Energy Stock of 2013

Way back in December we released a special report — The 10 Must-Own Energy Stocks of 2013.

Well, if you invested in the companies we recommended, then you already know that the majority of those stocks have gone up just as we predicted.

In fact, eight of our 10 recommendations are sporting gains, some of which are rather sizeable.
Indeed, Cheniere Energy (NYSEMKT: LNG), which is up close to 60%, has been the best performer — while Energy Transfer Equity (NYSE: ETE), up 43%, and EOG Resources, up 30%, trail close behind.  (more)

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