Performance of 40 Futures Markets after Q1

Commodities continue to grab headlines this year, as stocks have took a tumble in April, forcing many to question whether 2014 is the year of “Commodity Sex Appeal?” We’re a little bit past the first quarter of the year, and there’s reason to believe in the appeal by the amount of green shimmering below.

Futures Market Performance(Disclaimer: Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results)
Chart Courtesy: Finviz.com

Here’s some of our thoughts:

  • 31 out of 40 Futures markets are positive thus far this year. That’s an impressive 75 percent, compared to a 50/50 split from all of last year.
  • Softs & Ag markets are by in far outperforming other markets, holding the top 11 positions, while last year’s high performers, futures stock indices are in the red, or close to it.
  • The so called “Dr. Copper” which many believe to be a predictor of turning points in economics, is the only metal down on the year.
  • Not that it’s a shock by now, but Coffee remains to hold an unbelievable up trend, now standing at 78% YTD. Here’s Coffee by the numbers.
  • The nasty hog virus sweeping the nation is causing a lack of supply, having a rippling effect on the Lean Hogs market.
  • Natural Gas has all but erased its multiple instances of volatility explosion, while the Crude Oil Market is getting boring.
  • As the situation in Ukraine continues, the Corn and Wheat markets could be impacted.

What’s in store for the rest of the year? Are Coffee and Lean Hogs done with their uptrend? Will the Ag Markets be one of the top performers list for the full year? Are stocks going through a “correction” phase, or is the bull cycle over?

From a managed futures perspective, CTAs don’t care about the headlines, the hype; they don’t even care if Commodities themselves are up or down. All they care about is a consistent prolonged trend in either direction. Although we will say the nice thing about up trends is there is no cap on how high they can go (in theory). In comparison short trades have a natural floor (cost of production) and can never go below zero.

From a more broad perspective, after last weeks fall in stocks, we can only guess that there were more than a couple investors searching “Alternate Investment Opportunities.” So is it time to Google Alternative Investments, or is this just a blip before the stock market run continues? For those of you who think stocks will have another repeat year, ignore the last part. For those of you who might consider protecting your portfolio, do your due diligence about what alternative investments are out there, and what their return drivers are before taking your next step.

 





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