commodity prices

Gold Tops the List of the Fourth Quarter's Likely Winners

Most commodities rallied in the third quarter, but can they hold on to their advance? Read on, and find out which ones still have legs to dance their way higher, and which are poised to take a tumble. The short answer to that from analysts is that gold and oil are likely to advance, while grains and sugar are among those that probably won't, but there will be a lot of different factors to consider.

And the Number One Threat to the Market Is...

With the market in exuberant, can't lose bull-mode, we asked a group of our favorite investors, strategists, and economists a simple question: What's the #1 threat to the market right now? Here are the answers we got.

Spike in Orange Juice Prices? It's Pulp Fiction

Orange juice drinkers can relax. Fears of a spike in the price of the breakfast favorite appear overblown. The specter was raised of a January OJ shortage in the U.S., which could have translated into sharply higher prices on store shelves. But there should be plenty of oranges, and juice, to go around.

Your Starbucks Fix Is About to Cost More

If your New Year's resolution was to pinch more pennies, Starbucks has some bad news. The coffee king is raising prices due to rising costs of coffee and milk. And they aren't the only restaurant chain getting ready to pass higher expenses on to their customers.

Reading the Tea Leaves of the Shanghai Composite

The Shanghai Composite is as close to a proxy for public firms in China as investors can get, and indexes are believed to reflect where markets think a nation's economy is headed. So what does it mean that, despite China's white-hot growth, the Shanghai Composite has been seriously lagging the S&P 500?

Rising Food Costs Will Eat Into McDonald's Profits

McDonald's expects food costs to rise between 4% and 4.5% in the U.S. and Europe this year, which puts the fast food leader between a rock and a hard place: Leave prices the same, and profit margins suffer. Raise them, and cash-strapped customers may start foregoing their Big Macs.

Are You Better Off Under the Obama Administration?

President Obama has officially launched his reelection campaign and when it's time to vote again many may ask themselves whether they are better off than they were four years ago. A close look at the statistics reveals the clear winners and losers so far.

How to Cope With Rising Food Costs

Food prices are on the rise, with the USDA now expecting to see increases of 3% to 4% this year. But there are some ways to minimize the damage to your grocery bill. From shopping smarter to avoiding processed foods, learn some tricks to help stretch your food budget.

How to Stitch Cotton Into Your Portfolio?

Among the questions investors now face: How much rally is left in cotton since skyrocketing 171% already in a year? Among the variables to consider are weather, demand and how much more land gets devoted to cotton. Analysts point to better and worse ways to play this commodity.

Is Inflation Really 1.6%, or Is the BLS Getting Scammed?

Government measures show that inflation, at 1.6% in January, is still below the Fed's target of 2%. But commodity prices are soaring, and anyone who pays their household bills knows that food and energy prices are rising because of it. Is the Consumer Price Index getting it wrong?

The Real Problem With Inflation Isn't on Wall Street

As earlier bouts of alarmism over Europe, then a double-dip recession and then deflation fade away, a new bogeyman is taking their place: Inflation, and the damage it could do to profits and stocks. Yes, prices are rising, but the main pain will be felt worst among America's poorest.

A Little Inflation Isn't Slowing Down General Mills

Dire warnings about higher prices notwithstanding, not everyone in the consumer-staple sector expects to be a sorry victim of inflation. Count General Mills among those who aren't afraid of the inflation bogey. It has been raising prices, and analysts are applauding.

Can the U.S. Sidestep Growing Global Inflation?

Rising food and energy prices will likely hit America the same way they've hit other countries. Other inflationary forces are more variable from nation to nation. Still, the U.S. can't fully escape rising prices, especially when it comes those common consumer necessities.

Consumers, Not Stocks, Will Feel Inflation's Pain First

Amid a bounce back in manufacturing activity, surging commodity prices are leading to fears of inflationary forces. Those forces are real, but corporate profits -- and therefore, stock prices -- won't suffer too quickly. The pain for struggling Americans, though, could be rapid and severe.

A More Bullish Forecast From Deutsche Bank

The bank now say positive trends developing in consumer spending, employment and the stock market will likely boost U.S. economic growth higher than the 3% most analysts had previously predicted. Deutsche's chief equity strategist is predicting a 23% rise in the stock market for 2011.

Food Prices Jumped to Record High in December

Food prices rose to a record high last month, overtaking even the levels seen during the 2007-2008 food crisis. The UN Food and Agricultural Organisation said its food price index rose to 214.7 points last month, an increase of almost 4.2% from November, according to The Financial Times. The index tracks the wholesale cost of commodities including wheat, corn and meats.

It's Time for a New Reserve Currency: Meet the Mondo

For a host of reasons, other countries would love to free their economies from the stranglehold of the U.S. dollar's influence, especially now, when the Fed's stimulus actions are pushing the dollar lower, and everything else higher. Global finance expert Peter Cohan has a simple answer: The Mondo.

Main Street Doesn't Buy Wall Street's 'Recovery'

If stocks are rising, many Wall Street gurus take it as evidence that the economy is improving. Yet even though the S&P 500 has soared 80% from its March 2009 lows, 70% of Americans don't believe the recession is over. Is Main Street's grasp on reality firmer than Wall Street's? Let's look at the data:

Gold Prices Keep Climbing to
New Records

The price of gold jumped to a record high on Tuesday, boosted by concerns over eurozone debt and inflationary pressure. Spot gold touched $1,422.30 a troy ounce, Reuters reported. Today is the fourth day in a row that gold has set a new record.

As the Dollar Weakens, Commodities Shine

Market watchers lately have loudly proclaimed the end of the dollar, which has left investors looking to stay ahead with a choice of betting on stocks, which have 17% fallen in the last decade, or staying "safe" in very low-yield money market funds. But there is an alternative: Commodities.

Cotton Prices Jump to Record High

Cotton prices jumped to a record high on Friday on strong Chinese demand and the prospect of reduced supply. In New York, ICE December cotton futures touched 119.80 cents a pound, the highest price since 1995, The Financial Times reported.

Meat Prices Highest Since 1980s - and Still Rising

The burger or bacon you put on your plate is likely at its most expensive since the 1980s, and it%u2019s only going to get pricier. The surging price of corn futures - which allow farmers to lock in the price of the grain for an extended period - means few farmers are expanding their herds, Bloomberg News reported. Meat prices have risen 14% this year, driving up U.S. retail costs, and the rally is not over yet. The surging price of corn futures - which allow farmers to lock in the price of the grain for an extended period - means few farmers are expanding their herds, Bloomberg News reported. Meat prices have risen 14% this year, and the rally is not over yet.

Gold Prices Hit Record High Following Fed Meeting

Gold prices jumped to record highs Wednesday after the Federal Reserve signaled it is willing to boost its stimulus measures. The price of bullion reached a new record of $1,294.95 an ounce, before slipping to $1,293.10 an ounce, Reuters reported.

UK Food Prices Rise the Most in a Year

British food prices rose at the fastest rate in a year in August thanks to higher prices for commodities. Food prices increased at an annual rate of 3.8% in August, compared with 2.5% in the previous month, Bloomberg News reported, citing a statement by the British Retail Consortium. That%u2019s the fastest increase since July 2009.