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Ukraine careens toward rough breakup

The crisis in Ukraine deepened this week as the Crimean region prepared for a referendum on Sunday about whether or not to break away from the rest of Ukraine. The vote could lead to a standoff between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Western leaders, who have declared the referendum illegal.

March 14, 2014 12:00 pm

Orange juice wakes up

Orange juice futures shot sharply higher this week on fears the nationwide cold snap could damage Florida’s sensitive orange groves. Although the Sunshine State was spared from the blisteringly cold temperatures that spread across northern states, temperatures did plunge into the 30s, which …

January 11, 2014 12:00 am

Crude explodes over $102 a barrel

Wall Street may have been closed on July 4, but news flowing out of Egypt set off fireworks in the oil markets. Recent political unrest in Egypt led to the ousting of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. Morsi was overthrown as a result of widespread criticism across Egypt that he was not shar…

July 05, 2013 10:35 am

Sandy causes gasoline spike

As Hurricane Sandy approached the Eastern Seaboard this week, there was a rash of panic buying in the gasoline market, as consumers and traders expected supplies would be interrupted. Many of their fears were warranted, as pipelines, ports and refineries were disabled by the storm, with some…

November 03, 2012 12:00 am

Slime controversy maims cattle market

Cattle prices fell sharply this week as headlines appeared regarding a ground beef additive dubbed "pink slime." The substance, known in the beef industry as lean, finely textured beef, is made from leftover trimmings. Trimmings are liquefied, treated and added to ground beef. Although the U…

March 31, 2012 12:00 am

OJ drops in time for flu season

Just in time for cold and flu season, orange juice prices are breaking lower. Consumption of orange juice is seasonal, peaking in the winter, when supplies are generally at their lowest.

October 01, 2011 12:00 am

Grains grind lower

A USDA report released Wednesday morning showed diminished export expectations for corn and soybeans, prompting some traders to declare that high grain prices had finally cut into foreign demand. Fifteen percent of U.S. corn and more than half the soybeans are exported to foreign markets suc…

May 14, 2011 12:00 am

Wheat market burning up

Wheat prices leapt 55 cents per bushel (up 7 percent) this week as the U.S. southern plains continued to experience hot, dry weather. Major wheat producing states like Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Kansas are all under extreme drought conditions. Even worse, wildfires are raging across Texas…

April 23, 2011 12:00 am

Oats, petroleum, copper focus of futures

Although oats often are thought of as horse feed or hippie food, they suddenly have become mainstream, both among consumers and investors. Rising corn, wheat and soybean prices are forcing grain consumers to look for cheaper alternatives, such as oats. Health advocates have begun touting oat…

February 05, 2011 12:00 am

FUTURES: Wheat woes worsen

The wheat market took off this week as global concerns over crop conditions worsened. This rally came as traders predicted that poor weather in Australia, Russia and the United States could drive winter wheat yields down.

December 03, 2010 12:46 pm

Metals roar to new highs

Gold and silver made new highs on Friday morning, with gold reaching a record high at $1,282 an ounce.

September 17, 2010 12:16 pm

Corn supply dwindles, leaving market hungry for more

A monthly USDA Crop Production report released Friday morning showed a decrease in predicted corn yields. This pushed corn prices to a new 20-month high on Friday, with December corn trading up to $4.79 per bushel.

September 11, 2010 12:00 am

Cattle charge higher

Cattle prices rose sharply this week as meat packers bought beef in preparation for Labor Day grilling demand. October live cattle futures reached $1 per pound on Thursday morning, a record price for that contract. Cattle prices have leapt nearly 15 percent over the last two months, followin…

August 20, 2010 3:59 pm

Grains soar as Russia bans exports

Grain prices continued to explode this week, as Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced a ban on Russian grain exports from Aug. 15 through the end of 2010, leaving many buyers of Russian wheat in a state of panic to cover their needs. The export ban was enacted to preserve domestic…

August 06, 2010 2:28 pm

Natural gas hits new highs

Natural gas shot over the $4.80 per million BTUs mark as traders aggressively bought the fuel in a flurry on Thursday and Friday. The market soared on rumors an expanded federal moratorium on offshore drilling could affect natural gas production as well. On this news, natural gas decisively …

June 05, 2010 12:00 am

Crude hits two-week high on drilling concerns

Motivated by a mid-week stock market rally and government regulation of new drilling, crude buoyed above $75 per barrel for the first time in 10 days. 

May 29, 2010 12:00 am

China powers corn prices

Corn prices were firm this week, with the July contract climbing 10 cents per bushel on Friday. The biggest driver of corn's strength was news that China had bought 118,000 metric tons of U.S. corn. The Chinese have been buying foreign grain recently to keep domestic prices low and to ward o…

May 22, 2010 12:00 am

Gold up, crude down

The worldwide campaign to buy precious metals was propelled further this week as Europeans raced ahead of Americans and Asians trying to protect their wealth as they sold paper investments such as stocks, bonds, mortgages and foreign currencies (especially the Euro currency).

May 15, 2010 12:00 am

Cotton jumps as India cuts exports

After two months of sideways action, the cotton market exploded upward this week. Prices jumped nearly 5 cents per pound (up 6 percent), mostly on news last Monday that India would suspend cotton exports. India is the world's second-largest grower of the white fiber, second only to China.  B…

April 24, 2010 12:00 am

Goldman Sachs breaks gold's back

After climbing for the last few weeks, the metals and petroleum markets broke quickly to the downside on Friday. The markets fell apart on news the Securities and Exchange Commission had filed a civil suit against Goldman Sachs for the Wall Street firm's involvement in fraud.

April 17, 2010 12:00 am

'Loonie' and gold go wild

The Canadian dollar, known to traders as the "Loonie," made new highs against the U.S. dollar this week. Whereas in February of this year it took only 93 cents to buy one Canadian dollar, it took 99.49 cents as of Friday afternoon.

April 10, 2010 12:00 am

Crude, copper, can't be stopped

The crude oil and copper markets bullied their way higher this week, reaching new 18-month highs. Both markets have been steadily rising since the beginning of 2009, accelerating their upward momentum recently as economic news boosted the markets.

April 03, 2010 12:00 am

Cattle stampede higher

Springtime cookouts may be more expensive this year, as steak and hamburger prices follow cattle higher. Over the last months, cattle prices have stampeded up nearly 20 cents per pound, a 25 percent gain as demand outstripped supply this winter.

March 20, 2010 12:00 am

Corn falls as fuels swing

As snow melted across the Midwest, so too did corn prices, falling to six-week lows on Thursday. Corn futures dropped 12 cents per bushel (-3.2 percent) this week as bearish factors weighed on the market. Strong production out of South Africa and Argentina threatened to balloon global suppli…

March 13, 2010 12:00 am

Markets need China in 2010

As traders went home early on Thursday for a three-day holiday weekend, many had already begun gearing up for what could prove to be an exciting year in the commodity futures markets. The year 2009 was marked by massive run-ups in most markets, from copper to cocoa. As prospects for the glob…

January 02, 2010 12:00 am

Jack Frost energizes markets

As temperatures dropped across the United States this week, natural gas futures took off to the upside.  Demand for fuel rose as consumers turned up the heat to ward off the cold, pushing natural gas prices to two-month highs at $5.92 per million BTUs.  Since Dec. 3, natural gas has gained $…

December 25, 2009 12:00 am

Wintry blast stirs up commodities markets

This week, as the first major winter storm swept across the Corn Belt, corn farmers were forced to consider leaving the rest of this year's crop in the field. With more than 600 million bushels of corn lying in the path of the storm, a significant portion of this year's record-breaking crop …

December 12, 2009 12:00 am

Markets drop 'thanks' to Dubai

A rout began on Thanksgiving night when Dubai World, the Emirate's investment fund centered in the Gulf region, asked to postpone $59 billion in debt payments. 

November 28, 2009 12:00 am

Rice and cotton cool off as Ida blows over

Over the past week, the cotton and rice markets took off as the threat of Hurricane Ida loomed over the Southern United States. 

November 14, 2009 12:00 am

Soggy corn concerns continue

This year's corn crop, once touted to be record-breaking, now looks like it may fall short of expectations. As rains continued to fall across the Midwest this week, farmers' woes worsened as pessimistic reports came in from around the Corn Belt.

October 31, 2009 12:00 am

Soggy corn market rises as rain falls

Corn began the week with a sharp rise amid weather concerns across the Midwest.

October 10, 2009 12:00 am

July 4 favorites, corn and gas, tumble

Recent dry and warm weather has aided corn progress, and 72 percent of the current corn crop is rated good to excellent by the USDA. Good weather has especially helped Iowa, the United States' largest corn-producing state, where corn grew 14 inches last week, according to agricultural resear…

July 03, 2009 12:00 am

Pigs plummet as metals shine

Continuing its decline from the end of last week, the U.S. dollar slid to the low of the year at 78.38 on Wednesday morning, but it made a dramatic leap upward to a high of 80.36 on Friday morning. As the dollar continued its somersaulting this week, so, too, did commodity prices.

June 07, 2009 12:00 am

Soybeans soar to 7-month high

Tuesday's USDA report indicated a fundamentally bullish balance for U.S. and world soybean supplies well into the 2008/09 season. Supply concerns after drought-damaged crops in Argentina and Paraguay set the stage for higher prices while increased purchases by China reduced world ending stoc…

May 16, 2009 12:00 am

Fed easing and falling inventories cause price swings

Energy prices had been in a tailspin since late November until this week. Oil prices had fallen by more than 10 percent and gasoline was off by a similar amount.

December 15, 2007 12:00 am

Crude oil spikes on Iran tensions

Crude oil followed through on its advances from last week with three consecutive days of increases this week to close at a six-month high.

March 31, 2007 12:00 am

Fed changes tone, supports gold and oil prices

As was widely expected, the Federal Reserve left the Fed Funds rate unchanged on Wednesday at 5.25 percent, the level where it has stood since June of last year.

March 24, 2007 12:00 am

Unwinding carry trade has far-reaching implications

For several years now, investor groups, including hedge funds, private equity firms and large financial institutions, have looked to Japan as a source of cheap money.

March 17, 2007 12:00 am

Weather in the North forces crude oil prices south

After climbing for a month towards the psychologically important $60 level, front month crude oil backed off Monday, plunging more than $2 a barrel to $57.81.

February 17, 2007 12:00 am

Corn, soybeans in tussle over limited acreage

Soybean futures got caught up in the corn hype last week, striking contract highs during two trading sessions.

February 10, 2007 12:00 am

OPEC delivers the goods just as cold snap hits U.S

Early this week, crude oil futures fell more than $1 a barrel after reports showed U.S. inventory levels would meet elevated heating demand ahead of a cold front.

February 03, 2007 12:00 am

Ethanol demand helps corn prices scale to new heights

On the day after the release of the January USDA crop report, in which the 2006-07 corn production estimate came in much lower than expected -- at 10.535 billion bushels -- corn futures hit limit-up (20 cents) across the board.

January 20, 2007 12:00 am

Crude oil prices set the pace: up, down and all around

Comex gold futures crept higher last week but fell short of the recently held $620 an ounce mark.

January 13, 2007 12:00 am

Crude, copper and crops plummet to start new year

In a shortened trading week, crude oil futures plunged to their lowest levels in 18 months, falling more than $5 per barrel Wednesday and Thursday alone.

January 06, 2007 12:00 am

Heating oil futures continue to fall on warmer-than-normal temperatures

Similar to the recent plunge in natural gas prices, heating oil futures fell to their lowest levels of the season. The January contract, which had its last trading day on Friday, fell to new contract lows of $1.608 on Wednesday.

December 30, 2006 12:00 am

Below freezing to unseasonably warm -- the energy complex studies the thermostat

Weather forecasts calling for above-normal temperatures across much of the U.S. pushed January crude oil futures down 99 cents to $62.44 a barrel Monday.

December 09, 2006 12:00 am

Gold strikes new highs as dollar weakens Comex

December gold futures closed higher Monday at $640.60 an ounce after touching $641.80 in the day, a level not seen since Sept. 7.

December 02, 2006 12:00 am

Argentina cuts off corn export registry, driving prices to 10-year highs

Corn futures moved sharply higher Monday after Argentina announced it was indefinitely closing its corn export registry. A country official stated that growing world demand had overtaken domestic needs and forced the government to re-evaluate its export registry.

November 25, 2006 12:00 am

Launching of bio-fuel products supports soybean oil market

December soy oil futures have been on an uptrend since the beginning of October, mostly due to rising optimism over the evolvement of the bio-fuel industry.

November 18, 2006 12:00 am

Saudis help crude oil back over $60 threshold

Crude oil futures endured a volatile week after OPEC made more resounding calls for production cuts and Nigerian infighting continued.

November 11, 2006 12:00 am
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