Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday - news in review

Taking it all in, a brief review of the day's news.

The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq are all up slightly on the day, so far. Nasdaq faring the best with a 1 percent gain at midday.

Asian markets have not fared so well this Monday. Major indexes across Asia were down 2-3 percent on the day, continuing the losses that began late last week.

The Nikkei, Hang Seng, Shanghai Composite, Kospi, and Straights Times indexes have all taken a haircut of more than 2 percent on the day, with the Hang Seng falling 3.7 percent.

Bloomberg reports that commodities are falling on worries over economic growth. There is current weakness in copper, oil, gold, corn, and wheat as the UBS-Bloomberg's CMCI Index of 26 commodities has declined 1.2 percent on the day.

Still, for many of these individual commodities, the declines seem to represent more of a retreat and consolidation after reaching recent multi-year and record highs. The same is true of the CMCI index, which "touched a record high of 1,250.7118 on Oct. 19".

For more on the Commodities markets, see this Bloomberg video clip with Sean Corrigan of Diapason Commodities Management, who makes some very interesting and sensible points on the current action in various commodities during a recent TV interview segment.

Trouble in the shipping sector? Bloomberg reports that an influx of newly built crude oil tankers could greatly outpace the increase in oil demand as estimated by the IEA, leading to potential earnings shortfalls and a decline in share prices.

Lower freight rates and higher marine fuel prices are also said to be looming over the supertanker sector. Still, optimists point out that many oil tankers will likely be converted over the near term to haul bulk commodities such as grain, coal, and iron ore. This should ease some of the expected tanker glut.

Emerging markets could be the next bubble, Marketwatch reports. A report by the Institute of International Finance says confidence in emerging markets is high, and money flows into these markets could increase as investors look favorably on their resilience and performance.

"They have almost become a safe haven now and there is the risk of them developing asset bubbles," said IIF Managing Director Charles Dallara.

Quite the shift in sentiment from ten years ago.

Last but not least, Bear Mountain Bull points to a CNBC interview with Marc Faber.

Be sure to also check out the link to last week's CNBC clip with Marc Faber - some interesting comments made on the long-term outlook for the dollar and building US inflation.

Take care, everyone, we'll see you as the week progresses.