cotton prices

What Retail Rebound Means for Shoppers, Investors

Retailers are forecasting a strong 2011 as the economy continues to pick up speed. A boost in retail sales is good news, of course. But what, exactly, does it mean for your wallet? And how will higher gasoline and clothing prices play out in the mall and on Wall Street?

Trapped: The Fed Has Painted Itself Into a Corner

Having committed itself to near-zero-percent interest rates and quantitative easing, the Fed is now caught in a double bind: Continue those policies and keep pumping money into speculative, inflation-hiking commodity bets or end them and let rates rise, with the harmful economic impact.

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.

Daily Blogwatch: Is Google a Monopoly?

Some of the best reads for investors from around the Web, including posts evaluating how consumers spend their money, whether Google could be considered a monopoly and the debate about the Fed's policy on quantitative easing.

Squeezing Seniors: Social Security Stays Flat as Prices Rise

Besides the unemployed, nobody is getting hurt worse in this economy than seniors. Prices on many commodities are skyrocketing, but the Consumer Price Index, which is the yardstick used to adjust Social Security for inflation, is virtually unchanged.